Occupy Movement 2011


Day 20 Occupy Wall Street October 5 2011 Shank...

Image by david_shankbone via Flickr

The “Occupy” movement has been going on for quite sometime now. Though really, it only began about a month and a half ago. It seems like it has been going on much longer. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m glad to see, for the most part, public officials appear to be allowing the protesters to stand their ground and practice their first amendment right(s). I’m glad that so many have the drive to continue the protests and apparently have the ability to continue to go along with it for so long. The aim? Many say it is a push for social and economic equality, citing a Robin Hood tax. A quick browse of the web will show that many are comparing it to the protests of 1968.

While I can see the connections between my generation and the Baby Boomers, I do not feel nor do I believe that our generation is truly prepared for what they have started or created, for what they have  continued to strengthen.

We cannot escape who we are. We are the children on the Baby Boomers, the ones who, in recent history, pushed the barriers and forced the world to recognize them. They pushed for rights, for acknowledgement. For the future. We’re here now and we’re asking for more. We were born with an entitlement, a respect that was fought for before we were born. Even when we protest, we seek to profit as we now seek trademarks on just about anything. Which challenges and cheapens the cause.

Our media doesn’t seem to cover the protest much anymore, though it has become a mainstay, like The Wall Street Journal’s Jon Friedman wrote, “We now cover Occupy Wall Street the way we handle the daily weather report, traffic and rail reports — dispassionately, briefly and by rote. For the media, the excitement has gone out of the story.” This loss of excitement is most assuredly due to a lack of progress.

Day 20 Occupy Wall Street October 5 2011 Shank...

Image by david_shankbone via Flickr

You see, if your movement is not met by the enemy, is there really a fight? If there is no fight, does one accomplish change? Our failure to incite anger in our officials, like our preceding generations had may be the reason that we have no ground to cover. You see, it must be that we are unable to fight the previous generations with their own tactics. What was a surprise or “edgy” then, is old news now. Sit-ins, die-ins, picketing, lockdowns, marching, et cetera. These are things of the older generations. Things we’ve attempted and failed at numerous times.

We push, we want, but we don’t know. We’re college kids who have only lived to understand the world from our textbooks. Our biased textbooks. Even the private colleges that we attend in hopes of earning an unbiased education are not quite what we have looked for. We didn’t have the struggles our parents did. We didn’t have the wars or the experiences. Iraq is not Vietnam. Occupy Wall Street is not France’s Mai 68.

If anything, the Baby Boomers commented on how we resembled them, gave us a pat on the back, and said, “Let them get it out of their system.” Then, like all too often, ignoring us, or the protesters, for the remainder of the “occupation.” Like everything else our generation has done, it has just been “a phase.” Something we had to do for a while to get it out of our system, then we’d “wise up” and move on with our life.

Our parents know us all too well. They experienced it. They know the phases, the emotions that drive us and force us to occupy the cities and towns we inhabit. Maybe part of it is because we feel that we know what our parents were fighting for when they were younger. While their generation still holds segregationists, it also holds those fighting for the future and those neutral souls. Maybe we feel that their fight is not over. Did they stop when they received the inch instead of the yard that they sought? Is that what we’re fighting for?

I think the Baby Boomers accomplished what they set out for. They may not have accomplished economic and social equality. They did accomplish social tolerance – or at least, tolerance at a level that had never been seen previously. We can get tattooed, openly discuss gender issues, everything.

Occupy Wall Street Chihuahua 2011 Shankbone 3

Image by david_shankbone via Flickr

While our parents were fighting for a better tomorrow (for the mot part), I would argue that we are fighting for a better today. We only dress it up as a better tomorrow. We think if today we can change the world than tomorrow will be better. You see, our generation, Generation Y (or whatever you want to call it), is about immediacy. The entitlement that we were born with, the entitlement that was secured by for us by our parents, allows us to scream for immediacy.

Day 20 Occupy Wall Street October 5 2011 Shank...

Image by david_shankbone via Flickr

The protesters of my generation are picking up where their parents left off, only asking that their parents continue to support them…financially.  Well, not all of them. I remember a time when I felt the need to protest, when I felt the call to action. That call has all dissipated within me and I feel myself not trusting of those part of the movement. Worried that they don’t know what they are doing or what they are fighting for. They claim it is for equality, but their message is muffled. They are ignored and many are unable to vocalize what they are fighting for. Occupation. Crowd the streets and call for taxation of the rich, those who climbed the ladder, took the risk. In no way do I defend or support the actions of the top 1% and the obvious advantages and corruption.

Are they going about it all wrong? Were they not paying attention during the election seasons? We allowed the country to become this way.

Chances are, very little will change.

I forgot where exactly I was going to go with this post and am sure it is extremely disjointed and poorly written, but I felt the need to write something and I felt that it should have something to do with the state of the world. If you read this post and feel offended, I apologize. If you are offended though, it’s probably because this post has not been edited or reworked very much, so many things may not be explained in the best way. For that I truly apologize. Maybe I’ll revisit it later, but I probably won’t… Like most of the posts here.

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