Gen Y Leads Occupy Wall Street, Occupy OKC, Tulsa

You can hide ‘neath your covers
And study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers
Throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain
For a savior to rise from these streets…
Sit tight, take hold, Thunder Road…

–From Springsteen and Thunder Road

Click here to see more than 100 logos from Occupy Wall Street protests from around the globe including Occupy OKC and Occupy Tulsa. Click here to see more than 60 examples of digital poster art from Occupy Wall Street. 

There is an interesting protest movement underway across the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan and Europe that has for the most escaped national media coverage. It’s called Occupy Wall Street and it was inspired by the Arab Spring. Populated primarily by jobless or underemployed members of Generation Y (1983-2000), it has spread to cities across the globe.

Occupy Oklahoma City, Occupy Tulsa

Initiated by the Canadian anti-consumerist magazine, Adbusters, it began September 17, with an occupation of Wall Street by about 1,000 people. There are now mirror movements in virtually every major city in the aforementioned nations. Occupy Oklahoma City and Occupy Tulsa movements have Facebook pages with more than 1,000 fans collectively. Their purpose is to “stand in solidarity with those occupying Wall Street.”

There are no disclosures on either page (that I could find) revealing Oklahoma’s de facto leaders or at a minimum the page administrators. The federal government requires full disclosure of page administrators for government organizations.

Freak Factors and Greed 

It’s easy to sympathize with Generation Y’s disillusionment. It’s been hardest hit by the Great Recession. Nearly 50 percent of Americans between 16 and 29 are unemployed. Still, some of the groups associated with the New York protests are anti-capitalist and leftist in nature, which contributes to the movement’s freak factor. This reality does not help legitimize a protest ignited by the very real Wall Street corruption and greed that helped devastate our economy.

Occupy OKC
Photo is ALL RIGHTS RESERVED | jenx67

Generational Inventory
Let’s take a quick generational inventory. Four generations are still reeling in the wake of the financial instability and global economic meltdown that began in September 2008. Generation Y (1983-1996/2000) simply can’t find jobs. They’re graduating from college with massive student loan debt and a scant spattering of decent career opportunities. 

Wages for Generation X (1961-1981) have stagnated. Calculating for recession, we are the first generation to make less than our fathers made. Promotions are unheard of and everything costs twice as much as it used to cost.

Baby Boomers (1943-1960) have had their 401Ks gutted on the eve of their planned retirements. Those members of the Silent Generation (1925-1942), dependent entirely on Social Security, worry from one month to the next if their checks are going to hit on the third of every month.

And who can say what the future holds for Generation Z (1997-present), my children’s generation? 

But, I digress…

Occupy Wall Street conducts regular general assemblies and Occupy Tulsa has one planned for October 1, Newblock Park, Tulsa. It looks like Occupy Oklahoma City will host one the following week.

There is an Occupy Wall Street listing on Wikipedia that provides key information about the movement. The New York Times has covered the protest calling its aim “faulty,” however, Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore have discussed its validity.

It’s going to be interesting to see how all this evolves over time. Will it become a flash-in-the-pan protest or a consuming fire on par with the Arab Spring? So far, no Oklahoma media outlets have reported on the movement.

Disclosure: I am not involved in organizing Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Oklahoma City or Occupy Tulsa. The United States Constitution states the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

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