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Does the "occupy Wall Street" "movement" really make a difference? What purpose does the "movement" serve?

There are many different ways that ideas can spark a movement towards action and change. It is unclear what the "occupy" movement expects to accomplish. What are the ideas that the occupy Wall Street movement share? The people participating in the "occupy Wall Street" protests, stagings, and sit-ins commonly compare their movement to the "Tea Party"... Is this a fair comparison? Are the "occupiers" making any progress whatsoever?

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    Sep 30 2012: John Smith said There is no single OWS, it's just a buch of people who spontaneuosly got together,

    Xavier Belvemont said: The problem with OWS is that, unlike their degenerate counterparts on the other side of the spectrum --The Tea Party, OWS was never organized and didn't attempt to change anything beyond a sit-in in a location where it really didn't matter

    Sorry but it was well organized.

    OWS was initiated by Kalle Lasn and Micah White of Adbusters, a Canadian anti-consumerist publication, who conceived of a September 17 occupation in lower Manhattan. Lasn registered the web address on June 9. That same month, Adbusters emailed its subscribers saying “America needs its own Tahrir”. In a blog post on July 13 of 2011, Adbusters proposed a peaceful occupation of Wall Street to protest corporate influence on democracy, the lack of legal consequences for those who brought about the global crisis of monetary insolvency, and an increasing disparity in wealth. The protest was promoted with an image featuring a dancer atop Wall Street's iconic Charging Bull statue.

    This was a spin doctors dream for the Democrats who were facing real questions that needed real answers. So the administration approved the 1% movement and the focus become that the wealthy were the cause of all problems large and small. Much like a magician draws attention away.

    Even though it was well organized and got a lot of attention it became a media circus.

    All the best. Bob.
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    Sep 19 2012: Where has "Occupy Wall St" become a movement?
    The basic problem with Occupy was that never actually became representative of the 99% it reached out to. It never represented even 51% of the 99%. Occupy became increasingly progressive in its focus, and this alienated many of the people that were initially attracted to the protest. But this block of middle aged, middle class voters, who were angry about the erosion of their lifestyle, merely wanted the Democratic Party and the president to demonstrate more concern about their plight in the recession. They wanted their job security, lower interest rates on student loans for their children, and to feel secure that they would not lose their homes.
    On the other help, Occupy Wall St. wanted a revolution, and had a laundry list of complains that even they could not agree on. This was there downfall.

    OWS, R.I P.
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    Sep 29 2012: The problem with OWS is that, unlike their degenerate counterparts on the other side of the spectrum --The Tea Party, OWS was never organized and didn't attempt to change anything beyond a sit-in in a location where it really didn't matter.
    There was...
    1. No attempt to get celebrity Recognition
    2. No attempt to attract the liberal spokespeople to their cause (atleast 2 potentially would)
    3. No attempt to get a congressman/senator on their side
    4. No contacting of Independent and/or libertarian political parties for added weight
    5. No attempt to have their point illustrated by a representative in Congress/Mainstream media
    6. No request for donations to fund legal representation / lawsuit
    7. No anarchy against those they had an issue with (a last resort, ofcourse)
    8. No attempt to stage a mass 'no work day' or anything of that nature
    9. No mass boycott of any relevant corporations/ financial interests
    10. No petition to have their point discussed by policy makers and legislators.
    To name a few..
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      Sep 30 2012: What they didn't have was a purpose. Unless it was to whine but if your only purpose is to whine then you have to get in line.

