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Is this why so many Americans dislike OWS?

November 23, 2011
tags: ,

America has a very long history of protests that meet with excessive or violent response, most vividly recorded in the second half of the 20th century. It is a common fantasy among people born in the years since the great protests movements — and even some not so great ones — that they would have stood on the bold side of history had they been alive at the time and been called to make a choice. But the truth is that American protest movements in real time — and especially in their early days — often appear controversial, politically difficult, out-of-the-mainstream, and dangerous. And they are met with fear.

Great article in the Atlantic

Many people seem to oppose OWS on the basis that they can’t figure out what the protesters want or are trying to accomplish and believe that the protesters do not really know the answers to those questions. Personally, I don’t really have a problem with it being sort of nebulous at this point. Many protest movements have started out that way. Sometimes you just get fed up with the fact that your voice isn’t being heard and you just have to do something. And this is what these people are doing. I have a feeling that if the movement is able to sustain itself over the next few months we will see leaders emerge and then there will be clear, articulated goals and desires.

The other thing I have seen is a number of people posting pictures like the one below:

Honestly, I don’t get this. I feel like this is just an attempt to paint those protesting in a bad light. They are basically saying “you are not poor and starving so you shouldn’t be complaining about anything.” But, I doubt any of the people that are part of the “We are the 99 percent” movement would ever compare themselves to the absolute poor (who make less than one dollar per day) and state that they have it much worse off than they do. I don’t even think the whole thing about 99 percent is just about money, I think it is also about power and having a voice. I think these people are saying that those at the top are only looking out for themselves and not taking into consideration the effect they have on the rest of the country.

In the end, pictures and thoughts like this are just discussion killers, nothing more. We must be ok with having difficult conversations.

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