So what’s all the fuss about on Wall Street? Oh wait, you haven’t heard? Not surprising. The major media outlets have all but ignored the events taking place in their own back yard. For almost three weeks, thousands of people have converged on this eight-block-long stretch of asphalt and skyscrapers in lower Manhattan. For what purpose, you ask? That answer remains a bit unclear. Some explanations offered by the media include: the downfall of capitalism, an end to corporate tax incentives, world peace, racial justice, freedom for prisoners, and a slew of others issues boldly displayed on signs and posters covering every inch of usable space.
Only in the last few days have the demands from the protestors have become somewhat understood, although their presence in the city has cost Mayor Bloomberg two million dollars in police overtime alone. When you consider the damage to local businesses from lack of access, the burden of cleaning up behind thousands of unruly campers, the inevitable strain on the judicial system from the ever-growing number of arrests, and a multitude of other factors the price of these shenanigans is certain to be staggering. So where is the media coverage? Just now are we beginning to see headlines addressing this controversy. With the addition of several powerful workers unions and a handful of celebrities taking up the cause, we are beginning to formulate a picture of the reason for the last three weeks of frustration. A decade of costly foreign war, millions of Americans out of work, skyrocketing foreclosure rates, and the disappearance of stock portfolios and pension plans galore are all contributing factors. Americans are angry and apparently it’s time to show it. But why go through the trouble of protesting if you are not even marketing your purpose?
No one is blind to the problems we face as a nation, yet the solution seems beyond reach. Take to the streets or take to the polls? No matter what you choose, if no one knows what you are fighting for, you are wasting your time. You could have the best idea or the most sensible solution, but ultimately it’s about marketing your idea clearly that determines if you will make any difference at all.
-Claire Dillard, LaPuasa, Reinhardt