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Occupy movements are not protesting for same reasons

by Jonathan Black,
  • Occupy protestors take to camping in the streets outside Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

Everything started out simply — protest the wealthiest 1 percent in America at a location where some of the wealthiest people in the world work, New York City, particularly, Wall Street.

On Sept. 17, Occupy Wall Street began as a movement to bring awareness to the growing wealth of the richest in the U.S. while homelessness and poverty are still major problems for millions. The protestors have clearly achieved this goal as Occupy movements spread across the globe in more than 1,500 cities ranging from London, Nairobi, Kenya and even local movements in Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

While the range of Occupy movements shows the connectedness of the world through social media, one of the biggest problems with the Occupy movement is the diversity of governments and programs the different movements are protesting. This turns out to be a confusing mess with a thousand groups protesting under one umbrella name.

The media certainly is not helping the protest either. Even though the daily coverage of Occupy seems to be dwindling, the excess of stories about it never seem to be backing the protestee's plight. A wide range of television shows, newspapers and news stations are not supporting the movement because of disparity and lack of unification within the movement. Perhaps most notably, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have both satirized Occupy Wall Street, both influential to college students.

While many celebrities and organizations live by the philosophy that all press is good press, they could not be further from the Occupy movement's case. When the press reports on them, it's not to tell the public what the campaign is protesting as much as it is to reveal the problems it's facing and the controversy that surrounds it.

The biggest problem the movement faces is that they are simply protesting the wrong target. Occupy Wall Street needs to become Occupy Capitol Hill. The super rich individuals of the country are a result of the political system and taxation, something that is decided in Washington, D.C., not Wall Street.

Secondly, the movement cannot simply blame the government and hope something gets changed. Occupy would do well to endorse a few candidates that back their goals and get them elected into the House or Senate.

The Occupy Movement needs to quickly revamp its goals and belief system in order to survive, or the progress they made initially will be lost. At this point, Occupy Wall Street has turned into a pop culture movement more than a political protest.