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Topics Homepage> The Occupy Movement does more good than harm.

The Occupy Movement does more good than harm.

PRO (3 assertions)


1st--"A vocal minority called Occupy Wall Street believes that the problem we face is capitalism or free markets. It's not. The problem is government doing what both the constitution and decent morality prohibit, that is cronyism capitalism, or forcefully taking your money for the purpose of paying off a politician's political friends. For your sake and your future, America, and Occupy Wall Street in particular, needs to wake up and stop blaming job creators for the failures created by selfish politicians who wink at their political donors," stated Michele Bachmann.

2nd--Did you know that the United States has spent over $20 million so far on the Occupy Movement protests, according to USA Today?

1. Assertion: Their protest for financial fairness and against the excessive power of banks and corporations has spread nationwide and has influenced citizens all over the country to engage in unconventional political action and debate.

Reasoning/Evidence: The economic inequality problem in America is no longer a secret. The fact is that the wealthiest of Americans are thriving while many of the rest struggle to find jobs with adequate pay. People all over the world, especially in the United States, are banding together, in order to fight for equal opportunity and fair taxation. They feel the financial titans on Wall Street are destroying the American dream. Some are protesting the fact that banks and financial institutions that were involved in fraudulent lending practices were bailed out by politicians at the expense of taxpayers, hence, their slogan: Banks got bailed out; we got sold out.

This protesting appears to be having an effect, making non-believing skeptics believers in their cause. So many people all over America are protesting against the 1%. With so many people protesting, they must be on to something. Corporatism, without a doubt, has had a negative effect on the American and global economics. Between 1979 and 2007, the income for the richest 1% of the United States has increased 275%. There are now 50 million Americans living in poverty, the highest level since the Great Depression.

2. Assertion: The protesters are working towards clear and common message.

Reasoning/EvidenceThe protests are forcing recognition of income inequality because income inequality has grown immensely since the 1970s. They are also aligning their objectives with organized labor. The occupiers may have started off with only vague objectives, but some tangible, progressive goals are starting to emerge -- and they don't in any way require the bankers to care. The Wall Street protests are growing -- and some of the people getting involved have a very clear agenda. The most dramatic evidence is the growing role of organized labor in the actions. The Occupy Movement aims to give a voice back to the people. It aims to legitimize the public's feeling that the current system is unjust, to put citizens' rights before corporations' profits, and to ensure that the political system truly represents its citizens instead of pandering to the wealthy. Many politicians such as Eric Cantor, who hasn't focused much on the issue in the past, felt compelled to recognize the problem in a statement in October. This just emphasizes the point that the protesters are driving messaging and considerations within Congress, which is ultimately what will set the agenda and possible induce action.

The October 2011 Movement demands that the government represent the people, not just the top 1 percent. stands with super majorities of Americans on seven key issues: Tax the rich and corporations. End the wars, bring the troops home, cut military spending. Protect the social safety net, strengthen Social Security, improve Medicare for all. End corporate welfare for oil companies and other big business interests. Transition to a clean energy economy, reverse environmental degradation. Protect worker rights including collective bargaining, create jobs, raise wages. Get money out of politics.â

3. Assertion: The Occupy Movement is accomplishing its goals.

Reasoning/EvidenceThe Occupy Movement has effectively convinced the government that there is an urgent need to stop the corporations from interfering with the government. The corporations were allowed to contribute to political campaigns freely, thereby influencing the elections. The candidates with more corporations on their side will have more money and be at an advantage. The corporations can advertise positively for the candidates they are in favor of and advertise negatively against the candidates they do not like. This undermines democracy and makes it unfair. This wasn't realized until the protests started.

In November 2011, U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch, member of the House of the Judiciary Committee, introduced the "Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED) Constitutional Amendment," which would overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision recognizing corporate constitutionally-protected free speech rights and would ban corporate money from the electoral process.

CON (3 assertions)

1st--Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, stated, "The system is corrupt. There is no other way to describe it, and it's time we faced that simple truth. And maybe instead of dismissing or trying to manipulate the Occupiers to partisan advantage, we should all just go join them. All we need to agree about is that the status quo sucks."

