Come vote in our Occupy Wall Street Poll.
Written by Mitch Billings, a student at William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The Arab Spring has come to America! Or has it? Borrowing from the tactics used in Tunisia, Egypt, and numerous other places around the globe, a group of U.S. citizens have taken up residence on Wall Street and other public spaces around the country. In Tahir Square, we saw Egyptians fighting for their rights to exist as people living within their own country. What is the Occupy Movement fighting for? It has been quite hard to figure out. The umbrella theme seems to be corporate greed. However, mixed messages flow in abundance, and it is very difficult to sort them out.
While I have not personally visited the Wall Street protests, I spent a few minutes around the satellite occupation in downtown Minneapolis. I didn’t see organization. I didn’t hear a collective message. I saw a mess of signs, tents, and sleeping bags. I thought I was looking at a commune from the 70s, and not an organized protest. What people participating in the Occupy Movement need to remember is that this is not Tunisia and Egypt, this is the U.S., and while we may have it pretty bad right now, they need to present themselves as a collective, cohesive organization that knows what they stand for.
My last piece for The Student Appeal talked about how the American people would not sit idle while our country continued a downward spiral; that we would eventually rise up and take our country back. However, I had hoped for something more concrete, and something more intelligible. I feel like I could talk to fifty different people down at that protest and get fifty different reasons why the people are there. This is not a march for gay rights. This is not a rally against taxes. This is a blanket liberal protest that lacks leadership and direction.
That being said, it should not be expected that people would sit idly by and let corporate greed consume our country. For far too long, corporations have been given free reign to do whatever they need to do to collect profits. Regulations need to be put in place, tax loopholes need to be closed, and executives sitting at the head of these corporations need to remember who buys the products and uses the services. The American Dream is for everyone, not just the top 3%.