Opinion Column

Occupy movement aimless and disorganized


There are movements that go down in the history books. Then there are movements that go down in Facebook newsfeed history, where they remain only until someone hits refresh.

The "Occupy" movement falls into the latter category. Actually, it's a massive stretch to even call it a movement. Movements have clearly defined goals. They have a message and are a means to achieving an end. The participants are committed to their cause. And they have some idea of what victory looks like.

The "Occupy" protests are nothing more than an incoherent grab bag of mixed messages and random airing of grievances.

There was a time when protesters had to work hard to get their message heard and earn media. They had to organize, have a plan, have a coherent message. They had to take action.

Nowadays, just make a Facebook group, set up a Twitter account and come up with a generic message and you have a protest.

The media coverage of "Occupy" started even before the protests began. The "occupiers" didn't even need to have a smart, clear message to get noticed. They got coverage for merely existing. So the media had to cover the protests, even when the number of protesters fell well short of projections. If a headline begins with "a few hundred people showed up" in cities like Ottawa or Calgary, it isn't worth the article that goes along with that headline.

Sadly, there are many worthy, solid causes that don't get a sliver of the attention that the aimless and disorganized "Occupy" has received.

A video has gone viral that sums it all up: a young Burberry-clad protester holding a sign that says "Pay my Tuition." The interviewer asks: "Why should someone pay your tuition?" His reply: "Because that's what I want."

Because you want stuff in your life paid for by others is not a reason to protest or occupy anything. It should take more than that.

It's an ironic twist that on the same weekend of the "Occupy" protests, President Obama unveiled a monument to Martin Luther King, Jr. King's was a real movement with clear goals that changed society - the "occupiers" are anything but. And despite the over-the-top media coverage, they will go down with a fizzle.