I live in New York City and went downtown to Zuccotti Park to visit the Occupy Wall Street encampment yesterday. The Park is not a grassy expanse, but instead a long rectangular slab of concrete. On this hard surface people were sleeping or talking or holding signs or chanting anti-banker slogans. The assemblage itself was an intriguing mix of demonstrators, tourists, passerby New Yorkers, policemen, media people, young people, a few homeless. There were a few fringe protesters like the Socialist Workers Party. Blankets were strewn about, but there was a certain order to the scene. All in all, quite moving and poignant.
The common theme was "jobs, jobs, jobs." But still there is no agenda among the participants on how to create new employment. Which leads me to ask -- why, as a start, should Occupy Wall Street not support Obama's Jobs Bill?
Here is a direct act of governmental intervention to jump-start the entire hiring scene. Why can't Occupy Wall Street mobilize all this energy, emotion, anger, frustration and hard-work across the country to back this one legislative bill that can guarantee new work for millions of Americans. Why can't Occupy Wall Street protesters begin to put pressure on Congressmen and Senators to enact this initiative?
Instead Occupy Wall Street seems to shy away from this anything to do with the Obama idea. This seems to be odd -- and wrong. But there is still time to take this next step and play the role -- an immensely important one -- in bringing about this solution.