Social Question

filmfann's avatar

Has the Occupy Wall Street et al protests lost focus?

Asked by filmfann (50875points) November 22nd, 2011

It seems the point of their protest has changed from objecting to the Wall Street big bonuses, to just continuing the protest.

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29 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Did it ever have focus?

As far as I can tell it was always about a lot of different issues; some of them kind of mutually incompatible. I don’t know if it was ever as narrow as big bonuses, and I know that the only power it has is the power of the protest itself. So it makes sense to continue the protest in order to continue the protest. Of course, urban administrations are helping them by kicking them around. They need that in order to keep up their energy, especially as we move into winter.

tedd's avatar

Has it lost it yet? No.

Is it losing it? Yes.

The movement has already made a mark, but if it wants to continue to do so (in a manner similar to the Tea party for example), it needs to evolve into something more practical and focused.

bkcunningham's avatar

Moveon . org has been coordinating protests where I live. You have to remember it is a senior retirement community. They carry signs around the town squares. Last week, my husband and I were waiting outside a restaurant for some friends and the OWS protesters came by us. They were talking amongst themselves and one man was saying how he is “fed up.” He said his wife has to drive all the way to…(another town)... to swim in an indoor pool and “enough is enough, we need an indoor pool in our community.” I thought to myself, “Are you f-ing serious?!”

CaptainHarley's avatar

They never HAD focus. That’s been a major part of the problem.

Jaxk's avatar

Let’s see. they’re down there protesting income inequality but have to police their area to keep the homeless people out. What’s that all about. They’re protesting corrupt bankers and have to police their are to stop the rape and theft. What’s that all about. They’re protesting not having jobs but disrupt all the small businesses in the area so that they have to lay off people. What’s that all about. Hell, I heard one guy say he quit his job to go down there and protest. Now there’s a coherent message.

The whole thing has been co-opted by every wacko group out there, socialists, communists, anarchists, and now need to stir up trouble to try and keep the focus on themselves. Really, who’s going to want to hire this guy. Even the most liberal mayor in the country, if not the world (Oakland) has said enough is enough. They never had any focus and the only thing left is to cause as much trouble as they can.

tedd's avatar

@Jaxk Come on man don’t be naive. Yes, the Occupy movement has attracted loony people on the left. But is it any different than the far right loons that the Tea Party attracted? I wouldn’t throw the entire Tea Party movement under the bus because a handful of their members or people who associate with them happen to be crazy, or lazy, or flat out stupid.

I have not joined in any of these protests, but if a major one came to my town I most definitely would. I am gainfully employed with two jobs, and I still can identify with the people in this movement very easily. If I didn’t have a job I would probably spend a decent amount of my time that I wasn’t applying for jobs, protesting (again if I were in the area).

You’re talking about homeless people, and incidents of rape and theft in the camps as if the people involved in the protests are committing those acts. Did it ever occur to you that thieves and rapists may have just seen easy targets (and keep in mind there is only one accusation of rape even)? And as far as the homeless, did it occur to you that maybe they found a “shelter” where the police were less likely to harass them and flocked to it?

You are so blinded by your conservative mindset you refuse to see the real people with real problems and real opinions… you are quick to find some justification to just throw them out as sub-human, sub-american, un-important people…. and frankly, though I’m sure you’ll deny it, your only real reasoning is you don’t agree with them.

How very patriotic of you.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think it’s gaining momentum, actually. What do you think its focus is?

anartist's avatar

Nothing like hostile action to derail a protest’s cause while it focuses on survival.
It is struggling, but has not lost focus.

Jaxk's avatar


Wow, you slam the tea parties yet none of this stuff happened with them. You accuse me of condemning them for these actions yet excuse every problem they. You want it to be a popular movement so bad that you excuse the aberrant behavior which is taking over the group. The sane people have already gone home.

tedd's avatar

@Jaxk You sadden me. Tremendously.

I know the movement is legitimate, because I consider myself a part of it even if I have never taken part in a single protest. More than that, I can name half a dozen friends off the top of my head, who would also consider themselves a part of it.

-I never slammed the Tea Party. In the past I have pointed out where I vehemently disagree with them, and areas where they are simply factually wrong. But I fully respect the opinions of the real Tea Party people, and in fact consider a few hardcore Tea Partiers friends, and count various family members amongst them as well.

-I accuse you of condemning the entire movement based on sketchy-at-best reports of thievery and rape, which can very easily and quickly be attributed to people not associated with the movement who simply targeted the movement itself. And even if a handful of robbery cases or a rape case were legitimately a part of the movements members, as if that would completely discredit the multi-million member movement and it’s issues.

-I don’t need to want it to be a popular movement. It already is a popular movement. If you can’t recognize that fact, then you’re just being ignorant to be ignorant.

