We promote criticism, and our take on the Occupy Youngstown movement has flooded us with reproach.
We’d like to respond to critics, clarify our stance and maybe fashion some advice.
We first wrote in mid-October that the Occupy Youngstown movement was unorganized and predicted that the protest would garner little support nationally or locally.
The intent of our recent editorial was not to degrade the protesters but to discuss a national disapproval and unawareness of the movement.
We believe the protesters should be able to exercise their First Amendment rights. We even believe in their cause. At no other point in our country’s history has the gap between the rich and poor been greater.
Twenty years ago, the 10 largest financial institutions held 20 percent of the nation’s assets. They now hold 54 percent, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank in 2009.
The number of banks in that time merged from 12,500 to 8,000, according to the FDIC.
The wealth of this nation is being funneled into a smaller percentage of Americans.
A recent study by ProPublica indicates that three out of four of the largest counties in the U. S. suffer income inequality. Mahoning County teeters at the middle of ProPublica’s ranking system.
Never has the media been more vigilant in reporting the disparities caused by 20 years of deregulation and 10 years of financial fallout fueled by two recessions.
We agree wholeheartedly with the Occupy Youngstown movement. We just feel that their approach and methods will yield minimal results.
We didn’t see it as our place to offer advice, but we feel provoked to do so after stirring up debate.
So here is our advice:
Get behind a candidate, not a cardboard sign or costume. Find someone new and fresh and muster what resources you have into launching this candidate’s political success. Steer reform through the political process, not through public dissention.
Pay mind to the Tea Party’s successes, which backed numerous successful candidates and influenced national debt legislation.
Don’t be afraid to fall into conventional structure. An official leader will give your movement a firmer appearance while gaining the proper consideration you long for. Not much can be done when nobody is willing to lead.
Harness your resources. The Occupy Youngstown movement, though scarce on Youngstown’s streets, has 2,668 likes and 1,225 friends on Facebook. Yet, of the thousands following the protest, the movement has collected $260 as of Wednesday.
If you plan to fight back, you’ll need more than anger and a presence. You’ll need organization and a solidified purpose.