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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Occupy Wall Street ( #OWS ) - What Is The Objective?

OWS protests spill into Times Square.
A month ago in Lower Manhattan a protest began that has done nothing but grow, not just in New York City, but globally. People are creating camps across the country and around the world with a label "Occupy _______" (Insert name of city). What started out as a very peaceful protest is pitting police and citizens against each other. Numerous arrests have been made wherever the "Occupy" banners fly. After reading the website for Occupy Wall Street, I had to ask, "What is the objective?"

I spent quite a bit of time on the OccupyWallStreet website and was trying to sift through the messages, announcement, calls to action, meeting locations and everything else that is part of a growing movement.

In an article that was produced by Reuters and reposted on the website dated October 17, 2011, a quote in the opening paragraph, which was not attributed to anyone specific said,

"...we kicked off a protest against bank bailouts, corporate greed, and the unchecked power of Wall Street in Washington."

But on October 9, 2011, from a transcript of a speech given at one of the Liberty Square protests in New York this quote appears,

"Remember: the problem is not corruption or greed. The problem is the system that pushes you to give up."

Since the two quotes on the same page contradict each other, I discerned that people have had enough of corporate greed, and lack of action by the government during the George W. Bush administration. A large majority of Americans, 67%, support the message of the protests; and 81% agree that they have the right to protest as long as it is peaceful.

OccupyWallStree (OWS) has published a seven point Good Neighbor Policy, which states that they have zero tolerance for violence, profanity, destruction of property, not using public sanitation, they will limit drumming to 2 hours a day and will have community relations personnel on hand at all times.

I agree, Wall Street went way over the line during the years and month leading up to the housing meltdown. The Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, let some very bad deals go down on Wall St. and he was party to most of them. But Wall St. is all about greed and fear, it always has been and always will. Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) said it in the 1987 film Wall Street, "Greed is good."

But through all the shouting and the marching, I'm still trying to figure out what is the objective? To raise awareness? Not a day goes by that I'm not hit with a message raising awareness for breast cancer, but they have objectives - testing, early diagnosis, donations. What does OWS and all the other "O's" want?

This comment came from the October 9, 2011 transcript,

"We don’t want higher standards of living. We want better standards of living."

Isn't that saying the same thing?

If they said they wanted an investigation or a hearing or full-disclosure, then I'd have something to sink my teeth into. But, right now, this whole movement - sans objective - is reminiscent of the 1976 movie Network, where Peter Finch won an Oscar for yelling, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore." Watch this clip. You can roll the clock ahead nearly 40 years and nothing has changed.

The line, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore," made for a great movie, but again, there was no objective, plan for action or a model of the better world put forth. And today, we are seeing this scenario play out all of the world. People are mad as hell. But what do they want?

When Occupy Wall Street (OWS) can state an objective, then we might have something we can all be mad about and do something about.

Related link:
OccupyWallStreet Website

Related articles:
Why The Psychological Recession Never Ended, Part 1
Why The Obama Recession Will Continue, Part 2

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