Occupy protests: Are they justified?

This tent welcomes visitors to Occupy Boston. (photo by firedoglakedotcom)

By Kristina Testagrossa

It is clear that something drastic needs to be done to change the way this country is being run, and to dig it out of its $15 trillion debt hole. It is also very impressive to see that in every major city, protesters of all ages, races and walks of life have joined together to attempt to make things change. However, are the protestors really banding together?  Do they all know what they want out of this? And finally, are some people just showing up to join the bandwagon, or use it as a venue to commit serious crimes?  Let’s investigate that.

Several Occupy groups around the country have actually been serving as “Occupy Education” protesters, according to onlinecolleges.net education writer Jill Rooney, who noted in her article “Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Education?” that many college graduates have problems trying to pay back student loans in a bad economy.

“But not everyone agrees that this kind of protest is useful or even merited,” Rooney noted in her Nov. 3 article. “In the conservative journal National Review, Charles C.W. Cooke criticized college students and recent college graduates involved in the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Education by arguing that no one ever promised them that there was an automatic guarantee that they would get a high-paying and impressive job upon graduation.”

True, there is no guarantee; you have to work for it.  But college grads have typically been the high earners. And according to the Bureau of  Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for college graduates last month was just half of what it was for workers with only high-school diplomas.

Members of  the Occupy protests say they are part of a global movement against social and economic inequalities, and corporate greed.  However, everyone needs to be on the same page in order to bring change.

The Occupy movements have also heavily increased the need for police presence in protest locations, costing the country millions.  “In every Occupy camp you see, the presence of the unions, the communist and socialist parties of America, Klansmen and organizations backed by George Soros who want to see America destroyed,”  an article on lodinews.com states.  The occupation of the Wisconsin capitol building by the unions caused over $7 million damage to the building.  Do you think costing so much property damage and need for police force is helping the national debt?

Crime has reportedly become a problem as well.

“Philadelphia’s mayor angrily blasted Occupy Philly after an alleged rape at the encampment over the weekend, saying  ‘dramatically deteriorating conditions’ are straining the city’s once-cordial relationship with protesters modeling their movement after Occupy Wall Street,” reporter Tina Susman wrote in the L.A. Times on Nov. 14. Other rapes have also been reported in Occupy encampments.

There have also been four deaths. “Things have changed drastically. It seems to be deteriorating,” a man who said he spends most nights at Occupy Boston told a reporter for CBS in Boston. “A lot of drug use, alcohol use, people getting into fights … It’s deteriorating pretty quick.”

If and when a break is reached, the government will want to know what step the people want to take. With all of the various problems, one can foresee more riots and scattered demands and beliefs. Is this movement getting us anywhere?  Only time will tell.

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Categories: Opinion

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