Monday, October 10, 2011

Occupy This!

A woman I see on the train platform on irregular occasions had just returned from several work trips around the country. Her return to the Baltimore area was marked with seeing the rudimentary protest in the Inner Harbor by people who were creating the beginnings of a local endeavor of the Occupy{insert your location here} movement. All over the country small unaffiliated groups of protestors have been sitting around outside of their chosen protest venue expressing their discontent with the status quo.

Generally, this fragmented movement is targeting the banking and finance industry as being the cause of our economic ills, the barrier to resolving them, and evil incarnate that is destroying the global economy. She said that the protestors were in a useless pursuit with such signs as “Honk if you’re pissed off.” They had no agenda. No demands. No target for their ire.

I mentioned to her that these protests were everywhere and were not coordinated. There was no pre-conceived plan of attack. No particular interest group was co-opting the agenda for their special interests. Everyone brought their own agenda.

When I told her this, she said that it seemed to be a useless effort with no clear direction. I rebutted by saying that “you have to think of them as a metaphor for how the whole economic and political landscape is right now.”

To this she said, “That’s scary.” I concurred. The problem is that the protestors and the people whom they are protesting are equally clueless as to what to do or how to do it. As time passes the protestors are coming together and are streamlining their message. Soon they may actually have an outline message and a spokesperson to take it to the world. One side or the other needs to do this first. He who accomplishes this endeavor will win the battle. Then we all win.