Posted 2 years ago on May 8, 2012, 4:55 a.m. EST by peaceandlove
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Hope you're having a great day so far. :) There are a couple things I noticed from critics or non-supporters of OWS and it started falling into a few trends. I wanted to relate these to you in the form of constructive criticism that I think will greatly help the movement succeed. (tl;dr is at the bottom)
Here are my biggest suggestions:
Dress your "Sunday best" for protest, or at least something the middle/lower working classes can relate to. You'll get more support if you look like the people you're protesting for, and the criticism of looking like "dirty hippies" won't apply anymore. Moreover, cops may be less likely to arrest you if you look like them, or at the very least hesitate. Look like a working professional. I'm not saying buy the most expensive suit you can find. A nice blouse or button-down shirt with jeans or khakis, even a polo. Or suits if you'd like. :] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TT_vf5ioXXk
OWS does have an overall theme, in my opinion, of financial inequality. There are other issues that OWS supports, but the main basis of it began as pointing out the unfair economic system in the United States. However, since MSM is the main source of information for the people you want to join you, I think you should take on your issues with the system one (or a few) at a time. Go after the Citizens United ruling and predatory lending first, then fight for student debt forgiveness, and then women's reproductive and workplace rights. The list could go on with institutional wrongs, but having many protests against a variety of issues turns a lot of people off with the impression that you don't know what you want. I know there is a lot you are trying to achieve, but rather than shoving the entire meal in your mouth at one time I think it might be better to tackle it one bite - one issue - at a time.
I want OWS to succeed, you did a fantastic job gaining a foothold in current political discussion and even changed it. Our country, and the world, is in need of something big to get it back on the right track. I really think OWS can do this, but the way in which you're doing it may need to be tweaked.
- Get some facts to add to your chants. I walked by one particular OWS protest where someone was shouting "corporations are evil". If you want people to take you seriously, don't stand on a sidewalk shouting that corporations are evil and everyone is brainwashed. Have cold hard facts that relate to the people you want to support you. Telling everyone that they are brainwashed comes across as an insult. Would you want to work with someone who comes across as insulting you? Personally, I was extremely put off just by how this individual sounded shouting generalizations and I'm sure I was not the only one.
This post is meant to be constructive, from observations I've made of people who don't support the movement (or those who want to but hesitate). I am not saying to throw out all of the things you support, I am just asking to concentrate on one or two at a time and minimize the material MSM has to criticize the movement. Elections are coming up soon, and I think OWS could make a huge impact if you evolve into a movement more related to the working class. I know that the protest is made up of many different types of people, but I think the biggest impact were the protests where you had the unions and working people get involved.
Criticism of OWS is falling into a few specific patterns.
- Dress your Sunday best or at least a nice shirt with jeans or khakis. (not saying to buy expensive suits)
- Focus on one or two issues at a time. Don't throw away all of your values and issues you support, just go after them in small chunks.
- Do your research and be informed with facts. Shouting "corporations are evil" and "you're brainwashed" is going to turn people off.
These will drastically reduce some of the criticism coming from MSM and potentially get more support behind OWS from "working class" people. For more explanation behind my points read above. :)