Occupy Wall Street is a movement that has had international attention. A common documented event of this movement occurred in the US in September 2011. The membership of OWS includes middle working class, jobless youths, and the poor. The main objective of the movement is to fight for equality between the rich and the poor. It is noteworthy that this gap keeps on widening each new day, with the rich getting richer and the poor – poorer. This has led to the formation of such movements that conduct demonstrations in the streets as a way of expressing their grievances. Similar demonstrations have also been reported in other parts of the world, such as Spain and Italy. Personally I agree with them and support their course. However, my position is not because I fall in any of its membership category but because I feel that they have a reasonable demand. Let me point this out so that we all sail in the same boat; I will use the term “right wing” to refer to the “rich” and “left wing” would be the rest. It is no doubt that the left wing Americans will face resistance from their right wing counterparts. Even though, the protesters are not targeting the end of capitalism, it is quite clear that their fight is for a democratic capitalism, where people are not misused for pursuit of profit. It is no doubt that a larger proportion of these activists voted for Obama in 2008, the reason being that they wanted a change. Unfortunately, their dream for democratic change has not come true.
One of the reasons as to why I support them is that their grievances are genuine. The joblessness crisis in the country is alarming and needs attention. During the 2008 presidential campaigns, one of the agendas used by presidential candidates was to create employment opportunities for the country’s young population. This provides a clear indication of the existence of the problem. Why should we blame the rich for this, and yet the problem cuts across? Well, that seems quite true but if we read between the lines of such a scenario, we will find that the right wing maintains stability even though the left wing is restless as a result of the crises. What if the gap between these two sides did not exist, would the whole country achieve stability?
It is clear in our conscience that this movement, which makes 99% of the population, fights for a society that is fair and equal in all aspects of life, and not a situation where only 1% command 99% of the country’s resources. Today has seen many corporations taking control of business processes, where authoritarian capitalism is nurtured. It is for the same reason that corporations are to blame for the misery of the poor. In the 15th century, corporations were non-existent, people traded in real resources rather than hollow pieces of paper, and yes, there was equality and freedom of trade. Governance system is another organ to blame. Why? It lacks democracy and freedom that many Americans are now aware of what it actually is. If today Americans are asked why they take to the streets, the response will be that they want to live in a democracy. It is arguable that today America’s system of governance has become more authoritarian, with the highest possibilities of becoming totalitarian.
The methods of communication used by the movement are acceptable. Demonstrations and mass action has proven to be a working tool when the voice of weak cannot be heard no matter how loud they shout. However, extremes of mass action are not acceptable and I do not support them. The reason is that they distract peace, and with the state security agencies, we can find ourselves in unfavourable circumstances. I agree that these agencies may sometimes be misused by protesters, even if they conduct peaceful demonstrations. In extreme cases, I am of the opinion that these activists should utilize telecommunication technologies like, for instance, the web in driving their message home.
The response that protesters receive from state organs in controlling demonstrations is not acceptable. It is inhuman and misplaced. These reactions, the outcomes of which experience extremes, cannot be celebrated. A telling example is hundreds of lives lost in the last year’s Libya protests. While the president applied the ideology of instilling fear among the protests to control them, their stubbornness led to their calamities. In some cases, the activists are not to blame because, you will agree with me, controlling a crowd of people full of emotions, as it occurs with demonstrators, is a challenging task. The objective of conducting a peaceful walk may be achieved because of the group dynamics that may not be a miss. One should expect few unlawful events if any. To avoid these unwanted events, it is the responsibility of state organs to provide peace escort for demonstrations. In that way, it will be possible to pick on individuals who are overrun by their emotions and act unlawfully. Such escorts have been successful in other parts of the world where the police participated in the walk, not to support it but to ensure lawfulness, and only the stated objectives of the movement are met
I want to agree that the line drawn between these two groups may be difficult to cross, but yes, the movement can bring revolution to America. Rome was not built in one day, and the change that these people want may not be realized soon. We should not forget that there is always room for change. The power of the people is so strong that nothing can survive on its course. There are many identical cases in the world that have had an impact on revolution and change. An excellent example is Libya’s case. Who was sure that the protesters would succeed in their objective of removing a sitting dictator in Africa? However, bloodshed may be inevitable in order for success to be achieved.
In conclusion, the OWS protesters have a right to fight for equality, and the audience should be given to them. Brutal treatment by state organs and police should not be used to intimidate them, but their cry should reach an ear. Protesters should also exercise self-control and maintain a high level of maturity so that unlawful acts will not be reported in their demonstrations.