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Forum Post: Occupy Wall Street: What's Next for the movement?

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 15, 2012, 10:17 a.m. EST by Njazzp31 (0)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Occupy Wall Street

Possibly you’ve seen the bumper stickers – OWS. The demonstrations that began on September 17th in Zucotti Park - which is next door to the Financial District aka, Wall Street - continue with no foreseeable end in sight. As noted on one website www.occupywallst.org, “Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions.” They claim, “The one thing that we all have in common is that we are the 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.” As shared by Wikipedia, “They are mainly protesting social and economic inequality, corporate greed, corporate power and influence over government (particularly from the financial services sector), and lobbyists.” And so, we see these activists in the news up close and personal day-after-day. Beating their drums in protest at their daily demonstrations – on the internet and everywhere else.

This movement is likely the most visible of the many U.S.-based after-shocks of the Great Recession, the most severe on record since the Great Depression. It was with our tax dollars that the US Government bailed out those reckless financial institutions that were considered “too big to fail,” only to see those titans of “Wall Street” continue to rake in astronomical salaries and multi-million dollar bonuses. In the midst of all this hundreds of thousands of homes were foreclosed, millions lost their jobs, retirees had to return to work, and most if not all hopes of a better tomorrow vanished into the thin air. Yes, even in our town we see a plethora of signs dotting front lawns shouting, “House for Sale!” This economic catastrophe for millions of Americans continues today and it’s affecting everyone. That’s why the 99% are so upset. But, let’s not forget that America was built on the back of Capitalism and not all of the tireless individuals working hard to experience the American Dream should be cast upon with proverbial stones.

Investopedia explains Capitalism at www.investopedia.com as, “A system, in which individuals and firms have the right to own and use wealth to earn income and to sell and purchase labor for wages with little or no government control. The function of regulating the economy is then achieved mainly through the operation of market forces where prices and profit dictate where and how resources are used and allocated. The U.S. is a capitalistic system.” Indeed, America is democratic society where capitalism plays an important role in developing our commerce, commerce that is necessary for us to succeed and remain completive on a global scale. Although, when market forces go unregulated, placing not only America, but the world in harm’s way, it’s necessary for governments to intervene. Unfortunately, partisan politics now being displayed in Washington, D.C. are possibly causing even more hardships for millions of Americans. That’s another reason why the 99% are so upset.

Occupy Wall Street - Pros and Cons

Pros

➢ Peaceful Protest ➢ Brings Attention to the Economy ➢ Builds Camaraderie & Solidarity ➢ Focus on Team Building & Goals ➢ Global Awareness & Impact via Internet ➢ Everyday News ➢ Example of “Nation Building” i.e., food, shelter, health care, education, commerce, daily newspapers, ➢ Concerns are Simple to Understand ➢ Opportunity to Become a Political Force ➢ Building Wealth via Contributions
➢ Not Likely to Go Away Anytime Soon ➢ Politicians, Unions, Celebrities Showing Support ➢ Enough People Jobless/Homeless to Stay Forever ➢ Located in the “Center of the Universe” (NYC) ➢ Professionals Aiding with Pro Bono Services i.e., Legal ➢ Occupy Wall Street – Has Become a Household Word ➢ Becoming Better Organized Everyday

Cons

➢ Zucotti Park has Limitations Re: Assembly i.e., size ➢ Health Concerns ➢ Sanitary Concerns ➢ Overuse of Neighborhood Facilities ➢ No Designated Leader ➢ Too Many Opinions of What OWS Should Be ➢ Lacks Some Credibility ➢ Rain, Sleet and Snow – not to mention Tropical Storms & Hurricanes ➢ Transient Population ➢ Will Not Be Receiving Donations from Wall Street Firms ➢ Staying Power Yet Untested ➢ Sound Bites Unclear – No Unified Message Ringing Clear ➢ Cause Doesn’t Resonate Throughout the USA

BLOG

At some point Occupy Wall Street (OWS) will need to make some big decisions. Peaceful protests alone will not solve our problems. Ironically, it will take money, and plenty of it to form a political movement, and eventually support political candidates - much like the Tea Party activists. Change and reform can have its humble beginnings as OWS has proven, but real and meaningful change and/or reform can only happen when working from the inside – and by that I mean from inside the Washington “Beltway.”
We need to ask ourselves some very serious questions, there is no right or wrong response. Please share your views, ideas and comments, thank you.

  1. Should these citizens be allowed to continue to occupy Zucotti Park and protest peacefully without police intervention? How long should they be allowed to stay inside the park – a “public space?”
  2. Is it necessary for Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council to implement any special rules so that the rights of those citizens either owning businesses or living/working in the neighborhood are not affected by the protest?
  3. OWS now has over $500,000 (and growing) in its bank account – what should this money be used to accomplish?
  4. Will it be necessary for one individual associated with OWS to be chosen as its leader and spokesperson?
  5. Is it reasonable to assume that this protest will need to become a political party much like the Tea Party activists in order to succeed?
  6. What effect if any will OWS protest and demonstrations have on the 2012 Presidential election?

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[-] 1 points by aladdin155 (2) from Durham, NC 2 years ago

For OWS is to succeed in changing what has become a government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich, there must be an agenda that removes the undue influence of money on our political process. I am no attorney and would welcome advice on how to better word the following…but I believe the intent is clear…and essential.

An Occupy Wall Street Contract for America

A candidate for either the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate must pledge to do the following:

  1. Within the first 100 days in office, introduce or support an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that states that “For purposes of recognition or protection by the laws of the United States, corporations are NOT people. Only human beings may be considered people for purposes of recognition or protection by the laws of the United States.”

  2. Within the first 100 days in office, introduce or support an Amendment to the Constitution declaring that “money is NOT speech,” is NOT protected by the first Amendment to the Constitution and that campaign donations may be regulated by Congress or State Legislatures as to the maximum amounts allowable to be spent either directly by, or in support of, any candidacy.

  3. Make it the policy of the congress that all meetings with individuals seeking to initiate or influence legislation be made public; for each meeting a member of Congress has with a paid member of a lobbying group, an industry association or executive of a private corporation, an equal amount of time must be spent with members of the public who advocate opposing or alternative legislation.

  4. Pledge that only members of Congress may propose or create wording for any legislation to be considered by their legislative body and that they will not to accept wording for any legislation that is created or proposed by any outside group, individual, corporation or association that will be affected by the legislation.

  5. Demand that only duly appointed members of regulatory agencies may propose or create wording for any regulations and that these agencies may not introduce or accept wording created or proposed by any outside group, individual, corporation or association that will be affected by the regulation.

  6. Within the first 100 days in office, introduce or support a ruling that regulatory agencies of the United States government may not be headed by, or comprised of, individuals whose tax returns for three years prior to their appointment reveal an income in excess of one quarter million dollars generated from the industry or area of commerce over which the regulatory body has authority.

  7. Introduce or support a bill disallowing members of either legislative branch from participating in any activity that might be construed as campaign fundraising for a minimum of ONE YEAR from the time of taking, or renewing, office after a successful election.

  8. Support legislation declaring that a member of Congress must wait FIVE YEARS before joining a lobbying group, company, association or corporation that seeks to introduce or influence legislation before the U.S. Congress.

  9. Within the first 100 days in office, introduce or support legislation to simplify the United States tax code by eliminating any provision that directly benefits fewer than 5% of the citizenry.

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