The Occupy Wall Street movement has been in the media for months now. But are they making any progress? Not as far as I can tell.
For any movement or protest to be successful, the demonstrators must have a list of demands. This is where the Occupy movement protesters are lacking and why they're confusing so many people. Initially, it seemed they didn't have any demands. The best we could get was that they wanted to create communication with Wall Street and with government because they felt there was none. Then, weeks later, we started getting many different lists of demands. And that's when the real confusion began.
We started getting too many demands, an ever-changing list of demands, and some over-reaching and unrealistic demands. For example, in one publication they stated 13 demands. In another magazine, I saw 5 demands. In yet another, there were 12. Even more confusing, there were very few repeats between the lists, meaning there were actually dozens of demands, and none of them solid.
So here's my advice for the protesters: Big lists never get done. A better approach is to pick two or three demands that people can remember; you're more likely to get them met.
Additionally, when you're asking for demands, you need to ask for something that can actually happen. For example, in one of the articles published this week about the Occupy movement, demand number four was free college education for all. While I completely believe in education and the value it brings our country, that's one tough demand to fill. If you're ready to be occupying all the parks and all of the public places for many years to come, then you can stay with that demand. But it would be better to revise that demand into something that can actually be delivered.
Other examples of unrealistic demands were spending $1 trillion in infrastructure now and outlawing all credit reporting agencies. There were many others.
If the Occupy movement is to merely get a lot of people out on the streets, occupying for an unknown cause, they're doing a good job. But if they are trying to actually get something done, they need to get their act together. Reduce the list of demands to no more than five and have every single protester able to talk about those five sole demands to the media. And most important, make sure those five demands are actually doable. Until this happens, the Occupy movement will flounder, and it will be more of a news report of how police are trying to move the occupiers.
Now don't get me wrong... Being able to protest is one of our most cherished rights. So protest and occupy if you feel that's needed. It's certainly your right. Just get your act together if you want your efforts to make a difference
Follow Daniel Burrus on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DanielBurrus