Occupy Wall Street Protesters: What Demands Are Being Made?

The struggle continues. As the Occupy Wall Street Movement broadens in scope, and picks up more support, it becomes clearer by the day that this is an expression of populist outrage. After even more media attention resulting from the heavy handed mass arrests by the NYPD on Saturday, things have not slowed down. This is encouraging.

Now the ante is upped. With the Wall Street protests inspiring similar ones around the country, there is no show of things tapering off. In the last three weeks, people have watched this inchoate and open ended protest, and many are wondering ultimately what the demands are. Movements, no matter how energetic and righteous they are, have to have some kind of goal. If a movement has no demands, then it leaves itself even wider open to either dissipating or being co-opted. Even movements with stated goals can be co-opted, but that is a topic for another time.

The sentiments of the people are with the protesters, yet many have yet to see a way in. We are in a trying time in this nation. There are so many things to address, and seemingly no outlet to do so with the two major political parties. One wants to slash needed social programs to the bone, while the other is negotiating how much to cut instead of defending from cuts altogether. When people feel like they have little in the way of official options, things like this happen. Effectively people-proofed, we will not be able to gain anything from politics as usual.

At this point, many things are popping up. Some are calling for the end of corporate personhood, and more financial regulation. What kind of additional demands need to be made? ┬áNow that the unions are expressing support for this movement, we can expect the list of demands to lengthen. At a time where national unemployment is nearly ten percent (officially) shouldn’t we also be calling for things like full employment? Will this movement seek to effect the 2012 elections? More on this as it develops.

Marc W. Polite

2 comments

  1. Great article, Marc! Can you do me a favor (and yourself/your cause), and also make sure to let people know that, despite what the media is telling everyone, now that they are finally reporting it…it is NOT merely a “liberal tea party.” I’m a conservative Republican, and definitely identify with the Tea Party on many, many issues. And I fully support Occupy Wall Street. And I have many conservative Republican friends and family who also fully support the protests! It, much like the Tea Party (in many ways) isn’t playing the bias of either established party – it’s sick of them both and their relentless grasp on power in this country. Whichever movement, or both – it’s time for the government of this country to be reclaimed by the 99% of us who currently seem to have no say!

    Again, keep up the great work!

  2. The Tea Party supporting OWS is news to me. I haven’t heard much in the way of that. The TP is an astroturf movement for the most part, from what I have seen.

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