The Occupy Movement

When I turn on the TV or pick up the newspaper, chances are that I will notice a story or piece about the Occupy Movement. Over the last 2 months, the movement has gained more and more followers, and more attention. My own views about the movement I attempt to keep to myself. My real feelings about it are not to be discussed in a public format, as is my right.

I recently covered the local movement in Springfield, which you can read about here. A few days ago, eight members of the movement were arrested, and I feel the need to address some of the people around here, as they can’t believe they were arrested. I understand where their indignant reactions come from, but they are jumping to the wrong conclusions, as far as I can see. The Occupy movement may be synonymous with change and fixing what is wrong with our country, but in this, and several other instances, people need to take it with a grain of salt.

Here’s the Springfield News-Leader’s piece on the arrest. I also want you to take careful notice of the spelling of one of the names in the story-Joann Wolfe. Yes, I am petty when it comes to newspaper articles.

Now, the thing to remember here is that THEY WERE TRESPASSING. I don’t care what you want to do, do it in a legal way. If you’re going to get arrested, at least make it worth it, right? And that is one of the issues with the movement that has kept popping up: the protesters are not going through the proper channels to do what they want to do. To occupy an area, they need either permission from the landowner, or to be issued a permit from the city or institution, and with all of the different cities across the U.S. having their protests broken up, you would think they would go through the proper channels.

For some of the comments about the police and their involvement, I will enter my own opinion. First, I respect the police, and try my best to comply. Why? Because I realize that they, like myself, have a job to do. But when they have to go arrest people for trespassing to protest, I think that is taking them away from doing their job.

Occupy Wall Street says they are using the same tactics used by the protesters in Egypt and the Arab spring. Yes, those tactics did work, but they are not all positive changes, as they have dealt with regression and little stability. In Egypt, food prices have nearly doubled since the revolution. They may have a real shot at a democratic government, but the unemployment has increased, too. Is that where we are headed with this?

One thing I want to point out is that I have officially come to the age of being a grown up, graduating, entering the workforce, etc., and this is what my generation gets when we come of age. My generation has an opportunity here. We can either be the ones that make things worse, or the ones that get through this, who deliver the answers to our problems.

I’ve heard plenty of people’s views on the movement. Some approve of it, some join it, some disagree, and some think they need to change tactics. My own views, once again, shall be kept to myself. The facts of the story, however, are quite evident. People want change. The question is simply this: how do we get it?

So, the question for my readers today is simple: how do you feel about the Occupy movement? If you agree with it, why, and if not, what would you do differently?

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About Benjamin D. Peters

Ben is a reporter for The Missouri Times. Missouri State University alum, degree in media. http://SeeDisclaimer.com View all posts by Benjamin D. Peters

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