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Occupy a responsibility

David-goodner-speaking-at-march-on-wells-fargoI never did receive high marks in sociology. So you may want to stop reading now. 

Otherwise Occupy a seat and weigh in with your own thoughts.

I had planned to start a discussion on some of the specifics regarding Occupy, meaning, looking at the specific needs, protests and arrests. However as I sat down with Des Moines own Cat Rocketship, who is on the communications team with Occupy Des Moines. She enlightened me to look at Occupy in more of a way that encompasses many aspects. It was a way that brought culture and social values more into play.

Des Moines may not resemble much about Wall Street, but Occupy Des Moines is doing its part to support the social movement. Is this movement something that is going to take shape? Time will tell.

Don't be so quick to judge. When the Occupy movement first launched “We are the 99%” grabbed me right away. While I think it carries a positive message, I had the same question you did… "Can an organization really represent 99% of a population?" Of course not. And just as any new uprising, Occupy is an organization that is still figuring out who it is while taking on several stereotypes.

Let me say this about stereotypes. Criticizing a group without offering any advice along with it, does not help anyone. Those of us who are involved in many organizations know that your critics are always the loudest. Complaining without suggesting makes one part of the problem, not the solution. Same goes for the organization itself.

So does Occupy have suggestions for solving the problems they have identified? I would say the movement is young and still has a lot to prove in this area. Not having a cohesive message and not knowing what you are fighting for breeds chaos. But chaos has been the basis for many strong social movements in our country.

According to Rocketship, Occupy is still trying to grow a voice and be heard. I think it has a long way to go to show that it is actually going to propose a way to change things for the 99%, but the voice is loud enough to have the potential to do so.

Rocketship enlightened me on one aspect I originally never looked at. The principals our country was founded on. That all men are created equal. That all different groups of people have a right to the same tools for success. And this isn't something Occupy wants to turn into a party or political debate. But rather start the conversation on a basis of democracy that we can all agree on. And making sure the 1% is doing its part to help others achieve their goals.

Some have looked at Occupy and brought into question at what level does personal responsibility come into play? Suggesting that those taking part in Occupy are looking for handouts. While that is a concern, this is one area I strongly appreciate about movements like Occupy. Protesters are taking the time and energy to be heard and to question our leaders. That is taking responsibility. As citizens it is our duty to question our leaders.

Regardless of your opinions on the topics Occupy is bringing to the forefront, I think there is a lot to appreciate about the way the movement is starting the conversation. I personally plan to attend a general assembly of Occupy Des Moines to educate myself if nothing else, with the understanding that 99% of us can't agree on many issues.

Will Occupy make a large enough difference to change Corporate America?

“It's tough to tell people they have the power to change,” said Rocketship.

And making sure people have that power is something worth fighting for.

- Jason Wells


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