The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Occupy protest needs focus

By Bethany Peterson/editor-in-chief

Protest movements that change society and laws are an important part of U.S. history. We have also had multiple histrionic movements.

Currently, talk is about the Occupy movement that began in September and spread rapidly across the country, proving the timeliness and relevance of the issues it addresses.

However, the Occupy movement has yet to show key traits that separate the historic from the histrionic protests.

Clear focus and plodding progress are key to creating the positive public opinion and favorable political environment needed to actually enact beneficial changes. Everyone knew the goals of the civil rights or the women’s suffrage protesters.  The organizations leading those movements persistently pushed the court, legislature and everyday people to talk about and ultimately satisfy their demands.

When they organized marches, protests and speeches, they had a specific message being conveyed or action being called for. Yes, the movements had extremists attach themselves to the bandwagon, but the overall integrity of these movements wasn’t shaken and their purpose remained the focus.

The Occupy movement doesn’t have this. Across the nation, there is a diversity of complaints and no one person or group to give definition and scope to the movement.

The movement hasn’t produced any legal or legislative attempts to cut lobbyists’ influence, cap college tuition rates or regulate the percentage of an average worker’s salary a CEO can be paid, so there is nothing for lawmakers or business people to consider or put into effect to alleviate the issues. Even worse, the histrionics of the movement are beginning to overshadow the movement itself. While generally sympathetic, the media have had nothing to report on except shouting matches, police raids and court cases about the right to live in tents in a city park. All TV viewers see are mobs standing in front of unsanitary tent camps complaining they are unhappy and will not move.

With every passing day, the movement is losing its window of opportunity to make an impact. The public will soon lose interest and even if the protesters get a game plan and start working with the legal and legislative processes to change current practices, they will have a hard time being taken seriously.

And that would be a great shame.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian