Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Occupy Movement Keeps On Ticking!

What’s going on with this Occupy Movement? Could it possibly catch on?
by Charlie Leck

Are you still trying to figure out the Occupy Movement? Me, too! I’ve listened to a number of interviews with protestors and I’ve read a number of accounts about the individuals who are involved. Anger and disappointment are the only two constants I can find among them.

Occupy is the central name – whether it is Occupy Wall Street or Occupy Seattle! However, as the NY Times pointed out in a story in Tuesday’s paper, “But not every group that has embraced the name marches in the same contentious lockstep!”

The protestors range from people who want marijuana legalized to people who oppose our involvement in foreign wars.

Yet, I keep sensing that economics is at the bottom, or base, of every occupation movement in every city. It is more and more difficult for people who consider themselves middle class to live like middle class people (I wrote succinctly about this phenomenon yesterday).

There does seem to be a common sentiment that the protest is against a system that is stacked against the middle class. The rich and the connected are getting along fine. As one moves down the economic ladder, life and one’s options get tough.

Talk to the conservative rich about these protests and you’ll generally get a smile. “Patience,” they counsel, “and then all will return to normal.”

What does that mean? Is it that the economy will finally improve and with it the situation of the middle class? Or does such advice to be patient simply mean the protestors will eventually tire out and give up and go home to more comfortable places to sleep?

Have any of you asked yourselves if there is a possible connection between these occupy protests in the United States and the Arab Spring? Oh, my! I’ve gone and said it! It is not a stupid question. It is worthy of thought and consideration.

So far the protests are too small to be compared to what happened in Egypt or to what is happening in Syria. But what if? What if? What if it were hundreds of thousands in New York City instead of a few thousand?

How would authorities here react? What could we do after we so criticized Arab governments for their tough crackdowns?

A chess piece will have been moved into a check position and authorities will have been challenged to respond. With only a few hundred protestors here in Minneapolis, it has been easy for government officials and police to handle the situation; but what if the numbers get up to seven or eight thousand?

What if fed-up folks from up there in Lake Wobegon decide to come down here to the cities to join ‘em in their demonstrations? What if Dorothy, at the Chatterbox Café, begins suggesting that “Maybe them folks down there in the Twin Cities has got somethin’ in what they’re a doin’ anyway!” What if the Norwegian bachelor farmers and the Whippets baseball team agree with Dorothy? You can be sure they’re talkin’ about all this over at Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery! It’s not like Lutherans to protest, you know, but, then again, you never know!

I wonder, too, if all of this is the other side of the coin from the Tea Party Movement!

When will Congresswoman Bachman start calling the protestors communists or, at least, suggest they are communist controlled?

So much to watch over and wait to see where it goes!


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