Want a voice? Step up and claim it with the Occupy movement

By abby colehour

Two Fridays ago, after the Occupy information session, I was one of 30 or so Macalester students that went to downtown Minneapolis for the Occupy MN rally and march. This is a movement that is growing at Macalester and across the nation, and one that I think everyone should be paying attention to. It is refreshing to participate in a movement that is not issue-based or exclusive, but rather, as Leewana described in Nov. 4’s opinion piece, a broader awakening to systemic problems with democracy in the US. The concerns surfacing in the Occupy movement are ones that almost everyone in the country can relate to. When we Occupy, we are saying we want a voice. We are tired of our government and financial institutions sacrificing our well-being in favor of corporations and financial institutions. Don’t let the lack of a clear goal or inability to see a concrete solution discourage you from participating in the Occupy movement. Rather, let it fuel you to show up and voice your opinion—we are the ones that will make changes happen by talking with and educating each other about what is going on in this country, working simultaneously to build a community around our concerns and figure out together how we can address them. Change doesn’t always happen in the form of lobbies and advocacy—it can and is happening in your living room as you talk with friends, in the decisions you make about the institutions you support, in the questions you ask about the world around you. So, keep your eyes and ears open, keep asking questions and sharing your ideas, and remember that democracy will only happen if we step up and claim it.