Occupy Philly. Why not?

By Jenay Smith
November 7, 2011

Occupy Philly, Wall Street and the whole world. Why not?

Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire in front of a local municipal office. He did this in protest of his fruit and vegetable cart being taken away because he didn’t have a permit. This spiraled multiple protests around the world about unjust treatment by governments.

These protests are not just about Mohamed Bouazizi but about being treated unfair and unjust.

“Convictions about the way the economy has been run and the need to have those people held accountable,” Laura, a protester at Occupy Philly said.

Laura said it in a nutshell. The protesters are down there because they want the “one percent ” to be held accountable for what they are doing to the 99 percent.

Students are being sued for not being able to pay back their student loans but large companies like the AIG and Fannie Mae and credit unions are being bailed out.

The citizen who went to school and can’t find a job does not receive a bailout.

There is really no chance of the 99 percent actually getting 99 percent if they don’t protest. Think about it. Imagine a world where everyone gets their fair share of everything. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see that happening any time soon without a big deal being made about it through protest.

You can look at the Civil Rights Movement. I’m sure the executive order of 1948, the desegregation of the military or the decision made in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954, would not have happened without protesting out in the streets.

Change means action. It means sometimes physically showing up and stating your position. What’s wrong with that?

“Read up, don’t just trust what everyone tells you it’s about,” Laura said.

Another thing people do is make assumptions based off a few things people said and by just watching the news. There are many things the news doesn’t mention because of one reason or another.

Read and if possible go see what’s going on. See what the protesters have to say themselves. Then make a decision on what you feel about the topic.

You might not agree with all the different reasons why they are protesting but everyone has a reason for protesting.

Some think the Occupy Wall Street protests are frivolous actions of young and, or jobless people who just want media attention for fun. Of course they want attention but I don’t believe it’s just for fun. There are things to be said and things that need to be changed.

This protest is about change. There are many people protesting about many different issues. I saw people protesting about legalizing marijuana, gay rights, education funding, stopping private prisons, shutting down major corporations, the government, fracking and so on.

These are all issues that people feel strongly about and for which they want change.

I’ve been in countless places where I’ve heard people complain or jest about the protests. Some say they need to stop protesting and look for jobs.

Some of these people have jobs and still see a need to protest.

Why? There are still educated people who can’t find jobs.

Of course they need to look for jobs, yet there does come a time where there are no jobs to be found. That’s when the people need to let their concerns be known in a more tangible way.

There is nothing wrong with making a statement by peacefully protesting and exercising your First Amendment rights.

There are going to be people who are lazy and who never took the initiative to find a job. But that’s life.

We can’t let the people like that make the self motivated people who can’t find a job hesitant to make a change.

There is a bigger issue on the horizon. People want change and they are letting it be known by protesting.

With that being said, I hope more people will look into reasons why Ocuppy Philly is going on. If you have looked into the different reasons why, I applaud you. I just hope people are more understanding of why they are protesting.

Realize all they want is change. What’s wrong with that?

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Jenay Smith

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