Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Occupy Wall Street? They barely occupy our minds...

Throughout the world anti-capitalists are making their objections known through the  'Occupy Movement', a leaderless occupation movement directed against the economic and social inequality all over the world. Their presence has sparked controversy wherever they pitch their tents, as their makeshift camps are pitched up across the globe, from Israel to Italy, to Malaysia and Colombia, as well as their presence across the United Kingdom and the USA. Globally, they have covered over 1,500 cities, as astonishing feat when it is considered that it is lead by people and has no one main leader.

Their aims are inspired [according to occupywallstreet.org] "by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy". I can see why they're dissatisfied, why they feel the need to protest. The United Kingdom is a mess; we witnessed unprovoked riots earlier this year, 16-24 unemployment today hit 1,000,000 and statistically, we're one of the unhappiest countries in Europe. At a global level, the world wide economy is unsustainable, the minority possess the majority and the world population reached seven billion, something which we are currently unable to cater for. In short, something's got to give. In order to survive in the long run we need to make drastic changes and fast, yet the world leaders are reluctant to do so, it seems to make sense that we protest about it.

Admittedly, because it is still ongoing it is impossible at this point to determine the full extent of their impact. Although many say that it has prompted a shift in the American dialogue to the everyday problems, faced by ordinary its ordinary citizens.  In the United Kingdom? Not so much. They were controversial to begin with, no question, and they caused uproar in the Church of England. But have we really been talking about their aims?

 Personally, I consider these protests to be our generations equivalent to Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Greenham Common even shows us that the idea of camping out to make a point on the perpetrator's doorstep isn't anything new and with Rufus Wainwright visiting Wall Street they even have gigs. They showed that you may not get results straight away, I mean, those ladies camped outside RAF Greenham Common for ten years. But there is a key difference: they had one aim. As I said before, I believe we need change, I believe we need to demand this from the rooftops. But, I also believe their arguments are too complex. It's confusing and complicated, if they focused on just one thing then maybe our attentions would be more fully focused and they would achieve more. At least CND kept it simple, they also had more powerful scare tactics on their side. But there is one other, vitally important thing to remember when thinking about these mass protests and comparing them to what happened before: we still have nuclear weapons.

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