About Occupy Wall Street (OWS)-A Catalyst for Change
OWS is a catalyst for conversation, a focus for outrage and frustration and an opportunity for those who feel disengaged, or powerless to channel their efforts towards change.
Change is messy. It is not always clear what the goals are or should be, and change does not happen overnight. The important thing is that we are recognizing and accepting that change needs to happen.
What should be motivating to all of us is the impact this movement has had: It has changed the national conversation. From being dismissed outright OWS is now being courted and co-opted by all sides-clearly the powers that be are listening. It will be our jobs in the coming months to make sure they keep listening!
So what does the Occupy movement mean?
It means something different for each of us-and that is the cornerstone of this effort.
Some want to focus more on the economic disparities and broken economic system. For others it’s issues of inequality and injustice that have excluded so many from the system.
The focus of this effort is to pull the mask off everyone’s eyes that has lulled us all into a state of “everything is OK.” Because everything is not OK and has not been OK for a very long time-but we have allowed ourselves to be distracted.
If you are looking for a leader, look in the mirror. This movement is purposely leaderless because all of us need to be catalysts for change. We need to get involved in the conversation- by joining with others, by learning more and making decisions for ourselves about what we will and will not tolerate.
And then we must decide what we are willing to do about the things we won’t tolerate;
- It may be moving your bank account to a credit union or independent bank
- It may be voting in or out those who are doing or not doing what they are sworn to do–represent the needs and issues of their constituents. Not their own re-election efforts. Not big banks. Not financial institutions, or industry elites.
- It may be participating in letter writing campaigns to elected officials, bank presidents, corrupt politicians or the media
- It may mean speaking out when someone maligns the Occupiers, or discredits the movement
- It may be donating or volunteering or protesting with the Occupiers
- It may be some form of civil disobedience
- It may be as simple as pitching a tent in your own front yard with a sign that says I support OWS.”
It will be whatever you are comfortable with, or more importantly, what you are not comfortable with that demands that you take action.
To date, the efforts of the protesters at OWS and OB and all the other Occupiers have already succeeded. They have won! They got all of us to stop and pay attention, they have changed the dialogue in this country, and they have started an outcry that is being heard around the world They have been a success! The hard part-real reform and change is now our responsibility.
This movement will not fail because the people camping at Occupy Boston (OB) or OWS or anywhere else around the country have failed. If it fails to achieve any lasting change–whether banking reform and regulation, campaign finance reform or whatever your priority is–it will be because we have failed to capitalize on their efforts.
Please join us as WE THE PEOPLE, the 99%, return America to its guiding principles: Equality. Fairness. Justice.