What will become of Occupy Wall Street?

Nov 23, 2011
by: hillarym

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I feel strongly about Karen McVeign’s article “Occupy Movement plans Spring Offensive as Momentum Stalls” from McVeign, K. (2011) Occupy Movement plans spring offensive as momentum stalls. The Guardian, [blog] 11th November, Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/11/occupy-movement-winter-what-... [Accessed: 21st November] because it shed some light on the intentions of Occupy Wall Street and the question the rest of the world is thinking; What next?

I’m learning more about Occupy Wall Street right now, and in particular what I’m wondering about is : Does the government really see Occupy Wall Street as a threat? Have they made any actions to resolve the problems that the Occupy Wall Street protesters have called attention to? Or do they even really care? I was researching this question online, and this news item caught my attention because right off the bat it was answering my own personal questions I had about Occupy Wall Street, it also showed me that I wasn’t the only one worried about what will happen next.

“Keeping the protests alive at all through the cold months is becoming a challenge for a movement flushed with the dramatic success of its first eight weeks.”

(McVeign, K. (2011) Occupy Movement plans spring offensive as momentum stalls. The Guardian, [blog] 11th November, Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/11/occupy-movement-winter-what-nex )

The quote I chose here is basically saying because of Occupy Wall Streets initial success, it will be hard for the people who started it to continue on with something so strong during the cold months. People will be less inclined to protest in extreme temperatures, which makes the support of the movement way less than it would be otherwise.

I think this is a realistic and rational quote because even though these people want to make a change in the United States Government, they need to consider all things equally and every aspect of what it really means to protest. I’m sure most people have the idea that protesting is just occupying a space with signs and loud speakers chanting some sarcastic well thought of phrase. But I disagree. I think what it really means to protest is to see a problem and continually brainstorm solutions by whatever means until you come up with an idea that fixes the problem or at least changes the dynamics of the conflict you want to solve. These people should be constantly taking breaks and refreshing their ideas to obtain new approaches, not wearing themselves out by sleeping in the park for weeks and trying to endure a long,cold winter.

Another sentence McVeign wrote that stands out for me is “He compared the Occupy Wall Street movement to the civil rights movement. That was everything from electoral reform to complete separatism.”

I think this is a wonderful approach to Occupy Wall Street because obviously a change did occur when Civil Rights Activists decided it was time to start a revolution. If the Occupy Wall Street protesters look back at the sorts of things Civil Rights Activists did, and then incorporate those ideas into their campaign they’d have a good shot at actually changing the United States Government, which would be a global phenomenon. Even if they don’t follow in the exact same steps as the Civil Rights Movement, it might serve as encouragement and inspiration. Who knows, it might even spark new idea’s that no one has ever thought of. If 100 people come together with one common goal, the possibility of them actually reaching that goal is much higher than if it were 10 people brainstorming. There is certainly power in numbers.

A third sentence that I found striking to read was: “But now there are signs that public interest is tailing off, with resources such as Factiva and Google Trends appearing to show a drop in searches for “Occupy wall Street” over recent weeks. Media coverage , too, is dwindling.” This stood out for me because I see it happen every so often when a big scandal or event happens in this country. People follow the story, almost religiously, until they and the media have analyzed every minuscule detail about it. It’s sort of ridiculous really, that people do not see how these events still tend to affect us months and years after the initial controversy has settled down. They stop following the stories once they believe they know enough about it to have acquired an opinion. This, is inevitable though, as we live in a microwave society where everything and anything can happen at the drop of a hat.

I do agree with McVeign however, that there is some skepticism as to whether it is sustainable in it’s current form. One reason I say this is because although the Occupy Wall Street founders have good intentions, there is no guarantee that there efforts will be rewarded. No one knows for sure if this is actually causing a stir to the people it’s targeted to. Another reason I agree with McVeign is because she is looking at the situation as a third party, outsiders point of view. This is helpful in determining whether or not the reasons for this movement are honest and just.

What I appreciate about this writer’s work is that she made sure to get all the information she could about an occurrence when it happened. It clearly shows that she has researched enough as an outside opinion to write an article and get it right, at least the way I see it. I look forward to seeing more of what McVeign writes because she has been informative to me, and it’s always good to know what’s going on around you. In your city, and in your government.

Here are my notes:


Occupy Wall Street Survival

Submitted by Terry Elliott on Thu, 2011-11-24 09:33.

I like very much your summary and analysis of the Guardian article.  This author (and several others I have read) seems to have focused not on the substance of the movement but the tactics of protest.  That is like saying I am more interested in the fuel in the car than where the car's ultimate destination is.  And I think you capture that in your paragraph comparing OWS to the Civil Rights Movement.  Keep making connections like these.  

Terry Elliott response:

Submitted by hillarym on Sun, 2011-12-04 18:46.

Thank you SO much for taking the time to read my summary and for taking out the time to write a comment. I'm glad that someone else saw the point that I was trying to make about this article; which is that the author looked at things in detail without judging whether or not the movement was worthwhile.
Thank you again. I will continue to write summaries.
Also, I do think that the Civil Rights movement and Occupy Wall Street have alot of similarities.

I thought of your post when I read this OWS poem

paulallison's picture
Submitted by paulallison on Mon, 2011-11-28 23:39.

Still Trying to Overcome

By Louise Annarino

It seems like only yesterday
that I stood on the Oval
dodging gas canisters and billy clubs,
my skin smeared with vaseline
to avoid the burn of pepper gas.
Hunger strikes and sit-ins
had not worked
so we shut down the school
and the streets all around
to make our point.
That is when I learned
that civil rights must be earned
by scrapes, and breaks, and burns,shared with others
unafraid to die.
That newspeople will not report
anything which might hurt
those holding the money
to pay their salaries.
They are too afraid.
I knew this day must come again.
I worked.I waited. I educated.
Who knew that I would be 62
before I had company to take
to the Street...Wall Street
where oppression always begin


Paulallison response:

Submitted by hillarym on Sun, 2011-12-04 18:51.

Wow! This poem really hit the nail on the head when comparing the Civil Rights movement to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
I'm happy to see that other people have made that connection as well, because that is where ideas stem from and where critical thinking starts!