Occupy Wall Street: An Inefficient Protest

1511 words - 6 pages

In America, protest has been used throughout history as a vehicle to change. Protests bring attention to issues that would or could be overlooked or ignored. A current protest receiving national attention in our media is the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protest. The Occupy Wall Street protest, along with other Occupy branch protests are essentially ineffective protests. When compared to successful protests in the past, they are not having as much success gaining public support. There are many reasons this could be the case. There is no clearly defined goal or a specified outcome resulting from the protests. They are managing their funds inefficiently and in many cities they are creating more problems than they are solving.
The occupy protests are ineffective protests because there is no clearly defined goal or a specified outcome for their cause. They are using unfocused and prolonged public live-ins rather than a mass protest to attain specific goals through the political system. Another part of this is that no one knows what they want. In a survey about the Occupy Movement, "26 percent of those polled said they were supporters of the Occupy movement, while 19 percent identified as opponents, and 52 percent said they neither supported nor opposed it (Zernike). At the start of the Tea Party movement, there was also a large percentage that did not know much about it. If we look at the Tea Party there were similar numbers when it started. 22 percent said they were supporters of the Tea Party, 27 percent said they were opponents, and 47 percent said they were neither. But the large majority said they did not know enough about the Occupy goals to say whether they approved or disapproved (Zernike). The Occupy movement wants to use political donations to support their anti-greed protests. However, the definition anti-greed is very broad and not directed to a specific target. They also have no idea where to use the funds they receive (Berkowitz). According to the Associated Press, "The protesters have been spending about $1,500 a day on food, and also just covered a $2,000 laundry bill for sleeping bags and jackets and sweaters. They've spent about $20,000 on equipment such as laptops and cameras, and costs associated with streaming video of the protest on the Internet" (Occupy).
The protests are ineffective because they are ignoring the obvious methods to create change. The protesters are mostly of voting age and as such can vote to have better policies, instead of forming vague protests (To). OWS needs to have a leader to take on authority roles. This leader will then need to get rid of the three big constraints that are in the way. First, anti-capitalism, tuition hikes at public universities, lack of health care for the uninsured, and many other complaints share the stage. What they want is unclear. Clarifying the message and focusing on specific targets is important. They will have to leave some of those problems behind. This will cause those...

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