Posted 8 years ago on Oct. 25, 2011, 10:42 p.m. EST by RickinRI
from Bradford, RI
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I no longer live in NYC, but I have been supporting this movement since the first day, and I have been to the New York location multiple times. Each time I was impressed by what I saw. I am also of the opinion that if we do not succeed, the resulting economic damage will be unprecedented.
The role that I have naturally found myself taking in the movement is something similar to that of a public relations representative. I've always been fairly moderate politically, and the people I know have views ranging from radical left to radical right. I like trying to reach people who may not otherwise be reached. I think that's partially the key to success as well. These people with radically different views don't necessarily have to march with us, but I'd just like them to respect us and take us seriously. I'd also like to add that whenever I express an opinion to someone who doesn't know much about the movement, I make it clear that my views do not necessarily represent those of everyone involved.
Now to the main point I am trying to make. Our first month has been a complete success. We went from a media blackout to worldwide headlines. Everyone who isn't living under a rock pretty much knows that an occupy movement exists, even if they don't understand what it means. That was the first step. Now we have to look to step two, and that is getting the world to understand exactly who we are, what we are protesting, and what we are trying to achieve. They don't have to agree with us as long as their opinion is an informed one.
The media tries to paint us different ways in order to promote whatever their agenda might be. Many people I know believe what the media has told them. I think it's important to reverse this through the use of social media by explaining what they have gotten wrong and debunking stereotypes. If you make it clear to people who we are and what we are upset about, I wouldn't think they'd have any good reason to oppose.
I think that it is also the protester's responsibility not to feed the media with what they might want. I realize there are people out there deliberately trying to discredit us by perhaps posing as one of us and acting ridiculous. But don't add more fuel by being disrespectful yourself. Example: People shouting crude remarks and being disrespectful while Geraldo Rivera covered OWS live. You may not agree with him, and I certainly don't blame you if you hate Fox News, but don't confirm their suspicion that we're some sort of unruly mob. To top it off, Geraldo is one of the few people on Fox who wants us to be heard and may have some sympathy for our concerns.
I also realize that there are many viewpoints in the OWS movement. Some are very radical. We respect your right to have these views. But do not try to pass your views off as the views of all of us. In month 2 of this operation, lets focus on the irresponsibility of financial institutions and their abuse of the capitalist system. This is something most Americans agree with. You can be a socialist thinking that the bankers have been irresponsible, and you can be a republican who thinks the same thing. We shouldn't confuse people who are just discovering us by listing countless things that different people involved in the movement believe. Keep it simple. When people completely understand we can either bring in more issues or move on to another even more specific phase as we work towards solutions. We'll address that then. For now lets focus on what we have in common. We need unity.
The bottom line is to be respectful no matter what. Don't sink to the level of most Fox News pundits, etc. We want the majority of Americans on our side, and the only way for them to join us is for us to set a good example and appeal to the concerns that 99% should truly have.