The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement witnessed in recent months is one of the most significant socio-political events to have taken place in the history of the United States of America. Measuring merely by the weight of popular support and enthusiastic participation evinced by the movement, it could be equated with the Civil Rights movement and the Women’s Rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s respectively. But nothing in popular culture currents of recent years would have anticipated this sudden collective uprising on part of a majority of American citizens. Author Amy Dean’s journal article ‘Occupy Wall Street: A Protest against a Broken Economic Compact’ (first published in Harvard International Review, 2012) offers insight and rationale behind his great mass movement. The OWS, which started as an innocuous gathering in Zuccotti Park in New York City, rapidly caught the public imagination, as it spread across the country swiftly and effectively.
Amy Dean’s article is a valuable source for the research essay, for it deals with the crux of the problem, namely that of the ‘broken economic compact’. She notes how “the Occupy movement is a protest against a broken economic compact that reaches into the very middle of America and that is resonating in other parts of the world as well”. (Dean 12) Rather than being an arm-chair investigation of the landmark event, the author gives first-hand accounts of the unfolding movement from its epi-centre in New York City. As she observes during the introduction to the article,
“During the early months when Occupy Wall Street maintained tent cities in lower Manhattan and other metropolitan areas around the country, the occupations attracted an array of young counter-culturalists and itinerant radicals. To many people seeing the images of the encampments on the news, it looked like a motley assembly, not something out of the American mainstream.” (Dean 12)
As Amy Dean suggests in the article, Occupy Wall Street is a crucial reality check for a nation that is on the brink of economic and social disintegration. The movement showed up a mirror to the nation’s leaders and reminded them of their misplaced priorities and unethical behavior. The OWS movement is the most recent in that noble tradition of civil disobedience and collective public action that the country is so proud of. But Dean warns readers to not get carried away. How history will judge and rate the effectiveness of OWS will depend on how well public grievances are translated into meaningful changes to government policies. (Dean 13) Upon it will rest the stability and viability of the country as well as the rest of the world.
“With the movement’s permanent occupations now largely disbanded, the protesters are looking for ways to escalate and keep the spotlight on their issues. But regardless of what strategies they adopt moving forward, they have already left behind a transformed framework for public debate in America. Occupy Wall Street has struck a chord with a wide swath of the country by highlighting issues that had been all but hidden in mainstream news coverage prior to the street protests.” (Dean 13)
Hence, in conclusion, the journal article by Amy Dean, which is chosen as one of the sources for the research paper, is a highly relevant one. It goes to the root of the grievances by OWS participants and consolidates their claims through supporting statistics and poll findings. Not only is the article systematic and scientific, but was published in the distinguished Harvard International Review, making it credible and useful for research purposes.
Dean, Amy. “Occupy Wall Street: A Protest against a Broken Economic Compact.” Harvard International Review 33.4 (2012): 12+. Print.