The Occupy Wall Street movement continues to pick up momentum around the world. But the protesters are increasingly facing the questions, “What do you stand for?” and “What do you want?” Good questions. Go to occupywallst.org and you’ll find this mission statement:
“OWS is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations.The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Spain, Greece, Italy and the UK, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people who are writing the rules of the global economy are imposing an agenda of neoliberalism and economic inequality that is foreclosing our future.”
So what do its supporters and participants want? The Tea Party, which despite denials of its members and supporters, is very much Occupy Wall Street’s first cousin and is easier to understand. Its mission statement on theteaparty.net reads:
“The Tea Party movement is a grassroots movement of millions of like-minded Americans from all backgrounds and political parties. Tea Party members share similar core principles supporting the United States Constitution as the Founders intended, such as: limited federal government, individual freedoms, personal responsibility, free markets, returning political power to the states and the people.
I would suggest that the Occupy Wall Street movement is like a press release in need of filling in the blanks. It has its boilerplate mission statement, its opinions within the quotes and its attention-getting events. What’s missing is its headline at the top of the page and call to action at the bottom. Its organizers and leaders have to fill in the blanks: “Occupy Wall Street Movement Leaders Demand ________,” and “The movement’s organizers will continue to protest until ________.” Until then, the questions remain unanswered.