Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rant #593: What Is Occupying "Occupy Wall Street" Protesters?

Now that I am back in the saddle, I have had a chance to really study what is going on on Wall Street and with the protesters who have been there for about a month.

I have a question: why are the protesters there in the first place?

I don't think I know, and the bigger problem is that I don't think they know, either.

Forty years ago, there were various rallies in major cities that took on the Vietnam War. Sure, people had other agendas, such as women's rights and civil rights, but the main focus was on the war.

This latest peaceful protest shouldn't be confused with the earlier one. There are many issues that the protesters have taken on, and based on what I've seen, if you take 10 participants aside and ask them why they are there, you will get at least 10 different answers ...

And maybe 11, 12 or more answers. And maybe even no answers at all.

Originally, people gathered at Wall Street to try to shut it down. They were angered by their belief that big corporations basically were running the country into the ground due to corporate greed, and like what happened during the French Revolution, they wanted to show that the little man had rights too, and that the majority of the people shouldn't be paying the majority of the taxes.

That was fine and good.

But now, with the protests going into their fourth week, and the movement spreading to other cities, I really wonder why these people are where they are.

According to the protesters I have seen interviewed on TV, there isn't now just one thing they are protesting. They are either protesting many things, or at this point, many of them are gathering to simply gather together in the place to be seen, and little else.

It has become something of a freak show, hasn't it?

They are protesting capital punishment, they are protesting our participation in foreign wars, they are protesting corporate greed, they are protesting the actions of the wealthy, they are protesting high unemployment ...

And they are also acting like squatters, just there to be seen.

Some shop owners are even complaining that the protesters aren't cleaning up themselves, and by squatting, people are not going into the shops that are in the vicinity of the protests.

And while they protest corporate greed, they use their cellphones provided by corporate greed mongers like Verizon and AT&T.

Mayor Bloomberg, certainly a target of the protesters since he is a billionaire and runs a billion-dollar corporation, said that the protesters can still do what they want as long as they don't break any laws.

For once he is being smart. Once the poor weather comes, you just know these protesters will disperse to their homes and leave the protesting behind them. There is no reason to waste crucial time and money in policing this bunch when their shelf life is so limited.

The protesters' mindset is also a little off as they plan to take on individuals by protesting in front of the residences of some of the richest people in the country.

Isn't it the American way to make as much money as you can? You can't fault successful people for being successful.

However, you can fault major corporations run by these people, who skirt the law at any given chance.

If the protesters had more of a focus, people would take them more seriously. I know that I would.

And what about celebrities joining the protests? Can you tell me what they are protesting about?

Russell Simmons, Tim Robbins, George Clooney and the like either run huge corporations or are part of the machine of these huge corporations. They make incredible money from these corporations. Their livelihoods are part of the foundation of these corporations.

So what are they ranting and raving about?

The more celebrities take part in this, the more I realize that again, these protests are the place to be seen, and nothing more.

If Simmons didn't live the American dream, and if Clooney and Robbins didn't live their American dream through the huge entertainment corporations, then they would be entitled to vent their frustrations at such protests.

As it is, they epitomize the American dream.

So why are they at these protests?

They profess solidarity with the protesters. But when the day is done, they go back to their cushy surroundings, which they paid for with money provided by these large corporations.

If they gave all their money away and lived like paupers, then I could see what they were doing there.

As it is, they are about as phony as the protests have become.

My advice to protesters: stay with the corporate greed focus, forget about the other issues for now, get rid of the Hollywood phonies, and make your voice heard clearly and concisely.

Right now, these protests are a joke. But they don't have to be.

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