CaptainHarley's avatar

OWS is part of the 1% they claim to hate so much. Office space in downtown Manhattan doesn’t come cheap. They also have over $500,000.00 in their account.

tedd's avatar

@CaptainHarley I consider myself part of Occupy, and I’m definitely not in the 1%.

Paradox25's avatar

Most larger movements like this that do not focus on one issue usually are made up of people with very different agendas and personal reasons for taking part in them. It is the same thing with the TEA Party of which half dislikes Paul/Johnson libertarian types and the other half dislikes the Palin/Bachmann social conservative types. I tend to avoid supporting larger multiagenda movements such as these. Some of these OWS protesters have gotten unruley (putting it mildly) at many times. In the end it all comes down to who we vote for, not what we protest against.

zenvelo's avatar

There has been no particular focus for a very good reason- the movement is general and NOT a specific agenda on purpose. Once a specific demand is expressed, the movement is defined and can be limited and restricted.

OWS wants reform of the economy, reform of governance, respect for people over corporations. But there are no leaders, no one person speaks for the movement. Any one person who says they are a leader, or who states a list of demands, is not OWS.

Part of the effectiveness of OWS is the media and the powers that be can’t define it and limit it. It is a long term response, not a short term protest.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I agree with @zenvelo . The OWS protestors are seeking the reforms he has stated so clearly. As long as the media cannot pin-point a specific demand, the movement continues to draw interest to all of the problem areas.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CaptainHarley What are you actually talking about? What space in wall street? People in the 1% have 6 digit incomes above $400K and of the people I’ve seen at OWS, nobody has that. Please do not perpetuate misinformed statements.

gondwanalon's avatar

The “Wall Street et al protests” have never lost their focus which is to destroy capitalism through any means including out-right revolution. The “occupiers” will not come out and state this because they are cowards. They are afraid of the truth. Because the truth will cause them to lose support.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Actually, @gondwanalon , Capitalism is destroying itself. Capitalism is self-destructing because to perpetuate itself, it requires constant growth. Constant growth cannot be sustained.

zenvelo's avatar

@gondwanalon And where did you get your secret information?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@gondwanalon Actually, a lot of anarchists are asked to leave the movement, because they want more drastic measures than most in the movement want.

CaptainHarley's avatar

When the “Occupy” movement occupies the Fed, and various Democratic headquarters across the Country, then I will join them.

gondwanalon's avatar

@zenvelo Check out this Sometimes subtle hints of revolution appear in which statement like “The only solution is world revolution” are made.

Also check out this

After a while the message starts to sink in. Don’t worry someday you may catch on. HA!

gondwanalon's avatar

Actually, @Linda_Owl, Capitalism is being destroyed through liberal socialistic policies made in the U.S. Congress in conjunction with big business (crony and corrupt capitalism).

YARNLADY's avatar

The reason civil disobedience doesn’t work is that mob mentality combined with a criminal mentality takes over.

A friend of mine who lives there said that the Oakland police had a special unit set up to prevent the oursiders from taking over. It seems they had identified several gang members parking pick-up trucks near the protest area, just waiting for the fighting to break out so they could come in and begin looting the stores. Road blocks were set up, along with surveillance, and a full scale riot was headed off.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@CaptainHarley My local Occupy protests the existence of the Fed about once a month.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Good for THEM! You tell them that this old Libertarian US Army Captain wishes them the very best of luck in their efforts! : ))

Aethelflaed's avatar

@CaptainHarley Lol I’ll do that!

Jaxk's avatar


Don’t be sad, it just isn’t working anymore. OWS started out as a sympathetic cause. Unfortunately it has degenerated into a mob of squatters. When nobody speaks for them, thier actions do. And the actions of late haven’t been pretty. The populous message is being lost.

ETpro's avatar

I went to the Occupy Boston march to the Washington Street Bridge, a bridge so decripit that police kept protesters from flooding onto it because it might collapse under the weight of that size crowd. Congress, in their great Roadblock Republican wisdom, refused to appropriate any money to fix it, along with other crumbling bridges across the nation. So the unemployed construction workers in the crowd were pretty steamed about that. But the primary focus seemed to be ever increasing wealth and income disparity between the 1% and the 99%. The top 1% now own 42% of everything, up from 33% in 1980. The middle class has shrunk from 65% of the population in 1980 to 46% now.

And the reason they preceive for these changes is the corporate and special interest money flooding into politics. They think, rightly so I believe, that those with enough cash can buy themselves all the tax breaks, set asides, and outright welfare for the rich and corporations they want. Witness the face that a good number of IRS checks went out to people earning over $1 million a year in 2010. Not only did they escape paying taxes, they got money in subsidies!

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