By Logan Hall ’14
Protestors marched around Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District on Sept. 17 with signs that read “We Are the 99%” and “OWS.”
The Occupy Wall Street protests have been a point of interest since they began and have spread as far as Phoenix. However many students do not know who these people are and what they are trying to accomplish.
“I don’t really know what it is,” said Alex Tetmyer ’15. “I assume it’s just poor people trying to get money from the rich.”
According to the Occupy Wall Street official website, it describes itself as a people-powered movement fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations.
After hearing the definition of OWS, Tetmyer’s response was, “That is a pretty powerful statement from people without jobs.”
“I know that they have a lot to accomplish and have a lot of complaints about the government and distributing taxes amongst levels of income,” said Mark Schillinger ’12. “They have good intentions, but I don’t know if they are going about it the right way. Right now there are a mass of people wanting many different things. They need a more clear understanding of what they want.”
The group also cites an growing gap between the upper class and the rest of society. According to CNN, the “one percent” is made up of those who make more than $347,927 per year.
“I agree that the rich should be taxed more because they have more money,” Bijan Afkhami ’12 said.
According to the Pew Research Center 22.4 percent of men with high school diplomas ages 20-24 are unemployed; 14.4 percent between ages 25 and 34.
“I think that that’s fine because if you just stop with a high school diploma, it’s a more competitive world now a days and you can’t just think you will get a job because you have a high school diploma,” said J.D Mcelenney ’15.
Another finding from the Pew Research Center is that people 65 years and older are 47 times wealthier than those 35 and younger.
“Well obviously people 65 and older know that working hard actually gets you somewhere in life, and its hard work that brings success. Obviously those who are occupying Wall Street are doing nothing with their lives and not working hard at all,” said Dylan Dinan ’14.
According to the Pew Research Center 18.65 percent of men ages 25-34 are living with their parents.
“That must be hard, I couldn’t imagine myself living with my parents at that age, but if that’s what they have to do to survive, then okay,” said Navin Prasad ’12.
Chandler Hall ’14 had a standpoint different than many on the OWS protests.
“I love it. I think it is a step in the right direction because I think there is something very screwed up with the government that should be solved,” Hall said. “Even though they are not protesting in the right direction, the idea of protesting itself is a good start.”
Hall said he thinks that the protests started as a group of people expressing their ideas about what was wrong with the government, but now it has turned into something much larger.
“It has almost turned into an in-city burning man festival in which people can do whatever they want,” he said. “No one is protesting for a unified reason.”
Jack Herstam ’14 said that this type of protesting is the future of our culture.
“OWS is supporting where the country is going in the future because it goes beyond the boundaries of political parties. It’s the American people protesting the corporations,” Herstam said. “It’s kind of funny that the protesting got its origin from an anti-consumerist Canadian journal.”
Herstam finds Occupy Wall Street interesting, but does not support their illicit actions.