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It was just one year ago today that a small grass-roots movement became a worldwide protest against corporate greed. It may not be as relevant as it used be, but it is clearly still resonating with people. I think Americans are still looking for a movement or protest that truly makes a difference in politics, policy… and Wall Street. They've just yet to find it.
One year after the Occupy Wall Street movement was born, protesters wasted no time in making their presence known at events marking the occasion. Hundreds converged on Lower Manhattan, blocking streets and sidewalks, leading to more than 120 arrests. More events are planned for tonight at Foley Square and Zuccotti Park, where the movement first began one year ago. Altogether, more than 30 cities worldwide are commemorating the day.
But today’s protests lack the size and heft of last year’s Occupy events, where thousands gathered to voice their opposition to corporate greed and economic inequality. Since the movement’s height, the protesters have seen their encampments broken up and have lost their ability to organize. Occupiers mostly keep in touch online and have occasional meetings to organize specific events, such as this spring’s May Day event, which ultimately fizzled. Still, protesters say the movement has made a difference and helped influence the national conversation.
Do you think the Occupy Wall Street movement is still relevant? What impact, if any, has it had on policy or our culture? Would you like to a resurgence of the movement in some shape or form?
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It is relevant to the point that it keeps the 1% issue alive in time for the Presidential election. It reminds people what corporate America's is trying to do to the working class, shifting blame for their failures as the reason why we had an economic meltdown in 2008. They rae cutting our jobs, our pensions & our benefits, stagmnating our salaries and still outsourcing as we if were the scoundrels.
As I watched the Bain Capital Monster on Braodway today, I felt good in knowing that perhaps this protest, alive and well, will mean that we won;t get fooled again!
It never fizzzled that is media hype.
Not only is it still relevant, but I feel it is important the movement stays together, and grows and strengthens. There are many out there that support the movement, even if they are not physically present at protests. Also, it's the rare few who are willing to risk arrest and so may shy away from some activities. The message of Occupy is out there now, but perhaps misunderstood. I think now is the time to harness the passion for the cause into making actual change. The question remains however, "how?"
Can't they call it a day already? How is causing a disturbance for the people who need to work down there getting their message across? If screaming and yelling gets ones point across, every child who has ever thrown a temper tantrum has become an intelligent philosopher whose opinions on what toys they want should be listened to...
When I hear OWS, I think dimwits. Wherever they protest, they cause an intellectual vacuum to develop.
Occupy Wall Streeters are at it again. Bashing those who make money the hard way and that is they earn it and not given government hand outs. Capitalism is based on ones ability to create jobs and to build a company that in turn benefits those who are willing to work hard. Now that's the American way.
Glen Oaks Village
Of course the OWS movement is still relevant as long as the wealth of this nation continues to be skewed into the hands of the few. Nothing has changed since the start of the movement one year ago. Today's performance by NYPD is proof.
My office is at the epicenter, at Broadway and Wall Street. This morning, there were a hundred NYPD officers dressed in riot gear and mounted on horses at Wall Street, looking like they were ready for war. There were no protesters in sight.
Who is paying for all these police officers? Wall Street? No. Who was being "protected"? Wall Street ! I, for one, am happy to see the protesters standing up for their rights. Yet my tax money is being wasted on NYPD overtime to take away the protesters' right to assembly and their right to free speech.
Occupy would have been taken more seriously if it wasnt for the tents drugs or drums.
As Justice Louis Brandies said, "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
In 30 years, America has gone from the most to the least upwardly mobile with the widest income gap of all industrialized nations. That is a direct result of government policy that answers solely to the interests of the rich.
It's not a matter of the Occupy protesters "getting a job" - our jobs have been shipped to slave wage nations, the cost of education turns young people into indentured servants to the banks and the working classes have been turned into the working poor.
Wake up, "Mike from New Dorp." The working classes rise or fall TOGETHER.
OF COURSE the message of the Occupy movement is "still relevant" - as long as the fundamental rot in the system remains.
I didn't participate in any of the Occupy activities today. I work for a corporation. I try to stay below the radar. They often lay people off. They've been quite successful in creating software which reduces the need for a lot of employees, so they can operate and profit with fewer workers. Those of us that are still employed are often "reminded" of this. There is absolutely no loyalty to the employee who helped his employer prosper. The worst of capitalism is greed, and the government is nurturing this greed.
I think the movement is important and relevant. I hope that we will continue to elect politicians who are advocating for the worker with things like universal healthcare.
Upper East Side
Everyone who says that the participants of Occupy Wall Street ought to just "get a job" obviously has not needed to get a job lately. There are simply not enough jobs available for everyone who wants one, and many of the jobs being offered give no opportunity to live a life beyond subservience. Go back to school? Learn a new skill? Start a business?
All those options cost money--money which most people just don't have.
Like Elizabeth Warren said, "The system is rigged." That's enough incentive for anyone to
become a full-time Occupier and remind everyone how bad the system itself is, and for that reason alone, the Occupy movement is a success.
Lower East Side
Hi - I wanted to share my opinion. I HATE occupy wall st. I've lived on Wall St for 2 years now and I am about to break my lease. I come home to find my street barricaded with metal gates and swarms of police officers with guns. I feel like i live in a prison and don't feel comfortable on my own street. I am 23 and making less than 50K a year so I can live in a cage? Its not worth it anymore - these people have made my home a nightmare. They're only hurting the middle class because they're lazy and entitled and it's a disorganized mess with no central motive or goals. I on the other hand work extremely hard and can't even enjoy my neighborhood.