Occupy New York WallstreetWhat is the Occupy New York Wallstreet?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Occupy movement nationwide is an anarchist attempt to collapse our economic system. They have no leader and no purpose beyond lawless chaos. The movement has attracted attention and participation because it strike a chord in people's hearts against "the system," or "the man," but in the end they are protesting against people who have no power to change things.

One example of the ineffective nature of OWS is the extreme amount of civil disobedience and public destruction. If they had a unified message and a real purpose, they would not need to resort to rioting, rape, and theft to speak.

The original message was a protest against "the 1%" who the protesters see as unfairly owning and controlling all the wealth, but they had no plan beyond shouting "This is unfair!" The concept that the financial pie is finite and you can only increase your wealth by stealing it from others is a fallacy, but it is one that many people buy into.

We are now seeing the cities and towns across America getting fed up with the lawless protests, and starting to crack down on crime and public disturbance. Local businesses have been vandalized or forced to fire employees because the protests interfere with their day-to-day trade.

Ultimately, the OWS movement is having no effect on public policy and no effect on Wall Street or "the 1%" beyond nuisance. However, the victims of violence, theft, and rape have been affected, and I cannot imagine that they will be sympathetic to furthering OWS in the future. It is burning itself out under its own failure to self-control.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Post #7's comparison with the Tea Party is interesting, and I think on some level correct, but I also see broad similarities with the Tea Party movement. Speaking extremely generally, both movements represent generational responses to what they view as serious social problems. The Tea Party is convinced that our problems are related to the size of government (though there's a bit of an anti-corporate strain in their messages, too) and the OWS movement is more concerned with the expansion of corporate power, which they view as the root cause of increasing income inequality. I'm not suggesting that these aren't two very different movements, simply that, on some level, they're talking past each other, partially due to a generational divide.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I see it as a nationwide expression of collective economic frustration over poverty, unemployment and wealth inequality, as well as corruption and corporate greed.  The specific goals are less well defined and vary greatly from city to city and group to group.  What's surprised me is the persistence and cooperation exhibited by the movement, which has spread worldwide. 

The Portland, Oregon encampment was also cleared by police, and the protesters in Oakland have been in confrontation with police there as well.  Since Wall Street is the symbol of corporations in the US, and since New York is America's financial capital, it makes sense that the OWS movement started there.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Occupy Wallstreet is a nationwide protest.  There is a group in New York as well as many other states.  It seems that most cities are seeing some for of this protest.  Of course, the most recent in the news is the Occupy Oakland group.  This movement is in protest of the way the government is handling the economic crisis.  Many people have lost their jobs while the government bailed out the banks and the bank CEOs used this money to give themselves huge bonuses.  The idea is that the middle and lower classes are being ignored.  The middle class and lower class (the 99%) is supporting the country while the wealthy (the 1%) are draining that support from the economy.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Just FYI, beginning in the early AM (like 1 AM), the police cleared OWS out of that park in Manhattan.  We'll see what happens next.

One important thing to know about OWS is that they have no organization.  They acknowledge no leaders and they have no formal demands that they are making.  This really (at least in my mind) limits their effectiveness.  They are getting a lot of attention but are not really making any use of the attention because they are obsessed with being open and "democratic" (no leaders).  This is an important aspect of what they are.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, the Occupy Wall Street movement is interesting for a number of reasons, but what intrigues me most is the way that it is a grassroots movement with no clearly defined leader or even purpose. The long term impact of this movement will no doubt be effected by this, and it will be interesting to see what happens now that it has been cleared. However, it also shows the spontaneous nature of protest and of rage at financial institutions that seem to have so little to do with the life of the common man.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Occupy Wall Street is a movement that seems almost tailor-made to contrast in just about every way imaginable with the Tea Party.  I'm not sure whether the folks involved with Occupy Wall Street quite realize the stark contrast they are presenting between themselves and Tea Party. Whichever side one agrees with, Occupy Wall Street presents quite a different impression than the Tea Party did. I suspect that many Tea Party people are regretting that Occupy Wall Street is losing some of its steam.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with above posts about what the OWS protests are about, but I think that the lack of leadership is at the heart of why this will fail. How would they feel "success?" The protestors seem to be protesting, but have no solutions -- and that is a recipe for its failure.

imrand3 | Student

TEA party; acronym: Taxed Enough Already.

Remember the Boston Tea Party from history, same protest theory.

When I toured the Old North Church gift shop on part of Boston's Freedom Trail, there was some Tea that was saved from the Boston Tea Party, a relic of civil disobedience for all to think about.

These idiots in WASHINGTON have us 14 trillion IN DEBT. Simply because the govt. offers "some" tax relief for citizens, WE are still taxed out the ear, federal, state, local taxes, sales taxes, gift tax, estate tax, gasoline tax, etc. There is even a sales tax on the price of your coffin. You can't even die in Peace.

I'd have to disagree with the fact that Americans are being taxed a lot. Taxation in the United States is close to nothing compared to Canada and European countries. In France there is a 60% flat tax everybody has to pay, and Sales tax in the United States hasn't even eclipsed 10% (In Canada we have a sales tax of 13% and an income tax rate of amost 50%). I find it quite hard to believe that many Americans are complaining about being taxed "so much" when the amount they're paying is actually NOT ENOUGH to help the "idiots in WASHINGTON" to pay off the outstanding $14 trillion they own.


The reason why America is so hopelessly in debt is because of taxpayers not paying enough (The obvious solution being, to raise taxes), and the amount the US spends on defense.

imrand3 | Student

what is the Tea Party?

An American movement pushing for a more Christian America as well as being softer on gun laws and economic regulation. Hope that helps!

lifeinlove | Student

what is the Tea Party?