What does OWS (Occupy Wall Street) mean? Without trying to be funny or cutesy with my question, I am quite serious in looking for clarity surrounding the demonstrations.
Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s I am all too familiar with demonstrations. There were demonstrations for Civil Rights and to end the Vietnam War. People were killed during both events. The National Guard opened fire on unarmed students at Kent State University and killed four of them. Civil Rights advocates, both Afro-American and whites were killed during these troubling and changing times. However, both of these movements had a common thread….that thread through the eye of the needle of complacency regarding the way things were and to obey what the government said without questioning, was an ultimate and well defined goal for change. Those goals were clearly articulated, thereby informing everyone of their mission.
This nation passed the 1965 Voting Rights Act, The Equal Rights Amendment of 1972 and the Vietnam War ended. Citizens who were fed up with certain aspects of this country made those concerns known to all. No one had to guess what the underlying agendas were. Now fast forward to the fall of 2011 and the chaos currently taking place in our cities.
A close friend telephoned me last evening inquiring what I thought the OWS was all about. Honestly, I could not offer up a definitive answer. Some people demonstrating are pro union, others are anti government, many are upset with the banks and Wall Street, many are concerned they don’t have jobs, some are concerned about huge college loan debt, etc. The demonstrators offer up a smorgasbord of humankind. College professors, religious leaders, progressive leaning entertainers, and those with low paying jobs are sprinkled in with the homeless, old and young hippies, people looking for a free ride on the backs of others, veterans groups and union members. It is a diverse group, to say the least. Yet, I am still left baffled by what the common bonding agent of the glue is that keeps folks together. Does anyone reading this post know why?
I often tell people that as I have aged I now have more questions than answers when it comes to life in general. So I’m asking for feedback regarding what the real and defining issues are behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. Please enlighten me and perhaps educate anyone else who may be reading this.
Dennis L. Page