      The Tea Party on the other hand have PURPOSE, that is as rock solid as the Constitution.
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        Sep 30 2012: 'Rock Solid' as in a group of low-wage average Joes and unqualified politicians who think that Multi-Billionaires have their personal interests in mind when it comes to corporate lobbying.
        Luckily no one of political value sees the Teaparty as anything legitimate and note-worthy for legislation, so America is safe, atleast for another day..
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          Sep 30 2012: Ok Xavier

          Have a nice day.
        • Oct 1 2012: Great response. Ignore the Murdoch surrogate.
  • Sep 18 2012: YES! Just as the "hippies" in the 1960s freed us from the hypocrisy of the 1950s and earlier, as well as getting us out of the war in Viet Nam sooner rather than later, the OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENT, will free us from the devastating grip of the greedy, corrupt idiots who are destroying our economic, financial, social, political and other systems that were intended to better the human condition of all people and not just less than one percent of the population. The OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENT will force TRUTH to the surface causing positive outcomes in all sectors of society that will greatly enhance the well-being of all Americans and all humankind.
    • Sep 18 2012: Should we be comparing Occupiers to hippies? Objecting to war and foreign policy doesn't seem to be a part of the Occupy "movement", so I'm not sure about the comparison. I can only speak of the occupiers in lower Manhattan, but these guys (and gals) must have missed the memo on what you call "forcing truth to the surface". They are sitting on the sidewalks smoking cigarettes ($12/pack in Manhattan).
      • Sep 19 2012: Yes, Conor. They are taking action, important action on important issues. You choose to focus on what you choose to focus on. It seems odd that you selected one or more cigarette smokers to focus on and seem to have missed the essence of the OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENT. Perhaps, if you joined them for some quantity of hours or days and spoke with them LISTENING and EXPRESSING and LISTENING some more, you would understand the essence of what is going on in the OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENT. I wonder what you are actively doing to improve our society. Check this movement out in depth. I think your respect for these people will improve as you open yourself up to the positive purpose, possbilities and probabilities of this important movement. POWER TO THE POSITIVE.
        • Sep 19 2012: Isn't if ironic that I've asked a simple question about the meaning(s) of these demonstrations, and somehow you have managed to go on the offensive against me? It is incredibly telling about an argument when one states that he/she is defending positivity and then injects negativity by questioning the credibility of an observer.

          If the "movement" is truly meaningful, you'd state the clear principles of the group, and move on. All you've done is said that the group is focused on "important issues" (no "issues" listed), told me that I don't understand because I'm not listening, and questioned my own contributions to society. Not quite answering the question.

          If you can answer the original question, let's try to stick to the answers:

          1.) What are the main principles of the "movement"?
          2.) What impacts have they made?
          3.) Are the comparisons between the "occupiers" and the "tea party" justified? Why?
      • Sep 23 2012: "...sitting on the sidewalks smoking cigarettes...." led me to believe you already have a negative position on the OCCUPY WALLSTREET MOVEMENT.
        The main principles are purely positive....peace, truth, harmony, respect, equity, decency.
        They are raising the conscious of people such as you and me to the fact that things are not right and we can make them right with our words and actions. Comparisons irrelevant. Seek positive, find positive. You do not need to sit on the sidewalk and smoke cigarettes to find out what the OCCUPY WALLSTREET MOVEMENT is all about. You can go there and listen and speak and listen. That's a good way to find the answers you seek. I hope you go with an open mind. Seek positive/Find positive.
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    Sep 18 2012: I heard the impetus behind OWS was George Soros for insidious reasons, given Soros' record it is plausible.

    The Tea Party and OWS are at the opposite end of the spectrum.

    One want liberty one wants equality.

    Imo OWS will fade the Tea Party is of the same ilk as the founders which indicates staying power.
    • Sep 18 2012: Nope, OWS was spontaneous and that's why it disintegrated so quickly and had no unified voice. The Tea Party are useful "get your government hands off my medicare!" idiots and it has been proven that it's run by organiztions funded by billionaires who just want a tax cut and get rid of environmental legislation.
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        Sep 18 2012: Please give me an example that demonstrates a profound understanding of economics by OWS.

        Your conjecture that the Tea Party's only issue is entitlements is ignorant.

        In both cases funding is hard to prove. But since one is advocating non tangible goals and the other the equality meme. I would say that their motivation is clear.
        • Sep 19 2012: There is no single OWS, it's just a buch of people who spontaneuosly got together, that 's my whole point. Undoubtedly some of those people will have a better understanding of the economy than others.

