Regardless of how you feel about civil disobedience, your right to assemble and protest here in America has always been treated as a fringe benefit in the eyes of the powers that be. Basically, if you are not bothering someone it is okay and once you have made your point, move on. Any prolonged protesting to those in charge of the status quo, is a lot like visitors who stay more than three days; it begins to smell!
The Occupy Wall Street, “ OWS” street protesters are beginning to understand that in a big way. I’m sure they expected their welcome to eventually wear out and now that it has, their quest to make their issues known is going to get harder. America has a long proud history of citizens protesting and what we are seeing is nothing new; just this weeks snap shot of democracy in action.
The great depression saw hundreds of the poor protesting the ecomony and building tents all over America trying to get close to cities that had jobs but no housing. Not to mention protesters in the sixties and seventies, that being in both the 1880’s and the 1900’s! You name the injustice and for sure it has be denoted by a sit in or public protest. Be it wars, economies or the general state of affairs in this country ;public dissension is just a tent stand away and you can count on it.
Not that the,” OWS” movement has the same goals as say the civil rights movement or the sit ins agaist the wars, but the means to speak out is still the same. Speak up and be heard! Granted in a conservative world, phoning in your complaints to your favorite talk show host is more acceptable, but trust me, a whole lot less fullfiling! In the “OWS” case, there are few talk show host that they can call into anyway! Despite going viral over how they are being treated their biggest concern right now is being careful that their message doesn’t get lost in the media fray surronding them.
“OWS,” however because of lighting fast communication has found themselves being presented to the public long before they have really been able to flush out what the movement is all about. Ninety nine percent versus one percent is a great catch pharase but what does it mean to the man in the streets? What can acutally be done to correct the injustices they stand against? At this point one realizes drum circles just don’t get it!
Some are saying the “OWS.” protest is akin to that 60’s hippies stuff about the war in Vietnam. Others are aligning the movement to the civil rights movement. Others are dismissing it as a bunch of out of out of work bums who have nothing better to do than dabble with a bit of lighthearted anarchy. The pepper spraying of eighty-year-old protestors and unarmed college students will garner the group a lot of sympathy. But to get real support they need to come up with a platform/agenda that calls for some speciifc plans of action. They should also remember, that when truth speaks to power, it should always have a fast horse nearby and in this case, an eye washing station as well!
(more to come on this for sure)