On September 17, 2011 hundreds of people began to gather in Zuccotti Park, New York which is Wall Street’s financial district under the banner “Occupy Wall Street”: these three simple words are causing an uproar in America (Engler). Additionally, these three words happen to be protesting the current status of America’s financial condition. With the economy in America being as terrible as it is, and the unemployment rate skyrocketing, it is absolutely necessary for some sort of change to occur. The Occupy Wall Street protesting is most positively a progressive step for the economic state in America and it is a step in the right direction.
It goes without saying that the Occupy Wall Street protestors are angry but what are they angry about? Who are they angry at? What are their goals? What are their plans to accomplish these goals? All social movements definitely conjure up a countless amount of questions, and answers are always essential.
Occupy Wall Street is a social reform movement. They are organized by an ongoing group of protesting that are taking place across the country. These groups of protests are spreading rapidly like wildfire being taken place around America and around the world. The Occupy Wall Street social reform movement was initiated by the Canadian anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters. It is said that social reform movements arise when a significant number of citizens assemble together in order to correct social ills, unjust laws, or easing misery (Galens vii). This is exactly what has caused the Occupy Wall Street group to speak up and allow their concerns of America be heard. Frankly, the Occupy Wall Street protesters’ message is simple. They are infuriated over the social and economic inequality, high unemployment, greed, corruption, and the high influence of big corporations in the American government (Cohan).
Occupy Wall Street symbolizes their frustrations through the various occupying demonstrations, signs, and most notably, their slogan: “We are the 99%” representing the growing inequality of the wealthiest 1% of America’s population and the rest of the country’s citizens. The top 1% has more than doubled their income over the last thirty years according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report. In 2007, the richest 1% owned 34.6% of the country’s total wealth. After the Great Recession and economic crisis the amount of the country’s total wealth owned by the 1% grew from 34.6% to 37.1%.
Now that it is known what characteristics of America Occupy Wall Street wants to improve or simply eliminate, how exactly does this group plan to carry out these goals? This is one of the primary criticisms of the movement. Many people believe that Occupy Wall Street lacks logical and understandable demands (Stoeffel). However, anyone who studies this group will know precisely what this social movement wishes to be accomplished. As stated before, Occupy Wall Street wants more and better jobs, a more equal distribution of wealth...