December 2, 2020

Pre-Occupied

Alexandra Brandt is a senior journalism major and news editor for The Journal

Before becoming a member of a club or organization, I read the rules. I want to know exactly what the group is about.  This is the failure suffered by the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement; they don’t have an official list of rules. I don’t know what their demands are.
I have scoured the web, and have seen proposed demands, but nothing official.
Proposed solutions to the very broad problems such as corporate greed and social injustice I’ve found on Occupy Wall Street forums vary.
One idea I would support (if they themselves supported it) involves investigating CEO’s directly responsible for helping cause the economic downfall we are experiencing now through the Justice Department.
But how can I believe these people take that idea seriously when the post below it says “Group Hug” and “F*** You Anti-Capitalists”?
Why not officially state specific solutions to these problems?
Out of burning curiosity, I ventured downtown to Kiener Plaza Oct. 1 to Occupy St. Louis. I spoke to several protesting students as well as working (or not) adults who are outraged about everything from taxes to their health care plans. Asking them what they had in mind to solve theses problems, I found most of them had no direct answer. I did, however, see a lot of young people playing the guitar with “V for Vendetta” masks on.
These protesters are sleeping in parks and are rallying together by the side of a street for something they believe in, yet they can’t give me solutions to the problems they are presenting to the public.
Many of them said they were there to simply make the public aware of the dire issues affecting us all that need to be addressed by our government. I asked how these issues should be addressed and got no answer.
This is what happens when a movement of this scale is officially leaderless. I understand the notion of not wanting to evolve into a political organization. But there are ways to have an official and organized group of people advocating for a cause without turning into yet another political party.
Occupy Wall Street needs an official and monitored website that explains what they stand for and what their end goal is. They don’t need a “leader” but at least a spokesperson that represents them.
I recognize the effort in keeping Occupy Wall Street organic by protesters not having official positions within the movement. It’s a beautiful thing when thousands of people across the nation gather together because they are upset and concerned about the future, but it won’t work unless this group has got some official demands and solutions. This crusade means nothing if there is no presentation of their end goals. Without an effective articulation of progress and possibility, OWS will eventually fizzle out.
Occupy Wall Street is suffering because people like myself who want to be fully informed of what they’re supporting can’t find information by going online or by speaking to actual protesters.
Potential supporters like myself are ultimately choosing not to get involved because they really don’t know exactly what the movement stands for.
OWS has accomplished the first goal of any protest movement. They have shown that they have numbers and support. Now, they need to show they have ideas.

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