          OWS had no funding, people paid for themselves, there were no podia, no facilities, no fancy websites, no conventions. The teaparty has a lot of funding and organization behind it, with entire think tanks and SUPER-PCAs working to further its goals. It has been proven that Billionaires such as David Koch funded it.
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        Sep 19 2012: Ok, not one example of an understanding of the economy, so people regurgitating mindless sound bytes about equality with flailing arms.

        Spontaneous my ass, sell it to some one who doesn't know which way is up.

        The funding is apparently coming from Soros, Acorn, Left wing nuts like Ben & Jerry, etc Point is it is instigated by someone.

        Super Pacs are irrelevant to the demonstrations as it has to do with campaign contributions to candidates and are left and right wing. The Koch brothers support the Kato institute and no doubt other organizations and are very high quality people.

        The only purpose of OWS is as a collective to get attention to further socialist purposes against the Tea Party.
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    Gail .

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    Sep 18 2012: Though the occupy movement seems absent, it isn't. It's just not openly visible. But people who are involved are trying to spark interest in the very real concerns of our world. It is too often like talking to sleeping people, but if we are to wake up and regain control of our lives, we must keep trying.

    Occupy began with introducing people the the degree of financial disparity that exists. It began trying to educate people about our unsustainable economy. It has had some effect there. It wants people to be aware of how their own political power has been sold out from under them by greedy and selfish politicians. It has had a lot of effect there.

    It has not come up with solutions, however. I can't really do that. What works for someone in New York may not work for someone in a small rural village. It is really about helping people get in touch with their own power, not about telling people what to do.
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    Sep 18 2012: I was just watching the news, and a professor from Columbia University in NY was asked theisquestion of what Occupy Wall Sreet has accomplished.

    His answer was that it introduced the phrasing 1% and 99% and that anyone who now hears that phrasing recognizes a message about income distribution.
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      Sep 18 2012: ah. so the essence of the occupy movement is pillage? i see now why they went to the wall street. i looked for deeper meaning.
    • Sep 18 2012: Fritzie, that in itself is important (1%/99%). The simplicity of the message makes it all the more powerful. It seems odd that a portion of the 99% vote against their own self-interest.
  • Sep 18 2012: I think whatever societal movement that the Occupy protests started, they have destroyed by loitering on for too long. Much like those feed hungry african commercials, at first they where effective, then people got numb/used to them. It is the same deal, not to mention if the Occupy protests have better organization among the camps and had a much clearer message it would have been more effective.
    • Sep 18 2012: I think your point is well made... The simple fact that the "demonstrations" (at least in lower Manhattan) have appeared to be little more than gatherings of young people have led to the message (if there is one) to be unclear.
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    Sep 30 2012: Hi Connor,

    OWS had a million idealistic objectives, although no strategy or organization to get them started. I think however, that a grassroots movement does not need to wait until it has a strategy or organization to begin its activities.

    As far as i could grasp the only concrete objective that OWS had was to raise awareness about how money runs the political system. And I consider that they actually did pretty good in that regard

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    Sep 20 2012: The only progress they will ever make, they already have. They got people talking about the federal reserve, corporate socialism, and the economy, for a few months... That's about all protesting does, gets people to talk about you.

    They can't make progress however... because the American people secretly love corporate socialism, the federal reserve, and passing the bill on to their children.
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    Sep 18 2012: I see two slightly different questions here. One is what message(s) Occupy means to send? Related but not the same is what message Occupy does send. The distinction is between what people beieve they are conveying through actions and explicit statements and what the onlooker is hearing.

    Separately, is part of the ambiguity related to the proliferation of different Occupies around the country that may have a character different from Occupy Wall Street? It is natural for people to form an impression that is heavily influenced by their local operation.
  • Sep 18 2012: Occupy Wall Street hasn't made any difference so far: not much has been done about income inequality and the excesses of the financial sector, this holds true around the world.
    • Sep 18 2012: Perhaps there is a bit of a lag time between what the OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENT is doing and when their important work has an impact. At least the truth is surfacing in some sectors.