Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Is Real Change Possible?

How It All Started

The leaderless Occupy Wall Street movement actually has its roots right here in Canada, where its seeds where originally planted by Vancouver based nonprofit group the Adbusters Media Foundation.

They were inspired by the protests that overturned notable governments in the Middle East, which grew from large social media followings.

The ongoing demonstrations began more than a month ago on September 17 in New York’s Wall Street financial district, and has grown into a worldwide movement since then including Occupy Canada.

The Reasoning

The eclectic group of protesters who continue to voice their anger and displeasure, are protesting social and economic inequality, mainly targeting corporate greed which continues to perpetuate an ever widening gap between the rich and the poor.

The Power of Social Media

The use of social media has been prolific in this movement, incorporating all elements at their disposal to successfully build a strong online presence. They currently have more than 260,000 people “liking” their Occupy Wall Street Facebook page and more than 125,000 people “talking about” the topic.

The movement also has a Twitter page, but their most prominent use of social media is in their blog, entitled “We Are the 99 Percent” on Tumblr. Their blog site features hundreds of handwritten stories about the economy’s effect on ordinary citizens, and it definitely tries to connect the reader on a more emotional and personal level to the cause.

They have also utilized mass media, with three issues released of the newspaper called The Occupied Wall Street Journal.

Pros and Cons

There has been similar uprisings before, but never has there been significant change. Nonetheless there is a unique sentiment in the Occupy tents across the globe, that there needs to an equilibrium between the social classes, instead of the drastic gap that we currently have.

However a huge deterrent to their success is the lack of a unified demand, and a goal orientated agenda which has caused much criticism. Violence also serves as another deterring factor, since the whole point of protesting is to do it peacefully. Although their hasn’t been much violence, except for the riots in Rome.

How Will It End?

To sum up the eventual outcome at this point is difficult to do but one thing is apparent, the people need to come together and possibly even elect a leader to fill the absence of a clear direction to create any change. The cold is looming and one does wonder how long can they sustain out there, and even if they believe that real change is possible, is it likely... 

Do you agree with this movement? If so, what do you think the outcome will be?

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