2nd--"These young people of Occupy Wall Street have my total support. I have walked among them and listened. I support, with my actions, their contention that something smells of corruption in America when the few who give large sums of money to politicians receive special favors in return, while the average citizen is foreclosed-on and forgotten. They are asking questions about injustice, and special-interest control, and institutional corruption that need to be asked, that must be asked in a nation headed in the wrong direction," stated Buddy Roemer, the former governor of Louisiana.

Occupy Movement -- the protests occurring only in the United States in which protesters are "occupying" the streets of some of the most busy places
More good than harm - we are not trying to say that the occupy movement does no harm at all, but rather that the good done by the occupy movement outweighs the harm

1. Assertion: The Occupy Movement is disruptive.

Evidence: On September 17, 1,000 protesters marched through the streets. By September 19, 7 people were already arrested. On September 24, at least 80 arrests were made for blocking the traffic or more disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. On October 1, 700 arrests were made because they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, causing the traffic to be blocked. Also, one night, 200 protesters tried to storm barricades blocking them from Wall Street and the Stock Exchange. Several hundreds protesters were arrested across the U.S., mostly for refusing to obey police orders to leave public areas. In Chicago, there were 175 arrests; in Arizona, almost 100; and in New York City, more than 70, including at least 40 in Times Square. On November 2, protesters in Oakland shut down the Port of Oakland, which is the fifth busiest port in the nation. Around 30 people were arrested.

2. Assertion: The Occupy Movement is violent, which causes loss of revenue.

Reasoning/Evidence: Many of the protesters fight with the police, trash stores, build barricades, and start fires. These protesters are violent, and people are injured because of their attacks. The Occupy Movement has caused cities to spend thousands of dollars. While they simply continue to occupy locations, they are costing us millions of dollars. The protests are out of control and are causing countries all over the world to waste millions of dollars because of the damage made by these protesters. The money could have gone towards creating more jobs, or preventing many more foreclosures. The Occupy Movement needs to stop.

On November 2, a masked protester smashed a window at a Wells Fargo Bank branch. In Rome, masked and hooded militants wearing makeshift body armor, in black bloc fashion, participated in the protests centered in St. John Lateran Square and committed numerous violent acts. They threw Molotov cocktails and other homemade explosives, burnt and blew up cars, burnt buildings, and smashed property such as ATMs and shop windows. The Roman Catholic church Santi Marcellino e Pietro al Laterano received extensive damage, including a statue of the Virgin Mary being thrown into the street and destroyed. Several unexploded petrol bombs were found on streets by Italian police. At least 135 people were injured, included 105 police officers, several of whom were left in critical condition. Almost 20 people had to be arrested because of the violence. The Rome example from the previous point caused over 1,000,000 euros of damage, which is equivalent to 1.3 million dollars.] Much worse, cities across the United States have spent at least 13 million dollars because of the Occupy Movement. In Los Angeles, the property damage to a park, including destroyed sprinklers, has been $200,000. In Oakland, the city had to spend more than $2.4 million because of the protests. In New York City, the police department has spent $7 million in overtime on the protests. In Atlanta, the city spent nearly $652,000 on protests. Also, the example of the Oakland port being shut down caused a loss of revenue. It is the fifth busiest port in the nation.

3. Assertion: There is no clear goal or future to the movement, an important aspect of any protest.

Reasoning/Evidence: All protests need a goal. If there is no clear goal, why do we need the extra disruption and violence? They are causing more troubles than they are trying to fix! Are they protesting the 99%, corrupt America, or for more jobs? There have been many other effective protests in the past but they all had a clear motive. For example, during the Vietnam War, the students were protesting to get the soldiers home. It worked well because it had a clear goal. Another example is the American Revolution. The colonists in North America were frustrated with the unfair rulings of the British government and protested using both words an actions. Their goal was to get out of the grasp of the British government. More examples include the American Labor Movement, the Women's Rights Movement, and the Civil Rights Movement. They have talked about adding new amendments, changing laws and altering political procedures. These actions all involve changes that are not well thought out and are not a long-term solution. The Occupy Protests lack a future direction and legitimate proposed solutions.