Occupy Wall Street may seem an odd name for a protest movement, yet the mass assembly of angry and frustrated people in downtown Manhattan — and increasingly in other cites around the country — appears to be this month’s big story and is drawing more support with every passing day. As the protest neared the conclusion of its third week, large labor unions were stepping up and offering support. Today, thousands of activists are expected in Washington’s Freedom Square. Where this all will lead is unknown, but it surely is significant.
The concerns that motivate many of the protesters have been mischaracterized in some of the media as vague. This is as much an indictment of the corporate news outlets as it is of those in the streets. Yes, the goals of the Occupy Wall Street encampments are many, but their complexity should not be dismissed as evidence that the people who are expressing these ideas are naive.
A common theme is evident enough: The protesters are saying that the power structure of the United States has shifted too far toward corporate interests and the wealthiest among us and that the individuals and forces that wrecked the economy have not been held accountable. It is a clear and accurate message — if you take the time to hear it.