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Occupy Wall Street, Philly and Other 'Occupy' Movements Lack Focus - Unlike the Tea Party


After nearly two months of occupation, Occupy Philly ignored Mayor Nutter’s Monday deadline to vacate their current camp at Dilworth Plaza.  The origin of this request being a previously planned, union-organized, $50 million construction project that would create 1,000 jobs for the city of Philadelphia over the course of 27 months.

According to Center City’s website, "Dilworth Plaza will be transformed from an inaccessible, multi-level, unattractive, hard-surface plaza into aOccupy Philly sustainable, well-maintained, green public space with no stairs or barriers from the street. By covering existing openings and removing walls, steps and barriers that make the plaza inaccessible today, the renovated Dilworth Plaza will add 20,571 square feet of new useable area (an increase of 21%) and will result in an expanded 120,557-square-foot public space."

Herein lies the point of contention between Occupy Philly, Occupy Wall Street, and other Occupy movements as a whole, and non-participants of the movement.  

Occupy Philly, along with the rest of the Occupy movements claims to stand most recognizably  for perceived income inequality between the richest 1% of the country, and the rest of the 99% as it so claims to be a part.  

But a very important question stemming from this specific example remains: How does the Occupy Movement claim to remedy this problem when they themselves are standing in the way of those working to make up the difference between the 99% and the 1%?  Their message is lost without a clear, effective and productive means to attain their said goal.

Should workers forego showing up for paid jobs that the city government helped create for them-no doubt paid for by every taxpayer, 1% and/or 99%, to join the protestors?  You don’t get paid for protesting.  On top of that, protesting doesn’t create sustainable jobs, put food on the table, or send children to college.

At a time when unemployment is stuck at 9%, and many of those without jobs who qualify within that category have been looking for jobs have been without work for over 12 months, how does the Occupy Philly movement, Occupy Wall Street movement, or any Occupy movement for that matter expect to be taken seriously?

Especially in Philadelphia where the unemployment is the highest in the area at 10.9%, that is higher than the national unemployment rate?

At this point, many may be frustrated about income inequality, but more than that they want jobs.  Furthermore, there’s already a movement that calls for limited government, and it’s the Tea Party movement.  Add to that that the Tea Party movement was organized, focused and has a clear, applicable goal, how can the Occupy movement even claim relevancy? The whole reason the government is in “cahoots” with corporations and money is because of its out of control spending problem which the Tea Party movement has already identified and is working through Congress to create change.

Even as the Occupy movement as a whole comes to about a two month mark, no single politician has stood up to affiliate themselves with the protestors, although they may have sympathized with their cause.  If Occupy Wall Street dislikes government, and they dislike business, then who are they for?

Until they figure that out, they shouldn’t stand in the way of projects that would only provide at least temporary relief in a weak economy, stuck at high unemployment leaving many families worried about how they’re going to make ends meet when the bills come every month.

For more of Alyssa's work on Philly2Philly - check out her article on the Jerry Sandusky Penn State scandal

Photo from usatoday.com

Contact Alyssa Bonk at abonk08@gmail.com

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Check out more of Alyssa's work at Luckandhustle.blogspot.com and Smart Girl Politics

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