Monday, October 17, 2011
Debating Occupy Wall Street
If you've been in my Regents class, you may be aware that I have some strong, somewhat conflicted feelings about the Occupy Wall Street movement. Regardless, the movement is growing, and it will be in history books twenty years from now, so, as students of history, we have to pay attention.
So I ask you: What do you think about the OWS movement? Do you believe in what OWS stands for? Do you know what they stand for? Do you think their method of protest can lead to positive changes for United States?
There have been some fantastic essays considering these very questions. I'd encourage you to take a look at these two sites and find out what others think about OWS.
Can Occupy Wall Street Spark a Revolution? from The New York Times
"If you stopped by Zuccotti Park in New York and asked 10 protesters what their goals were for Occupy Wall Street, you might get 10 different answers. This has led some reports to call the group unfocused, but that may be normal for an emerging movement: would 10 young Egyptians in Tahrir Square in January have been any more unanimous?
One protester, in an interview that Fox News has not aired, said he and others were calling for 'more economic justice, social justice — Jesus stuff — as far as feeding the poor, health care for the sick.' Another protester, a former Marine who was elected by Occupy Wall Street participants to speak for them, told NPR that he wanted to overthrow the government and reconstruct it. Will these big ideas get lost now that labor unions and other established interests are joining forces with Occupy Wall Street, bringing their more concrete demands?
The protest already is more popular than Congress. So what are the demonstrators doing right, and what could they be doing better? Do these people, like others worldwide who are disillusioned with their governments, have the potential to spark a mass movement? What are they missing?"
--From the NYTimes website
Liberalism and Occupy Wall Street: A TNR Symposium from The New Republic
"Last week, in our editorial, TNR asked: 'How should liberals feel about Occupy Wall Street?' The magazine took a skeptical view of the protests; a number of our writers (John B. Judis, Jonathan Cohn, and Timothy Noah) have taken a more positive stance. Over the next week, we’ll be publishing a symposium at TNR Online in which a number of prominent liberal thinkers offer their answers to this question."
--From the TNR website