For the past month, Wall Street in New York City has taken on a look other than men and women in suits with briefcases pacing on their blackberries. The movement, Occupy Wall Street, converted the Financial District from uptight and modern to 1960's hipster. As a millennial reporter I was drawn to the excitement, passion, and controversy of the protest down by the Brooklyn Bridge. Not only did I want to make my appearance and stand up for my own beliefs, I was curious to get inside the minds of fellow protestors who had surrendered their life to take a stand within the movement. As I made my way downtown from the Upper East Side I couldn't help but think how crazy it was that I live in the city that this monumental action is taking place, yet everyone was going about their business as if it was the average Friday.
The quiet bliss of uptown felt more like another country by the time I reached Zuccotti Park. When I walked out of the subway station, I could already hear the drumming and chanting, which fueled my fire to get into the heart of it all. To create a visual, there were people as young as three and as old as 80 holding signs, passing at flyers, eating Ben and Jerry's ice cream (served by Ben himself), dancing, and speaking amongst one another. There was more food to go around than people to eat thanks to all the donations from around the world to support the protestors. There was no feeling of hostility in the park, although several protestors had been arrested early that morning. Police lined the rim of the park as well as press from all over the world.
What I found down there was unlike anything I had seen highlighted on the news... Shocker!
Instead of seeing ranting and raving hippies, I was amongst people who were taking advantage of the First Amendment, freedom of speech. As I talked to various different people, it was hard to formulate an overall goal of what everyone was protesting for in particular. But, after each interview, it was clear to me that everyone was fighting for equality. The amount of young protestors who had set up tarps as their home for the last two or three weeks were so motivated and passionate about standing up against big corporations and dirty bankers and politicians in a peaceful way. Every millennial protester thought it was vital to create change for our generation and our future; change to better the economy and America as a whole.
It was incredible how many employed patrons came during their lunch break to contribute their voices to the cause. There was a very powerful feeling in Zuccotti Park, it was a contagious feeling of dedication and persistence to create change. I felt proud to be a part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. It is clear that our economic circumstance is at an all time low and change needs to happen for a brighter future. Many of the protestors who had been there for weeks had zero intention of moving until things begin to take a turn. My best wishes go out to those standing up for their rights and also fighting for better things to come within the millennial generation!