As I walked passed the San Francisco Federal Reserve this morning, I was greeted by this image. What you see in the photo extended the entire block. Since I have seen many areas in San Francisco and other California cities where the homeless congregate and “live,” it took me a moment to realize that this was, at least in part, an Occupy protest. I spied a few “We are the 99%” so it appears to be a protest, but I wonder if the message is diluted just a little.
In the beginning, opponents tried to say that the Occupy Movement had no central message, said no one understood what they wanted, but anyone who really listened to the average people protesting, not the extremists, it was clear that economic justice and removing the corrupting influence of money on our government was the goal. Determined to not let their message be ignored, the Occupiers would not be moved. Sometimes they went too far, shutting down traffic, making messes that caused more work for hard working Americans, but for the most part, they simply kept putting their message in the face, not only of the rich and powerful, but also of the rest of us.
In South Carolina, there was the face off with the Governor over “camping” out on the State House grounds. I said at the time that I felt that one did not need to sleep on the grass in front of the State House in order to make certain that we all know your message. I wondered if the public would see committed protestors standing up for all of us, or would they see people sleeping and messing up the State House grounds. Today, my question was answered. My heart went out to homeless folks. I wanted to find ways to help folks have a better life. I didn’t think about Occupy and if I hadn’t caught a glimpse of those few signs, this post would have been completely different.
Occupy Wall Street has a vital role to play with in keeping our eye on corporate America and our elected leaders, so it is important that the message does not get diluted.
I will say that I did see a symbolic message, Americans “living” on the street in front of the financial symbol of the US. We need to do more, one way or another.