Why We Support the #OccupyWallStreet Movement

By Melissa Bradley

The Zinn Education Project has been promoting the role of working people, women, people of color, and organized social movements in actively shaping history for years. I can only imagine how the 99 percent movement will be taught in years to come.

#OccupyWallStreet is clearly a people’s movement. There is a minimal presence of organized labor and it has purposely forgone the sometimes distracting charismatic personalities of many other movements in the making. Understated, organized, and committed are adjectives that best describe #OccupyWallStreet. Others are scalable, patient, and strategic. All of these qualities seem to elude the press.

As expected, conservative media are characterizing #OccupyWallStreet as an anomaly comprised of crazy anarchists. Other relatively progressive but mainstream media organizations are also undermining the power of these massive pods of patient protestors popping up all over the country. Dismissing the wisdom, history, and innovation of the group, these media outlets have framed #OccupyWallStreet as a group of misinformed individuals without an agenda or clear plan.

Nonsense!

From the bus boycotts to the Black Panthers, #OccupyWallStreet represents the results of historical marginalization and lack of true representation in the US Congress, on Wall Street, and in local elected offices. #OccupyWallStreet represents the best of American ideals and ingenuity. They are inclusive, intergenerational, focused, and democratic.