Wall Street too preoccupied

By Samuel Charles

The Occupy Wall Street protests organized in most major cities across the country are noble on the surface, advocating for economic fairness. In the process, though, multiple other groups latched onto the initial movement’s popularity, using it to further their own causes.

Call it creative marketing, if nothing else.

But the protests themselves are misguided, unorganized and, at this point, immensely ineffective, unless you consider mass arrests on a New York bridge a victory. The most good to come from the protests was an unexpected mini-concert by Jeff Mangum, the brilliant frontman of Neutral Milk Hotel.

The aforementioned groups that have been leeching off the original’s recognition are convoluting the point. When Occupy Wall Street was in its infancy, its mission was concise and clear: The present economic conditions have ushered in a quality of life not befitting 21st century America.

That alone is true and can be blamed for several of the other pressing issues facing the United States today.

Since then, issues such as rising college tuition costs and a piss-poor job market have been thrown in the fray. Now, those are just and righteous causes that most sane people can support, or at least understand. Unfortunately for the protesters and organizers, their audience isn’t always sane, righteous or just. As more and more causes get included, the more and more diluted the protests become.

One question that very few have raised revolves around timing. Why did the organizers wait until now to do this? Why not sooner? Was this done to align with election season?

Protesters who’ve been interviewed by the media talk of being unemployed for two to three years, and they’re just now taking action. The action they’re taking is correct, too. I find myself whole-heartedly agreeing with most, if not all, of Occupy Wall Street’s causes. But the question still remains: What took them so long?

The protesters—the “have-nots”— and their audience—Wall Street executives, the “haves”—are of completely different mindsets.

A member of the Occupy Chicago portion of the movement posted a photo on the group’s Facebook page last week that showed the true colors of the people whom the group wants to reach. Since the movement took shape, their unofficial slogan is “I am the 99 percent.” But the “haves” countered that in Chicago with their own smarmy, entitled and derogatory sign in an office building window that read “We are the 1 percent.”

As overdue and justified as the Occupy Wall Street organizers and protesters maybe, their message of equality seems to be falling on deaf ears.