People are pretty quick to deride the protestors of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement that is moving to cities and towns across the country. Protestors, who stand in one place and hold signs, do not appear to be doing much of anything. They even look a lazy, standing there in the shade, wearing sunglasses and leaning on a sign. Americans do not like people asking for handouts and not working to earn their keep. And many people believe that is what the protestors are doing. But they aren’t. The point of the protest is to voice dismay over the abuses by those who control most of the money in this country.
The protestors are not asking for jobs, many of them probably have jobs. Basically, they just want to get together to be able to express their disgust with corporate America. And why shouldn’t they be mad about the economic situation in this country?
Among adult Americans, there probably is not a single one who isn’t frustrated over the economy and what the Wall Street bankers have done. Of those Americans, there are a few who feel the need to take to the streets and state that they feel the same as everybody else. It’s not a particularly bold stance, but there’s no reason to get bent out of shape over the Occupy Wall Street protestors. But they are Americans. As such, they have the right of free speech and the right to stand on any street corner, be it Bay or Main, they want and peaceably hold up signs that criticize Wall Street.
So what is the point of the protestors on Bay Street in Savannah? Are the bankers on Wall Street hearing their accusations of corruption and foul play? Well, no, to be honest. But they are a symbol of solidarity regarding the national anger over the economy. When someone watches the national evening news and sees the giant mob of protestors in New York City, they may recall their drive through downtown Savannah and think to themselves, “Hey, I saw some people like that down on Bay Street.” Outrage is not the sole property of residents of the biggest cities in America. As protestor Vickie O’Donnell told the Savannah Morning News, “It’s worldwide, so this is our little piece.”
Savannah hasn’t seen any rough response from authorities, but local lawyers may be watching closely to make sure that people’s rights to protest are being protected. It is, after all, our duty as Americans to stand up against injustice.