BlackEnterprise.com tapped rapper David Banner to blog about his thoughts and experiences with Occupy Wall Street. In a thought provoking piece, Banner disscusses the diversity he saw in protestors, police tactics to destroy the movement and why the movement is a manifestation of democracy. Read below:
I want to be clear from the start, I do not profess to speak for the occupy movements. In my visits to both Occupy Wall Street and Occupy LA I played the role of participant/observer. I went to listen and learn—not to speak and be heard—and in my role as a student, my education was vast and profound. What follows are my thoughts on what I experienced.
To me, the occupy movements sweeping this nation represent the American version of the protests in Africa and the Arab world, collectively known as the Arab Spring. Many of us watched those historic uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Bahrain and wondered if and when such a mass movement could ever be possible in America. The occupy movements occurring nationwide have answered such wonderment with a resounding “Yes,” and an emphatic “Now.”
While headed to my first protest, Occupy Wall Street, I wondered whom I would encounter? If I believed the sparse and antagonistic coverage by some of the media outlets out there, the only ones protesting were “hippies,” beatniks, uninformed youth and other fringe elements of society. While those elements can often be found at any large movement, when walking through the crowd at Occupy Wall Street I saw a cross-section of America. There were Blacks, Whites, young, old, employed, unemployed, democrats, republicans and representatives of various religious and ideological persuasions. There were even visits and showings of support by some who worked on Wall Street. It became clear that, despite attempts by some traditional media outlets to discredit the movement, Occupy Wall Street was a serious movement of and for the average American.
Some have argued that a major drawback of the occupy movement is the lack of official goals or demands. In my conversations with participants, I found a vast array of issues being protested, but even in the diversity of issues there was a common theme: the rich and powerful have unfairly eroded our rights, wrecked our economy and “foreclosed on our future.”
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