Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Marching on Wall Street

So for several weeks I've been on the fence regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement. I hadn't heard much about it at the beginning and as time went on it just seemed to be a haphazard gathering of various idealists of the kind that happen all the time in New York. The mass arrests and pepper-spraying of peaceful marchers made me sit up and take notice, but information about the group itself was still sketchy. The so-called statement of purpose they sent out a week or so ago seemed to confirm all of my fears that the movement didn't have the focus to go anywhere and was doomed to burn itself out sooner rather than later.

In the last week, however, my opinion has changed. As I've read more and more about the group and how it has spread to cities across the country, and as I've seen videos of the occupiers (some - gasp - in button-up shirts! with kids!) speaking clearly about their grievances I've come to realize that it doesn't matter that they lack focus. It's their drive that is key. As their message spreads and is picked up by activists in cities around America, and as labor unions and professional organizers like begin to coordinate efforts with them, I started to believe that Occupy Wall Street could become a true engine for positive change.