Occupy protests need to focus on coherent demands
The “Occupy movement”—progressive protests focused on some of the inequality issues in the global financial system that started with Occupy Wall Street in New York City on Sept. 17, —has spread to other cities across the country, including St. Louis.
While we understand the frustration and lack of hope in the economy going forward, we believe these protests need to collate their message and come up with a serious and widely accepted plan for the future.
We also believe that the protests should focus on establishing a leader or figurehead for the movement in order to more effectively communicate exactly what the goals of the “Occupy” protests are.
Some of the protests have “living” documents that constantly change exactly what the demands are. The Occupy Wall Street demands have included “End the War on Drugs” and “Repeal the Patriot Act.” We think that that the range of the protests it too broad, and instead of calling a wide variety of issues from the past few years into question, protestors should focus on the economy and leave protests on other policies to come later.
These are protests that don’t have a centralized message or a centralized leadership, and they are losing ground for it. They need to maintain a civil, reasonable way of doing things, because some of their demands are well-founded. The lack of wealth equality in this country and the lack of oversight throughout the past few years are things that should be addressed, but when the protestors don’t work together and try to turn themselves into a legitimate movement, their demands are bound to be ridiculed.
The protesters are being derided by conservative media as “un-American” and by the rest of the media as “confused.” Without a stable and coherent message and leadership, the protests will fail and, along with them, so will the chances of doing anything about the problems that this country is facing.
The protests have been linked and compared to the tea party movement, due to their similar grassroots nature and extreme ideological stances. However, the tea party does have a centralized message, which the “Occupy” protests lack. The tea party is about reducing taxes and cutting spending to make government smaller. Regardless of whether or not you agree with the tea party’s stances, it is possible to know what the entire group and all of its smaller subsidiaries are about.
We believe the “Occupy” protests need to do the same thing. Define and convey their message correctly, and stick to reasonable demands that resonate with the rest of the American public. Most of the country has been seriously hurt by the financial crisis, and most of the American public wants to focus on creating a more equal and fair country. There is a lot of room for the “Occupy” protests to grow, but without a consistent message, most Americans will be turned off.
We believe that the “Occupy” protesters should focus on establishing themselves as a legitimate political movement, with widely recognized leaders and a consistent set of demands for most (if not all) of the protests that are being held worldwide.