NEW YORK (
) -- If there's been one persistent criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, it's a lack of clarity in their message. The protest started four weeks ago with more free-floating anger than specific grievances, and even now that the protesters have gotten down to brass tacks and started issuing demands, the democratic nature of the movement has made the message
The official OWS Web site has a nine-point
for Congress to address, including the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act separating commercial and investment banking and the more nebulous demand to end the influence of lobbyists. At the same time, though, there's some debate as to whether the movement should
. Further complicating matters is that much of the recent coverage of the protests has focused on clashes with the police, which has brought publicity to the movement while distracting from its political objectives.
A succinct statement of the Wall Street protestors' goals has finally been captured, in a 30-second video.
That's why we were heartened to come across this
posted Sunday on YouTube. While other videos from the protest have so far tended to be either footage of violent arrests or interviews with protesters that run for several minutes, this "commercial" is succinct and on-message. A professionally produced, 30-second clip with original music, it shows a series of protesters of varying race, age and attire giving a one-sentence articulation of what they're seeking. Some are vague ("I want economic justice") while some are more specific ("I want the top wealthiest Americans to be taxed higher and that money to go to education").
People who have already made up their minds about the protesters and their political aims may not be swayed by the commercial, but for people whose sole exposure to the movement has been clips of protesters getting pepper-sprayed and arrested, it gives an articulate summation of the protest's goals.
That said, it does share one key shortcoming of the protest's early days: It doesn't get much into specifics about what change they'd like to see take place on a policy level. Given the format of the video, that's understandable. But we'd love to see future videos of similar length and production value that give a brief summary of the arguments behind each of the movement's demands.
Violent arrests may grab eyeballs, but succinct and articulate arguments change minds.
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