Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Occupy Wall Street (OWS), known as the “Occupy Movement” is an international protest movement which is primarily directed against economic and social inequality which began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, New York. Their main gripe was with the response to the late-2000s financial crisis, subprime mortgage crisis and impact of the Arab Spring. To quote from their website:

“OWS is part of a growing international movement fighting against neoliberal economic practices, the crimes of Wall Street, government controlled by monied interests, and the resulting income inequality, unemployment, environmental destruction, and oppression of people at the front lines of the economic crisis”.

In my book that is a cry for socialism to replace the capitalistic system.

(In an article in November 2011, I condemned the open Anti-Semitism on display from the Occupy Wall Street Movement)

We have also seen last night that the ‘Occupy St Paul's’ group were evicted from St. Paul's Cathedral after a 137-day protest. The eviction came after the movement lost a Court of Appeal challenge to orders to leave the area following a lengthy legal dispute.

Essentially, you have to ask....what next for the Occupy Movement? With an obscure agenda, and lac of direction, you really have to ask what the purpose of this movement is. Every protest by definition has a 'bone of contention', but the most effective ones are the movements that offer clear cut solutions to those gripes.

Take the Tea Party in America for example.

This is a populist political movement that is generally recognized as conservative and libertarian, and has sponsored protests and supported political candidates since 2009. It endorses reduced government spending, opposition to taxation in varying degrees, reduction of the national debt and federal budget deficit and adherence to an originalist interpretation of the United States Constitution. It is a leaderless movement that is focused on every American, not 99% or 1%.

After their original rallies throughout America, it got to work finding like minded politicians and regular everyday folk to take on their cause. If they felt that a candidate or elected official wasn’t acting for their best interests, they would challenge them at every turn. With their help the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives picking up a net total of 63 seats from the Democrats, which resulted in the highest loss of a party in a House midterm election since 1938. From that point on, the Tea Party had a seat at the table and were able to effect the change and reforms that they so desired.

Bringing this back to the Occupy Movement, they have to decide what they want to do here. Do they believe that they have a message that can attract the necessary support, simultaneously, offer real and common sense solutions that the everyday person can relate and wish to champion? If they are, then they should get out of their tents and start making a difference.

Until that time, the everyday person will characterize these people as ‘thugs’ who deface public property and who are wasting taxpayers’ money to the tune of £1 million. (the estimated cost for these protests)

The best advice that I can give to the Occupy Movement is:

Whilst they have every right to complain about the events in 2008 and the subsequent bailouts of major banks, the fact is, Capitalism has raised more people out of poverty, than any other system or idea in history.
They should be attempting to embolden the model, not destroy it. Controlled spending levels, lower taxation and less burdensome regulations across the board; an end to cradle to grave entitlements and less governmental interference with our lives; a free market that is allowed to take its course rather be propped up by the taxpayer.

All of the above and more will give 100% of the people the chance to prosper, not 1% or 99%. Essentially, Britain and the rest of the world needs pure capitalism not crony capitalism.

This is best summed up by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who said:
“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery”.

Essentially, adopt the Tea Party philosophy!

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