In defense of Occupy Wall Street protests

People want a government that does not favor profits over people.

Some think Occupy Wall Street protestors are just young, suburban, bourgeois 20-somethings dabbling in radical politics, but this couldnâÄôt be more wrong. Having spent time with people in New York, it seems that most people support the movement. However, while most agree with the protests fundamentally, many do not yet understand the specific goals.

I feel this is because of the mediaâÄôs misrepresentation of the movement. Pundits object that the movement doesnâÄôt have specific demands, but I believe the participants have been clear from day one. The only problem is that the demands are a bit abstract and arenâÄôt what the mainstream media wants to hear.

The movement aims to give a voice back to the people. It aims to legitimize the common feeling that the current system is unjust. Protesters want to put citizensâÄô rights before corporationsâÄô profits, and to ensure the political system truly represents its citizens instead of pandering to the wealthy. All of the signs at the protests relate back to one message: Our society currently values money above people.

The supporters of Occupy Wall Street come from every walk of life. These people are fed up with average voices being overcome by the 1 percent of the population that has a vast majority of the money and therefore power in the nation.

The wealthiest citizens are able to fund their chosen politician and create lobbying groups to ensure they get their way. In this corporatocracy, politicians no longer represent their constituents. The major problem is that a few large corporations want all the capital, and they have used their significant influence to tailor our society and culture to fit their goals. There isnâÄôt anything wrong with people making money if it is done fairly and legally, but the way the corporations have made their billions is neither of those.

Asking for society to take care of its own people is not radical, itâÄôs common sense. Ultimately, thatâÄôs what the movement is fighting for âÄî common sense and compassion.


 This column originally appeared in the Wesleyan Argus at Wesleyan University. Please send comments to [email protected]