Police hinder Occupy protests

By on November 1, 2011

By J. Wesley Wilson–

Almost all have heard of it, many have seen it, but how many really know what Occupy Wall Street is? On Tuesday, Oct. 4 Louisville itself witnessed the group of protestors as they paraded through the city around noon. However, what does this group want? Who are they comprised of? What effect are they trying to impart on the world?

As many are aware from the terrifying headlines made on the news to the numerous bailouts that have almost become second nature, our economy is not in the best shape. Not a “took a week off from the gym” kind of bad shape, but more like “took the last few years off of work” bad shape and the effects are beginning to show. Single days define companies’ economic standing. which will stay? which will go? It’s a business-like version of the weakest link and nothing seemed to be getting done about it, until now.

Occupy Wall Street uses a non-violent method of stand-ins which take place in businesses, streets or anywhere attention will be given as they try to spread their message: our economy is crashing faster than the Blackberry servers. When corporations file for bankruptcy and expect taxpaying Americans to bail them out, a problem exists. This movement brings to the attention of the citizens that nothing is happening to resolve this issue. In other words, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer as seen with the semi-recent votes for pay raise by Congress.

Not only do the occupiers of Wall Street point out an issue that is in the faces of all, they even go as far as to make demands that will help solve this and other issues that they feel plague our society: racism, bankruptcy and protection of the environment. As a group with such great intentions using non-violent means, one would expect this sort of protest to be received positively. However, that is not the case.

Countless arrests have attempted to hinder the progress of this movement as officials are charging them with non-violent civil disobedience. In Chicago alone, more than 15 people have already been arrested, with plenty more on the way. Maybe this movement could expand its march to the jail cells, as it looks like this will happen regardless, as many of those that belong to Occupy Wall Street are now seeing life from the perspective of an inmate.

In a country that was born from the idea of freedom and expressing individual rights, it is shocking to see that those who wish to correct an issue emerging in our world are retained by the power who grants them the right to speak out. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” Here we see a group not comprised of superheroes, but of the common man: college students who have no jobs, business men who have lost their jobs and anyone else who feels like the economy is bad as so many recite, each day trying to fix the world. Instead of putting so much time and energy into stopping and ridiculing their message, perhaps we should try to listen to it.

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Photo: Caitlin Williams/The Louisville Cardinal

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