It has been all over the news: there is a protest going on down at Wall Street. The controversy is deep, but what’s the real story? The protesters are organizing under the title “Occupy Wall Street.” It is a sit-in protest, which means that the protesters there don’t leave. This protest began as a very small affair on September 17 and has grown to include hundreds of major cities in the United States, as well as in dozens of other countries. The protesters in New York have set up sleeping bags, portable restrooms, and water filtration systems in Zuccotti Park, and they are there to stay until they see change.
The biggest criticism of the movement at the moment is that they do not have one set problem that they wish to have solved. Some people scoff at the movement for this problem, calling protesters “rabble-rousers.” Mitt Romney feels it is “dangerous,” and calls it “class warfare.” Herman Cain feels it is a conspiracy and said, “I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration.”
The Occupy Wall Street website counters the criticisms in its “About” section, and states , “[We are] fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations.” Some may use this to argue that there are so many things wrong at present now that one cannot generalize all of the issues in a single document of grievances.
Whichever side you take, it is essential to recognize that this movement is growing; it is mounting to include college campuses around the country. C.W. Post is organizing its very own “Occupy” protest. It will begin on November 1 at 10 a.m. on the Great Lawn outside of the mansion. The Facebook event states, “A lot of students can’t afford to go to Wall Street…We aren’t making anybody miss class, we’re fighting for education rights so feel free to leave…we’re aiming for a constant supply of students.” The Occupy Post Facebook page is open for wall comments about what students would like to see change at Post as well as within the country.
When asked, many students hadn’t heard about the Occupy Wall Street movement. Some that have heard about it were unsure if they understood the movement completely. Jessica Mottice, a senior theater major, felt that way. She said, “I figure I’m in the 99% that should be angry with Wall Street, but I don’t understand why they’re the people to blame.” She had also not heard about Occupy Post. Other students, however, are opinionated about the protests and feel they are informed. Elyse Fonseca, a sophomore liberal arts major, said, “I feel like what protesters are doing is right in that the divide between the rich and poor keeps getting wider and something needed to be done about it.”
Occupy Wall Street and the movements that have branched out from it have seen a lot of publicity, and the coverage will be likely to continue to grow. For information about the movement from the protesters themselves, visit OccupyWallSt.org or find “Occupy Wall St.” on Facebook and Twitter. For information and updates about Occupy Post, find “Occupy Post” on Facebook. For more information about the various campuses getting involved in the nationwide protest, find “Occupy Colleges” on Facebook.