Friday, November 18, 2011

OWS and N17

Wow, yesterday 30,000 people rallied in New York City as part of Occupy Wall Street -- that's not a fringe protest by any stretch of the imagination. In Portland protesters went around downtown targeting banks -- here's an image you don't see everyday (and here's more about that photo, and a video of the woman hit directly in the face with pepper spray). My old apartment in downtown Portland was right in the middle of the goings-on, and I wish I was there for that (except rents seem to be up by about 30% in the 3 years since I left), but probably not the late-night drumming in the park 2 blocks away (it was dismantled by police last Sunday).

Of course, those opposed to the protests are trying to paint the protesters as dirty hippies who mooch off society, but here are some interesting statistics:

Tea Party members currently employed: 56% (April 2010)
OWS protesters currently employed: 70%

You know, I think the world, and especially the future, must look very different to people under 30 than those over, say, 40. The former see (in the US) a huge debt being handed to them after the oldsters ran up bills without paying for them, a environment predicted to get much worse, a country clearly going downhill whose bickering politicians can't agree even on the simplest things and who are all completely corrupted by big money, and an economy where they and their friends can't get jobs and where, for the first time in American history they may well not do as well as their parents. That's got to be a heavy psychological weight looming somewhere over their heads. When I was in my 20s my biggest macroscopic worry was global nuclear war -- for a few years I woke up screaming in my sleep (apologies, again, to my girlfriends-at-the-time), which I don't think compares at all. I don't think a lot of old people who are now whining about OWS realize this difference.  

++ Click to Enlarge Image ++
Occupy Wall Street vs. Tea Party |
Image Source: Accelerated Degree Programs


Richard Mercer said...

Great post. I have been wondering and quietly speculating about this comparison of the two groups.

Goals for OWS

Reverse Citizens United decision

Remove corporate status as people

Restore Glass Steagle act (sp?)

Publicly funded elections to remove money from process

Restore media fairness doctrine

Raise taxes on rich

Create jobs and tackle climate change, by supporting clean energy

We really need those, involved in or who support OWS, to connect the dots concerning climate change denial and GOP opposition to renewables. Now that awareness has been raised of corporate corruption of politics, there is a larger and more receptive public who can learn the truth about these things.

Richard Mercer said...

"Of course, those opposed to the protests are trying to paint the protesters as dirty hippies who mooch off society"

For this reason, I think it's time to end the camping aspect of the protests. At this point, it is giving ammunition to those who want to paint that kind of picture.