The Positive Futures Network, 2011
Page Count: 96
Publisher: The Positive Futures Network, 2011
Genre: Non-fiction, Political
Page Count: 96
Overview: Occupy Wall Street (OWS) began in September of 2011 with the first occupied location in Zucotti Park in New York City on Wall Street. Credit for starting OWS goes to a group of 16 people who met and discussed the possibility of changing the world they lived in. The next step was when Adbusters, a Canadian magazine printed an article “Are you ready for a Tahrir moment?” in July 2011. Tahrir was defined in this book as an Egyptian word that meant people who don’t have work or health care or the ability to get an education and are trying to make their voices heard around the world. Much of why OWS began was that they were protesting the rich getting richer and being greedy and corrupt in their
dealings; all the while, the middle class was not getting what these protestors thought they should.
One thing that was often written in this book was about the 99% and how protestors assumed that they represented the 99%, the other 1% being the rich. If they actually represented the thoughts and ideals of the 99% then why was there such a small percentage of the American population who attended OWS? There were 6,000 people who were part of the OWS Movement in one of the first occupied locations, so even if this grew to tens of thousands of people, it would be nowhere near 99% of the population. This movement reminded me of the Homosexuals who account for about 3% of the population, but like to say they are a large part of the population.
The OWS worked “horizontally” where there was no hierarchy and everyone was equal.
However, no successful organization has ever lasted without a leader. Since no one led their
groups, anyone at anytime could be a leader or shout out their ideas to the rest of the group. Instead of having a microphone, they used what they called the “People’s Mic”, where someone would say their opinion on a topic and then someone relay what was said to those
behind him, then someone in that group would relay what was said to those behind him, etc. If someone had an idea to tell the group, they would yell “mic check” to get everyone’s attention and then voice their idea. It was said that this was a good way to spread ideas because if you had to repeat what someone else said, you thought about whether or not you agreed with what this person said as you were repeating those words.
Positives: In some ways this book made sense because it does seem like the rich get richer and avoid certain taxes placed on the poorer. Also the government is not what it began as back when the country first had its start. However, this book seemed to think that the middle class deserved some of the riches that the rich may have worked hard to obtain.
Negatives: A negative about this book and the OWS Movement is that they could likely stir up racial issues among the people. This book referred to OWS as the Underground Railroad. It also referred to the killing of “a black man”. It was often said that these protestors were trying to unite the Asians, Africans, Greeks, Americans, Mexicans, etc. But if that were the case, then why did they do and say things that brought up bad times of racism in American History.
Other Books by this Author: She never authored any other books. She is the executive editor of YES! Magazine, and she edited this book. She didn’t actually author this book because over two-thirds of this book was written by other people who had firsthand accounts of OWS and Gelder edited their writings.
Final Words: To be honest, I didn’t know a whole lot about the OWS Movement before reading this book, and I only know some more about it now than I did before. OWS was a very confusing topic for me because it was so far removed from anything that I know
Although I agree that changes need to be made in many areas and in some ways OWS may have tried to make these changes, I don’t agree with their attempts to change things. I believe the number one way to make changes is getting close to God. As a country, we need to turn back to God and try to lead others to Him when we want change, not protest about it and make people change because we have become a nuisance to them.