Occupy Movement Overcoming Media Opposition

James Edmonds | Staff Writer

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The Occupy Wall Street movement has now reached Wilmington. You may have seen them holding up their signs on College Road this past week, or heard about them meeting in Greenfield Lake Park. The arrival of the OWS movement gives it a little more significance in each of our daily lives.

The Occupy movement has been ridiculed by the media since its inception on Wall Street. Their lack of organization, clear and immediate goals and central leadership have drawn OWS a lot of criticism. At first, I made fun of them for the glaring lack of real solutions being offered. I wanted them to be there in hopes that one specific thing would happen, like the end of the Vietnam War in the sixties.

These are not the sixties, though. This movement is different. Each individual who joins the OWS movement has their own reason for being there. They are forced to think about the issues our country is facing economically and socially before putting the Sharpie onto their cardboard sign. There may not be one clear solution step being offered by those participating in OWS, but there is a wealth of valuable thought regarding possible solutions instead.

The one thing that impresses me most about OWS is the way it has taken off. Despite taking criticism from every major media venue which covers them, OWS has spread all over the nation, and is becoming global as well. OWS is now in almost 2000 different locations around the world. It just keeps growing. There have been thousands of arrests. Occupy San Jose was shut down by local authorities only to spring back up the following day. OWS is not going away anytime soon.

The fact that the protests are becoming so widespread, and continue to draw more protesters every day is what will make OWS successful in the long run. Regardless of not offering one specific solution, the prevalence of the movement is making a statement. Something is wrong in our nation and something needs to be done to fix the growing economic disparity. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has already taken notice and responded positively to the OWS movement. Sanders lauds the protestors for bringing a number of issues to the attention of the American public.

If you choose to mock and condemn the OWS movement, there are a number of videos on Youtube that you can use for ammunition. There are plenty of clips of media officials interviewing protestors with ridiculous standpoints, or protestors who don’t know why they’re there. Conversely, there are plenty of individuals at the protests who speak well and communicate valid ideas that you can find online as well. No matter which side you take, though, the spread and growth of OWS is becoming impossible to ignore. The way we, the public, and the government respond to the movement is likely going to define the current decade, so why not quit scoffing and start listening?