There are two kinds of protests – those that are meant to accomplish a specific goal, that is to end something or get something implemented or otherwise change something existing. The civil rights movement would be an example of this type of protest.
The other type of protest would be those that are undertaken to draw attention to an issue or a bunch of issues without any clear cut policy demands. It seems like the Occupy Wall Street protests that are as of this writing spreading to other US cities would fall under this category.
And therein lies the problem. A general protest like this which is being covered as a reaction to the ongoing recession/depression encompassing the elements -the rich getting richer, the middle class dying out, unfair tax structure and job, jobs, jobs, etc. is perhaps too big and complex a subject to be addressed in street demonstrations.
I do partially agree with those who say that protests would be better aimed at Washington not at Wall Street since Wall Street would never change any of their practices without being forced to by government (in the form of legislation).
I also agree with Ron Paul when he says the Federal Reserve should be part of any targeting by protestors. The artificial boom and bust economic cycle it creates through control of the flow of currency is definitely a scandal. End the Fed!
So I’m sympathetic to the Occupy movement but would like to see them focus on something concrete. In fact, I have an idea for something they could push for immediately.
A continued high unemployment rate is one of the scariest and damaging parts of this recession/depression. There is now a class of people who have been out of work for a long, long time. However, many employers will not consider those who are unemployed and will only hire those moving from existing job. This effectively freezes a group of unemployed folk as permanently jobless.
President Obama has proposed a bill preventing employers from discriminating against the jobless under threat of legal penalty. I strongly support this bill and it is something that the Occupy groups could get behind and use to build support.