A lot of folks are talking about this picture. Check your favorite website. Pretty sure you’ll find it. And why not? It’s dramatic and what any movement lusts for – an iconic photo that will spread at the speed of Twitter.
But what does the Occupy movement really gain from it?
I struggle with the Occupy Everywhere protests. The former activist in me wants to celebrate their commitment to making their voices heard. I love that this country allows all of its citizens to assemble, to speak as one voice. The problem with this movement is that it doesn’t have clear leadership articulating WHAT that voice is. There’s no one saying exactly what should be fixed. And without that voice I fear that people on all sides of this issue will become more frustrated. They just become occupiers, not agents of change. Those opposed to it will keep jeering those who protest. Those who protest still won’t have a solution to their problem. And our government will sit back and squabble like little old ladies arguing over a game of Bridge.
My personal opinion is this: a society that cannot provide the basic framework for its citizens to have the opportunity the thrive will fail. Note that I said opportunity- it’s the responsibility of the individual to thrive once they’ve received that opportunity. The problem is that I haven’t heard a single person in this movement come up with a solution. The voices just get louder and the media sensationalizes the protests. Opponents mock the protestors, tell them to get a job and the whole thing spirals out of control.
We are living in a powder keg right now. I hope all sides find the right leadership before we explode. Until then this photo will live in a vacuum. It will represent a moment in time when America chose to sit back and watch itself step further away from the principles that once made this country a beacon of light for the world.