I admire the Occupy Dame Street protesters. On a night like this, as the wind pounds on my window panes and the rain pours down, I imagine them huddled together discussing the agenda for the day ahead. They are a peaceful bunch, who have spent their days postering trees with quotes from Fight Club rather than hurling abuse at the workers whose premises they occupy.
In spite of my self-confessed lack of understanding of the economy, I don’t share their belief that bankers represent the evil 1% of the population and that 99% (the “rest of us”) are their unequivocal victims. It can’t be as simple as that. I’m also not sure whether the protest has any concrete aim but it is certainly drawing attention to the displeasure of many as a result of the actions of few.
What really interests me about this protest is how it exposes the Good in our society.
Here are a group of people occupying a central location and plastering around it slogans determined to undermine the country’s main financial institution.
And yet, it’s peaceful. No aggressive guard has entered the scene, and yelled “Hey, you angry hippy, move it or I’ll shoot”. No protester has screamed abuse at the passing bankers to which they attribute a decline in society’s moral code.
Instead, the public casts a glance, takes a look around, enjoys a talk with a protester about the meaning of life and ambles on, equipped to make its own mind up.
The Occupydamestreet movement tells me a lot about what’s right with this country; the assurances that we take for granted are those for which so many of the Arab Spring protesters have died for.
So inspired have I been by #occupydamestreet that I’m off to #occupywallstreet in the morning. I’m visiting my sister in Philadelphia. She emigrated there two years ago, but not before hosting an “emigrate-like-its-a-recession-party”. When I ask her about her job she tells me that she analyses butt samples but I have a funny feeling there might be a little more to the job of geneticist than that. I’m gutted to be missing the election. If there’s anybody apathetic enough to vote for my first choice I’d be most obliged. Mail me privately for my politics.
I intend to update you on my travels in the Free World but should that not be possible, I will record my thoughts in my little blue copy book and transcribe them at a later date. See you on the other side of the Atlantic!
Have a good trip! Looking forward to more insights about the economic crisis from the other side!
Thanks Clariice! Will keep you posted 🙂
It may sadden you a little, but one of the principal reasons that the police haven’t moved in on the protestors is that the site that they are protesting on is actually private property. The gards can’t remove them unless the property owners want them gone (and they haven’t chucked them out, partially jut for PR reasons, but hopefully for more legitimate moral reasons). Compare this for example to the student protests, and the gardaí attacking protestors there who refused to move.
And I don’t believe it’s intended to be a straightforward “1% bad 99% victims” (though I admit, it’s not far from it). It’s more about power, and the structure of society. The current strucutre of society is mostly influenced by the wealthy and the powerful (and the wealthy ARE powerful, and the powerful ARE wealthy). The system is also designed in a way that most benefits those same people. One could go on but you know….