Friday, November 11, 2011

Occupy Providence--WE ARE THE 99

The Occupy movement is sweeping the nation. A movement that started on wall-street has now over 350 different cities throughout the country supporting their cause. In the world there is almost 100 different occupies taking place in several other countries. More people need to be informed of the good things this group can do for our country. We are the 99% is a political sloganand implicit economic claim that emerged from the Occupy Movement in 2011. It is a reference to the difference in wealth between the top 1% and all the remaining citizens of the United States.  Something needs to change, and this is where we need to start. The 99% needs to come together and be one. 

Being able to visit Occupy Providence was quite an experience. It was amazing to see the hundreds of people there, in tents willing to support this cause.  Many people have donated hours of their time, food, blankets and other materials to help this cause stay alive. The city has providence has given these people a hard time about this, but these people do not care. They want to stay there, and support there cause. I believe that these people have a lot of courage, and I respect them tremendously. Spending some time at Burnside Park I have learned that people can make a difference if they work together and put in effort to accomplish a common goal.

I found this picture online, and I believe that it can relate to many people in my age group.  It honestly terrifies me that I will not be able to find a good job when I graduate from college, and I will be so deep in student loans, that it will take me a long time to get out of debt. Although Rhode Island College is a fairly low cost school, compared to other schools, it still is a lot of money for students who work part time jobs, and is paying for college by themselves. After reading peoples stories on an tumblr i was more aware of the effect this movement has on people.  There is many things on the internet that people can read to help them gain knowledge of Occupy Providence.  The Occupy Providence Facebook Group gives daily updates of what is going on in the park, and ways the people in the state can donate to the cause. 

I can connect this movement to some of the articles we have read in class throughout the semester. I believe this movement has a direct connection to the movie we watched "People like us." The film looked at many social classes in the United States. Showed lifestyles where people did not have to worry about money, and then ranged all the way to people who are living below the poverty line. This movie sometimes could take offense to people who watch it because it classifies people into social groups, when sometimes they don't even belong to that group. This film interview a lot of people, and you got to see different prospectives of peoples lives.  In one case, they interviewed a single mom who works at burger king, and her own children were embarrassed of her. I was ashamed to watch and very touching, because you should never be ashamed of where you came from.  This film connects to the occupy movement because this is what is trying to be elimanted. If you are in the 99 it is almost impossible to leave this state and become the 1 percent.  It reenforces the hardships many americans face by being labeled to social classes. 

Another article that we read in class that i can connect to occupy providence, is the article written by Blanchard. In his article Blanchard argues that racism is not just an intentional act committed by 'mean spirited' people but also acts committed out of lack of knowledge. From what I saw at Occupy Providence, I believe that people of all racises came together and put aside their differences to achieve the one common goal. The 99 is made up of many different kinds of people, but in order to become most successful you have to put away those differences on gender,race,ect and unite as one country, or nothing will ever change. 

My last connection I can make to Occupy Providence is to an article written by Audre Lorde. In her article, Lordes point she is trying to get across is that women need to acknowledge that we are all different, and we need to acknowledge our individual strengths and weaknesses, and we need to somehow manage to make our weaknesses strengths so we can move forward in our goal for empowerment. I can connect this to Occupy, because you just have to replace "women" with "99%".  The millions of people who are considered to be in the 99 are very smart, talented,unique people, whom just seem to not be able to reach the 1% because of things that are placed by the US government. The 99 is such a larger group, that if everyone really does work together, and put all of their own skills, and talents the group can become utmost successful in this fight, that once originally started on wall-street but is now sweeping the nation. 

So how can I connect Occupy Providence to feminism?? Feminists seeks gender equality, and that people can live without having to worry what their race was, gender, and many other componests. I believe that Occupy Providence is an act of a Feminist movement. Although, it is men and women working together to achieve this one goal, and not just women, I believe it doesn't matter. Some feminists also fight for mens rights, because they are just looking at the overall goal, and that is to have complete equality.  In this case, it is people of lower social classes just trying to make it in the world. If you are part of the 99, most of us have to struggle with day to day bills, income, health care, where are the 1% it is the complete opposite. The people in the 99 are being taxed more then the people in the 1, where is should be the opposite. THe people in the 1% actually have money to spend, where as thousands of people in the 99 are living pay check to pay check.  Occupy Providence, and every other occupy movement is most defiantly considered to be a feminist movement. 

I really enjoyed spending my time at Occupy Providence. It gave me a whole new outlook on life, and it shows that if you truly believe in something, then you will do what you have to do to achieve that goal. People have been sleeping out in Burnside Park for about a month now. Through the heat, cold, rain, snow. No matter what mother nature put them through, they stayed out there because this is something they truly believe in. I have the most respect to anyone who is helping with this cause because they are really making a difference in this country.