The Occupy Movement

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After participating in last month’s Disability blog Carnival, I decided to take part again. This round is being hosted by Sharon of After Gadget, and the topic is Occupy – as in the Occupy Movement.

When the Occupy Movement first began, I thought it was kind of an interesting concept. People joining together to “take back our democracy and build a new economy”.

As time has passed though…

I have found myself more and more skeptical of its effectiveness and continue to wonder if the ‘99%’ includes people like myself.

If the Movement were successful, would I benefit? Would the world become more accepting and accommodating of people with disabilities?

Or would we be pushed aside, and left to fend for ourselves in an even more undemocratic and economically unbalanced society.

I’ve given these questions a lot of thought. Though I do not feel my life is where I’d like it to be, I’m not sure I want to support a Movement that lacks clear direction and that has not explicitly told me how my life will be any better without the corrupt politicians and money-hungry corporations.

I wonder if Canadians realize that in order for the Occupy Movement to truly succeed we would have to agree to reduce our standard of living…

Maybe I’m wrong, but I really do not see that happening.

I have friends who are huge supporters of the Occupy Movement and feel that this is the beginning of something better, but I do not fully agree.

If we didn’t have the multinational companies such as Apple and Microsoft for example, people like me would not be able to be independent, participate in social media or even work in some cases. Do you really think a “Mom and Pop” shop would choose to invest in creating accessible products for people with disabilities? The products made by the multinationals are already expensive because the target user group is small, so why would a “Mom and Pop” shop choose to take such a risk?

When Steve Jobs passed away in October of this year, many disabled bloggers wrote posts on how he had changed their lives. Without companies like Apple, who have made accessibility out of the box a priority, many of us would not be able to enjoy cell phones that connect us with the world, or even communicate with others independently outside the home.

I couldn’t imagine a world without screen readers, Braille displays and accessible cell phones – could you?

Even though I think it’s wonderful to see people from all walks of life joining together for a ‘united’ cause, I’m not sure, a single person has stopped to think about the repercussions of such a movement succeeding.

I have, and this is why, I am not willing to support The Occupy Movement.

Comments

  1. You make a lot of valid points and this was very well written. I don’t think people stop to think about these issues because such issues don’t impact them.

  2. I agree but ours is not a popular opinion. Whenever I have questioned the effectiveness of ‘sit-ins’ (as they were called when I was young) or public protest – I am protested against. Provoking social change is very difficult and I believe it occurs most often on an individual basis. Through a one-on-one interaction, if you change a person’s heart – the influence then spreads via that person.

    Do individuals ‘change’ via reading the ‘news’?

    PWD are still vying for acceptance – where are the effects of public protest?

    Thank goodness for large companies for innovative products and employing large numbers of people.

    Barbara

  3. Hi Brooke!
    Thanks for participating in the carnival! I have just incorporated your link/info into the post. I wish I could have done it sooner, but it wasn’t till sleeping all day today that I’ve been functional. The questions you raise are important. I am, right now, supporting the Occupy movement, and for this reason, especially, I believe that questions like yours are necessary and important for an outcome of the movement that *I* would consider a success. I’m glad you spoke up.

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