Home > B3 and B4 > We are the 99%

We are the 99%

I decided to write my second reflection on the topic of Occupy Wall Street because in government class we discussed how powerful and corrupt the government can become, and Occupy Wall Street aims to correct this corruption.  Occupy Wall Street is a widely renowned subject, but somehow sustains its mysterious edge.  Not many people know what they are protesting and why it is such a huge deal.  The protestors call themselves “a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions” (http://occupywallst.org/).  They are using the “revolutionary Arab Spring tactic” which refers to when protestors gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.  The protestors on Wall Street are mimicking their strikes, marches, and rallies that brought tremendous awareness to their cause.

In doing so, they have received many violent responses from police attempting to keep the protestors under control.  Protestors have said things like “the police presence is nonstop” and “there have been some very scary encounters with them” (http://www.thenation.com/article/163719/occupy-wall-street-faq).  One of these incidents included “the spectacle of police beating and brutalizing unarmed civilians for the crime of sitting on the pavement and demanding a fairer world” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/15/occupy-wall-street-police-violence).

Protestors agree that the police bringing these violent attacks only make “the police or government look…weak and cowardly” because they “have tended only to increase public support for civil disobedience”.  Sheneberger says that these attacks are the point of the violent resistance because “it exposes the corruption of the power that’s resisting you”.  This is an extremely powerful quote because when reading the initial story of police brutality, I only saw how horrible it all was instead of realizing what the protestors were trying to show us which was that the police need to do this in order to gain control of the protestors.  The fact that it is such a dire need for the police to get control of civilians that are simply “sitting on the pavement” exposes their need to suppress the knowledge that the protestors are expecting the government themselves to reveal.  The protestors are making an attempt at reverse psychology by getting the police to reveal themselves as the ones that are hiding something.  The police revealed this when desperately pepper-spraying and beating civilians with batons.  Alain Sherter puts it into a sentence, “For those who work around Wall Street, mobs are no doubt an inconvenience.  But such annoyances are peanuts compared with the economic and political problems this movement has thrust into view.  And that you can’t knock out with a billy club” (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57326876/in-day-of-protests-occupy-wall-street-faces-police-violence/).

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