Echoes of Occupy Wall Street: Repose or Respite?
It all began rather simply, with a few individual citizens who wanted to have their voices heard. The plan was to attract as many people as possible to their cause by gathering at the hub of the nation's commerce--New York's Wall Street. Quickly their ranks swelled and what was originally a local demonstration erupted into a movement that circled the globe and made international headlines. Thus, the Occupy Movement was born.
Without leadership or a defined ideology, people all over the world gathered to voice their grievances and opinions on everything from fair wages to the War on Terror and everything in between. Although these groups with their seemingly ragtag cadre of followers shared many different beliefs, they still somehow managed to coalesce. Subsequently, they began to attract others to their cause. Former police officers, soldiers, even political officials started to take notice. There were individuals and families of all races, and all backgrounds, all representing the cultural diversities of the entire world. They all combined into a single voice and there was one word that resounded from that voice: change! The masses were no longer content with mere existence, they wanted to live.
What a glorious sight to see; so many people gathered together with voices that rang out in unison! It was starting to seem as if Dr. King's dream had finally come true. Then, disaster struck. Wave after wave of violence broke out; some started by protesters, some incited by authorities. Soon the harmony that once abounded within the movement inexorably began to wane. Soon the tent cities were torn down and people were arrested, beaten, and scattered asunder. It almost seemed like every police agency in the world had conspired together to launch a concerted attack against the protesters.
Eventually the crowds got smaller and stories became fewer as the press moved on to the "next big thing." Soon "Occupy" became a recent memory as people continued about their lives as usual.
These were the events of a year ago and there has been a renewed attempt to reorganize the movement. Although there have been a few substantial crowds, interest in the movement seems to be fading and the media is beginning to question its future.
It appears that the experts believe the movement has run its course and has fallen dreadfully short of its intended purpose. With that, it would seem "Occupy" was no more than a passing fad with an empty cause and hollow voices to trumpet its meaningless message. There is, however, an alternative view. What if the pundits are wrong this time? What if this is just the calm before the storm? What if just beneath the veneer of "Occupy" lies the conflagration yet to come?
What these things may bode for the near future or the coming generation, I do not know. However, I leave you with the words of George Bernard Shaw: "Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny. They have only shifted it to another shoulder."