To those who act like the Occupy Wall Street movement is just child’s play and will blow over: you’re most likely part of the “1%” as protestors are calling it. For the rest of us, the “99%,” there is no denying that there is a serious problem when such a small part of our nation holds the country’s wealth, while the rest of us are slowly sinking further and further into debt and all type of economic woes. It’s possible that demonstrators aren’t going about the issue perfectly, and don’t have the most organized message, but isn’t our country based on fighting for your rights and the pursuit of happiness? The protests are doing exactly what they are meant to be doing – stirring the pot by creating a dialogue. Without discussion, there will never be any amount of change. These demonstrators are opening up the rest of the public’s eyes to the serious issues our economy has been and will continue to face.
Maybe the demonstrations won’t lead to any administrative actions. But what they already have done, and will continue to do, is educate the public of the financial inequalities our nation is facing and lead citizens to ask necessary questions. Why is it that so many students are coming out of college with hundreds of thousands of dollar of debt, only to find that there are no well-paying jobs available on the market? Why it is the Wall Street financial bankers are rolling in cash while most of the public can barely make ends meet?
Yes, demonstrators have not established an official plan for change or a unified message, but the overall message of economic unhappiness is clear. In order for plans to be made, there has to be a movement and encouragement behind it. This is the first real Internet-age fueled demonstration that has been seen in our nation. While the president and Congress have done nothing to solve our economic problems, the people have decided to do what they can: use their First Amendment rights to protest for change.
Demonstrators are fighting a system that promotes the interests of large corporations over the welfare of the common citizen. Continuous bailouts and inflation have left our nation’s taxpayers drained, while big companies are rewarded for their mistakes. The collusion between big business and the government has left the lower and middle classes with no power to defend themselves. “Occupiers” feel that the quality of American life has been tarnished by this cozy relationship between the two, and the greed of wealthy investment bankers, who carelessly handed out loans.
The movement is creating a web of communication between the many, many people who are being affected by our country’s staggering economy. It is a means of providing the public with hope for change. The movement is more than just a protest; it’s the start of a cultural revolution. Americans have not been involved in their government and have taken for granted their right to vote and their role as citizens of a democracy for too long. It’s about time Americans use their rights to fight for something that affects us all – the 99% of us at least.
– Katherine Kulpa, Editor in Chief