Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Does the Occupy movement have clearly defined goals?
I continuously asked myself this question as I walked around the Occupy Boston encampment on the Greenway outside South Station on Monday, Oct. 17. The anger and frustration towards Wall Street, corporate America, the federal government, the police and even the media was certainly palpable. Occupy Boston organizers have even begun to organize General Assemblies and caucuses that clearly indicate they have no intentions of leaving Dewey Square. As impressive as these efforts are, the question remains whether they are enough to effectively captivate an angry electorate ahead of the 2012 elections?
Sixty-three percent of respondents to a Gallup poll conducted over the past weekend said they did not know enough about the Occupy movement to say whether they approved or disapproved of its goals. Another 55 percent said they did not know enough about the Occupy movement to say whether they approved or disapproved of the way the protests are being conducted. The poll further indicates that only 56 percent of Americans are following the Occupy movement closely.
Occupiers certainly have justifiable grievances against corporate greed and the political system that continues to disenfranchise the vast majority of Americans. The democratic traditions upon which this country was built continues to allow the Occupy protestors to air them, but it remains to be seen whether the movement will achieve more than providing a colorful snapshot du jour of an increasingly frustrated, angry and polarized country.