Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Any Street: What’s the Message?

It all started with Occupy Wall Street and the protests and marches have spread to almost every major city including Austin (where I live), Oakland and the debacle in Atlanta where SWAT teams intervened.

I’m not quite sure of the message here. What is it? I understand people are angry there are no jobs and they want and need jobs. I understand many folks have lost their homes, ruined their credit scores and need jobs to rebuild.

What I don’t understand is the mixed message those who are “occupying” are sending. Pick a cause—any cause—you can’t march, protest and make signs that boast how Uncle Sam wants you to protest Wall Street. I’ve seen the sign where a man pasted a dollar to his mouth and says he could lose everything for having a voice. There are signs with the White House in the background and the words on the sign—sold to the highest bidder. The one I like best? I’m so angry I made a sign!

Again, I’ll say what is the message here? Are you tired of it all and just can’t take it anymore? If so, what exact things are you tired of? The politicians you voted in? If so, vote them out.

And, dare I say, some protesters simply joined Occupy “Any” Street because they are people who do this all the time, no matter what the cause.

When I lived in New Mexico, and I won’t mention where, a man who was loaded with cash didn’t work (I like to call these folks trust fund babies.). What he did do was protest—everyday—on almost any subject.

He’d protest at one end of town at a gas station holding signs blasting the gas station was a rip off and folks should go to such and such to get their gas. He was never really clear why he thought the gas station as a rip off, but he did it anyway. He did this at many gas stations too (all of them in fact) so was he really just protesting gas?

He protested in front of hotels who he felt had unfair employee practices. He protested in front of the animal shelter during the winter with signs showing the expected nightly temperatures so people would bring their animals in (I actually liked this protest).

He really didn’t need one cause, he had many. This is what I get from Occupy Wall Street or Any Street.

Those who have the power to take your message further will help your cause if you’re organized and if you have strong leaders who make sense. Not Joe somebody who tapes a dollar to his face.

Unfortunately, if you want people to take your causes (whatever they are) seriously, you need a manifesto so to speak. A list of wants, a list of dislikes and above all—some professionalism please!

Those who marched for the Civil Right Movement had a clear cause. Those who march in gay pride parades have a cause. What are your complaints exactly?

Your protests may end with some of you being arrested but that will surely fade away because it’s unclear to many of us why you’re out on the street.

It seems these streets of protests are going in many directions depending on the “street” and the town where it sits.

I’d like to see this better organized. What do you think?

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