The question Occupy Wall Street activists should be asking is not what concrete results they want to achieve, but what the result will be if they don’t do anything, says Alexa O’Brien, who helped organize the first OWS protests.
Instead of thinking of what the OWS movement could achieve in the long run, the main issue is what happens to the country if it remains indifferent, O’Brien believes.
“What happens to our nation if we do not stand up to the centralization of power and the destruction of our civil liberties?”, she asked, adding that people “don’t want their children growing up in a totalitarian nightmare.”
O’Brien also argued that calling the OWS participants “activists” is not quite correct.
“It’s not right to say that these are ‘activists’ who are part of the OWS movement – mostly these people are just normal citizens who are concerned about the level of corruption in the government,” she claimed.
So for the many ordinary citizens taking part in the Occupy movement, it is in many cases an act of conscience, O’Brien said.
Though Occupy has become a worldwide protest, most reports of police brutality have come from the US, and O’Brien has a theory for why that is the case.
“The defense contractors have realized that they can sell weapons and machinery and armory to civil forces in the US, and the heightened sort of culture of the war on terror has created a great excuse for the law enforcement to increase their budgets,” she claimed. “This is an example of how bought by hard and soft dollars, disloyal, incompetent and wasteful special interests have usurped our nation’s military power and have spawned a host of threats to liberty and to our national security.”