Enough is enough and we are not going to take it anymore. That seems to be the attitude many New Yorkers are taking as they head to Wall Street in protest of the big banking giants they accuse of destroying our economy while they, themselves, get rich. Battling corporate greed is a noble cause, but will these protests that seem to be gaining more followers than Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter page – sans Demi Moore – actually work. Can you imagine Lloyd Blankfein sitting from his throne, watching the Who’s down in Whoville, protesting his “evil” empire, suddenly shed a tear as his heart grows and he suddenly decides to renounce his riches to the huddled masses below? Or is it a fairer assumption that this movement will suddenly get political as 2012 rolls around the corner, helping to shape the views of Democrats and Republicans around the world with hopes of electing officials into office who sympathize with the plight of the 99% that claim they are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis on their backs? The safer question to ask is, “Will this protest work?”
Is there a purpose? Right now, the protestors seem to have millions of voices, but not one set goal. They all hate the bigwigs at firms like Goldman Sachs, but there is no clear-cut mission for what they would like their protests to accomplish. Obviously, they want the rich to pay their fair share of the taxes, an opinion that seems to be echoed by President Obama, but fought at every turn by Republicans. Obviously, they want more jobs and are tired of seeing the unemployment number remain at 9.1%, as politics seem to get in the way of any real job creation. They’ve watched for three years as efforts to boost the economy failed. Protestors have lost their jobs. As a result, many of these protestors have also lost their homes. Many are living with their parents, barely scraping by to make ends meet for themselves and the children they feel they have let down. They are tired of the 1% of the richest people, as they note in their various signs, having the control. They demand that the economy not be balanced on the backs of the working class. They are against the widening gap between rich and poor and the loss of a true middle class. However, they have no set list of demands. What do they want? When will they stop protesting? A clearer message needs to be delivered so that something can be done.
Are they being too peaceful? Riots don’t solve anything. It’s a scary thought that the recent police arrests might lead to a more violent reaction by the protestors, but while no one wants violence, just marching down a street, chanting fun catchphrases, wearing zombie makeup, carrying cool signs and raising their fists in stirring anger won’t accomplish much unless there is a bigger plan ahead. The Boston Tea Party dumped East India Trading Company’s tea, costing the company millions. That’s what helped birth this nation that now seems to be at a crossroads. Will Occupy Wall Street decide to boycott the fat-cat companies that endorse the banking giants, costing them millions until they also take a stand? Now that unions are starting to get on board, could a work stoppage be in the future plans? Right now, all Occupy Wall Street is doing is creating a live performance of Twitter – gathering followers and sending out tweets in the form of protest signs, but not really taking any action at all. Goldman Sachs isn’t really trembling in their boots, especially when their clients are rich and not among those gathered in protest.
Are they ready for the long haul? Americans are not happy. The jobless want jobs. Those that have jobs wonder why no matter how hard they work, they never seem to get ahead. Change is needed, but change takes time. The Vietnam War protests didn’t end the war in a day. They took years. Are protestors ready to stand up for their rights, gather numbers and continue to take the fight to Wall Street and the government for years to come? That’s an important question. Because if groups of people decide it’s no longer cool to protest, then the fight ends before it really began. My belief is that this movement has legs. Its diverse makeup also makes the movement easy to join. The more it grows, the more ideas are hatched and the more adaptive it will become.
Will it fail? It shouldn’t. When you have so many people sharing ideas and able to use such mediums as Facebook and Twitter to get additional ideas across, you have the beginnings of a successful initiative. When you have the majority on your side, people are going to have to listen. When the entire country and the world, too, takes notice of the movement and creates movements of their own, someone’s got to start taking notice and do something to satisfy the masses. And when you are fighting to heal a crisis that has crippled an entire planet, you really cannot go wrong. Will they get everything they want? Probably not. But come election season, as the numbers grow, will their voice be heard and will the protestors gain influence? If they step up efforts and have clear goals in mind, how can they not make a difference?
--Jon Minners, Vault.com
Want to be found by top employers? Upload Your Resume
Join Gold to Unlock Company Reviews