In the last few years there have been several monumental efforts to change society in many places across the globe, including the United States, China, Kiev and Cairo. All of the protests have energized the “people” to improve their status in their country. An article in USA Today reminded us that over two years ago the “Occupy Wall Street” movement in the United States emerged to empower “The 99%”. One of the participants in the anniversary march is quoted – “The CEOs are still making outrageous sums of money. And now it’s time that they have to pay,” she said. “We can’t sacrifice anything more.”
Occupy Wall Street participants take part in a protest to mark the movement’s second anniversary in New York, Sept. 17, 2013. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand, AFP/Getty Images)
25 years after the protests in Tiananmen Square that were brutally ended by soldiers, the New York Times reports that many activist have been placed under house arrest and monitored for months in preparation for the anniversary. Although the history texts and other “official” documents have purged the history of the events an activist states, “No matter how hard they try,” he said, “they cannot erase this experience from everyone’s memories.”
Photo Credit – Charlie Cole, Newsweek
So what’s next? Thomas Friedman writes in a recent New York Times article about “The Square People” who have gathered to demand a greater voice in their future and a spontaneous third party has emerged against traditional political parties. He quotes Zeynep Tufekci, a fellow at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University, who writes that ‘Before the Internet, the tedious work of organizing that was required to circumvent censorship or to organize a protest also helped build infrastructure for decision making and strategies for sustaining momentum. Now movements can rush past that step, often to their own detriment.”
As the struggle for the oppressed continues as it has in much of history, how will we all work to improve the status of “the 99%” in our world?