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Occupy Wall Street - Essay Example

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Occupy Wall Street Occupy Wall Street resonated and came together as a demonstration against economic injustice and corporate greed. Their rallying cry was “we are the 99%,” which is refers to the fact that the upper 1% of the United States controls much of the wealth in the country (Hardt & Negri, 2011)…
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Occupy Wall Street
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Occupy Wall Street

Download file to see previous pages... Their message is that what is good for Wall Street is not necessarily good for the country. Another message is that democracy is supposed to be for the people and by the people. Instead, our country is being run by big moneyed interest, in that these are the people who can afford to essentially “buy” politicians, so that these politicians work for them, not for us (Hardt & Negri, 2011). Because this was a grass roots group that rose up to fight what is going on in this country, and the values were seen as liberal, there was talk that the movement was considered to be the “tea party of the left” (Tarrow, 2011). However, Tarrow (2011) argues that this comparison is not entirely appropriate. As Tarrow (2011) notes, the Tea Party had a clear ideology and knew exactly what it stood for – the Tea Party was against the federal government becoming too big, and it is against the people giving their hard-earned tax dollars to the federal government. In contrast, Tarrow (2011). states that the Occupy Wall Street movement was not political, as is the Tea Party, and, unlike the Tea Party, did not put forth any policy proposals. The movement, according to Charles Tilly, a sociologist, was not necessarily to agitate politically, but, rather, was to announce that they are visible. It was designed to give visibility to the 99% of the country that is not served adequately by the government. However, even though the group started with great promise, in that the nation was riveted to them and their cause, and the Occupy movements spread across the nation and the world in 2011, the group eventually ran out of national steam and did not change the contours of politics for a variety of reasons. This essay will look at the movement and the reasons why it was unable to really change national politics or policies. Even though the group had a tremendous level of visibility when it was formed, the movement was not as successful in changing politics as the Tea Party was, because it did not get politically involved and did not really agitate for change. The movement’s goals was really, as Tarrow (2011) notes, was more just to let Washington know that the people exist and to protest the fact that the country is run as a meritocracy, not as a democracy, as it is supposed to. However, it never really made any moves to actually change Washington. It did not endorse candidates for office, and it did not put forth any specific policy demands. Because of this, the movement was not as successful as it could have been in actually changing the country. In one way it was clearly a success, however, and that was in bringing people together to try to fight for the cause. People joined because they were angry. They were seeing that protests everywhere in the world, from the Middle East to other parts of the world, were having success in changing what was going on their countries (Schneider, 2011). They were feeling disillusioned and invisible, and felt like they didn’t have a voice in the government. They were seeing that big banks got a bailout, and the people seemed to get nothing but the shaft. It was this anger that caused the e-mail on July 13, 2011, to go viral, and ended with an occupation of Zucotti Park in New York City that lasted many months. There was one “fatal flaw” that meant that the group would not have as much of a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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