So those of you that followed my adventure to downtown Pittsburgh last December may remember that I visited with members of the Occupy Movement. I'll tell you what I saw.
The following is from my post "Visiting the Occupiers..."
After wandering around the encampment around this large bulletin-board style fence around a fountain, it was quite clear that this group was angry with what was happening with America, and were willing to stay indefinitely. It kind of reminded me of a boy scout tenting excursion. So we decided to walk up to a guy and identify ourselves as media people from WYEP. He had a lot to talk about. He was a man who had taken odd jobs: moving boxes, a registered massage therapist, before joining this movement.So the movement celebrated one year. Granted, those of you that know the history of the Pittsburgh movement know that later on they were kicked out of Mellon Green and essentially disbanded.
When asked if he thought that this movement would help any job prospects when I (or in this case, the girl asking the questions) graduate college, he laughed. He said that he wished that he could say so, but he was being a realist. He thinks that change will come out of this, but nothing immediate.
We also asked what the reactions the encampment had gotten. He said it was mainly positive. He mentioned a time (as did two other protesters) where there had been a few people about four weeks ago that had screamed "GET A JOB" out the window by passing at a high rate of speed, to suggest that they might have been drunk. Others said that they'd join, but they had to work. To be honest, some of the protesters do have jobs (See Below).
Two other protesters talked to us about their thoughts. The one man described himself as "Underemployed." They mainly shared the same views as the first man, but had an interesting perspective coming back and forth from a job (I think the one said he was laid off, but I am not sure).
I asked point-blank what their plan for if they do get kicked out, what would they do. They answered that they would maybe move and Occupy the Point. He joked that if you controlled the point (speaking historically) you can be more successful. They never moved to the point.
A year later, I am able to step back and realize a few things: As Alex Zukoff said, this was one of the first major movements toward socialism. Upon further research, I saw it could be, but I saw that it might have been doomed from the start by being just protesters They were protesting a system that failed them, but could cite nothing but
THE ONE PERCENT! WE ARE THE 99%.Okay, that's concentration of wealth. It's been an issue since currency was invented, really.
If we wanted to kickstart a real revolution, or another Occupy, someone would need to step up with a platform of somesort. If it really is a move for social reform, someone should have the foresight to put that as their mission.
I'm not saying Occupy is dead, because in essence, Occupy is an idea. I'm just saying that if the gentleman's idea of "eventual results" is going to happen, there needs to be some form of organization in ways of platform, and exactly who/what they are fighting. You just can't redistribute wealth, you have to work out a plan of a system.
The Declaration of Independence details that if a government isn't properly working for the people, they need to have the right to fix it... Occupy was an attempt, it just wasn't that great of an attempt.
So on this anniversary of the Pittsburgh movement, I have to wonder: what have we learned, and what is there to work on at this point?