The Occupy Movement has gone worldwide. Inspired by the Egyptian Tahrir movement, protesters began occupying Liberty Plaza in New York City on Sept. 17. Fast-forward almost one month exactly. The Occupy movement has hit Valdosta, and we at The Spectator are all for it—kind of.
There is a good message behind the protests, but they could be a little more organized. The mission statement for Occupy Valdosta covered 16 points with topics ranging from local free press and government transparency to the school-to-prison pipeline and local school district consolidation.
To its credit, the mission statement reads: “To the people of Valdosta and South Georgia [:] We, the local citizens occupying Valdosta, urge you to assert your power. Exercise your right to assemble; to nonviolently occupy public space; to create an open process to address the problems we face, and to generate solutions accessible to everyone. Our issues are varied, yet related.”
The mission is clearly stated: “We seek open discussions on important issues which have been ignored. We seek to unite a long overdue people’s movement, bringing people together from all walks of life, to improve the quality of life for everyone, not just for a few.”
The problem is that the movement’s greatest strength could potentially be its downfall. The fact that the Occupy movements support freedom of expression and an open forum for people to express their opinions is awesome. That is something that people have needed for a long time.
However, those on the other side do not represent a typical opposition. Whereas, typically, those who are not with a movement are against it, those who are not with the Occupy movement do not directly oppose the movement so much as they do not understand it.
“I read the article. I’ve talked to about six different people who were a part of it, and I still can’t figure out what the point is,” Rebecka McAleer, our web editor, said.
“Half of the people involved in the rallies don’t even know what purpose they are demonstrating,” said a commenter on the Valdosta Daily Times’ website, identified as LD. “That takes all the clout out of it for me.”
Protesting such a wide range of topics seems to be confusing the general public.
Hopefully, the Occupy movement will make a change in our government and our world, but to have the greatest impact, a little more organization or explanation may be in order.