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Occupy all streets

Casey Quinlan | Tuesday, November 29, 2011

At this point, everyone has presumably heard of the “Occupy” movement. You may have even seen the photos online of starving African children juxtaposed with hipster-looking American 20-somethings holding up Occupy signs; the former, they claim, are the real 99 percent, while the latter are actually the one percent in disguise. A friend of mine posted this with the caption, “Perspective is good.” As a Peace Corps applicant and someone who believes strongly in the need to fight the war on global poverty and hunger, I couldn’t agree more that it is important to remember how lucky we are in this country to have what we have, especially those of us at an institution of higher learning like Notre Dame.

It is even more important that we remember the duty we all have as human beings to help put an end to unnecessary suffering in the world. However, I don’t think the point of these photos was to encourage people to get out there and fight poverty. I think the point was to encourage the Occupiers to sit down and shut up, to stop whining about what they don’t have because they could have it so much worse. This disturbs me quite a bit, because as Americans, we should have every right to speak out about our problems. There is almost always someone who has it worse than you, but that does not mean that your problems are irrelevant or insignificant.

Personally, I am happy to see our nation, and especially our generation, speaking out about anything at all. I had grown tired of the apathy I perceived in many of those around me, so this is a refreshing change of pace for me. I agree with the cause of the Occupy movement, since I see it as a problem that our country is controlled more by corporations than by human beings. I don’t even know if these protests will bear any real fruit, and you don’t have to agree with the cause, but I think you should be happy that Americans can and do still speak out about important issues.

Casey Quinlan


Lyons Hall

Nov. 28