Letter to the Editor
Our generation has a wide array of reasons for taking to the streets against the injustices we have witnessed over the past 20 years. For more than half of our lives, our government has been involved in armed conflict in countries across the globe in the name of liberal democracy. Our politicians regularly engage in dubious behavior as they put their financial interests before that of their constituencies. In 2008, politicians, regulators, and bankers alike were implicated for the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression yet no one has been held accountable. Meanwhile, the cost of our education and the level of student debt compiles while the value of a college degree diminishes.
These are only a few justifications that I can compile and are a product of my own interests. While I am a member of the 99%, these are hardly representative of the views of those taking part in demonstrations.
These protests draw individuals from across the political spectrum to local hubs of popular discontent. Because protesters demand everything from dismantling the Federal Reserve to student loan forgiveness, a unifying message of this movement has been impossible to determine. In New York City, protesters attack the symbols of Wall Street excesses by camping mere blocks away and coining the occupation accordingly. Meanwhile in Oakland, protestors targeted the economic decay of the city by shutting down the Port of Oakland. Locally, we have Occupy Seton Hall which has met weekly to discuss issues relevant to the movement.
Each locale has a different target for their grievances and actions but the commonalities are certain. Every discussion regarding the “occupy” movement has enjoyed general agreement that the status quo is unacceptable. This discussion is a critical element to any occupation and is abundant at any occupy event across the country. Rooted within this discussion is the perceived responsibility on the part of occupiers to take part in rectifying their circumstances.
Only by engaging in this discussion can we take a stake in rejecting the status quo and exploring possible solutions. Anyone courageous enough to take that stand should make their way to their local occupation. As students and participants in this democracy, our participation in this experiment is essential. Whether it is Occupy Seton Hall, Occupy Wall Street, or Occupy Newark, the opportunity for participating in the movement that will forge our future is here.
By: William Suggs