As the Occupy Movement has made its appearance in campuses and cities across the country, some are wondering - “what are these people protesting about”? It’s simple really, protestors are fighting for social and economic equality. The political slogan, “we are the 99%” refers to the concentration of wealth among the top 1% of income earners compared to the other 99%. Does it make sense now? I hope so.
The beginning of the Occupy movement, taken at the Lot 30 bridge.
Social and economic inequality is dominant in today’s world, not just in Riverside, but across the globe. Occupy protestors are using international methods by replicating that of the Arab Spring.
The Arab Spring refers to the modern day revolutions occurring in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Syria (just to name a few). Mainly inspired by the efforts in Tahrir Square in Cairo, the Occupy movement is both leaderless and peaceful. The movement has sparked mass collaboration of students, professors, business people, and others to form a unique and multi-faceted group of people uniting together for the same cause.
Protestors and facilitators in front of the UCR Bell Tower
Source: Occupy UCR Facebook
After attending a few of the protests at the Bell Tower, I realized that the protestors have a unique way of communicating. Every time someone speaks, the crowd repeats their comment in unison. There are also certain hand gestures to show agreement and disagreement. Such techniques reveal a sophisticated maturity from the protestors and demonstrate how truly organized and respectful the protestors are.
I cannot not stress enough how dedicated everyone is to the cause. The facilitators and protestors have shown immense dedication and persistence to the Occupy movement because they truly believe that change is necessary and that change can actually happen. With support of so many people, anything is possible.
The infamous 99% slogan displayed in Downtown Riverside
At UCR, we are blessed to have peaceful protests that have not put us in any physical harm. As we look back at the incidents that have happened to the students and protestors at UC Davis and UC Berkeley, we appreciate and respect our campuses efforts to keep the protestors safe.
Change is on the horizon, if the Occupy movements haven’t made that clear to you, just take a look at international news. People are finally coming together peacefully to make a statement and end inequality and injustice. Take action people, and educate yourselves.
Find out more about Occupy UCR here.