Who are the Occupy Wall Street Movement protestors? According to several media outlets, the Occupy Wall Street Movement protestors are:
“Messy, indolent, drug-addled, anti-Semitic, violent, disobedient, freeloading individuals who are comprised of an unrepresentative segment of the electorate.”
The media, in arbitrarily defining the members of the movement, are attempting to undermine the basis of the idea – that corporate corruption and greed has created a problem that is tearing at the financial fabric of our country. The critical question should not focus on who specifically identifies with the movement. Instead, it should focus on the essence of its existence. Yet again, the media consistently attempts to de-legitimize the movement for its lack of a clear and identifiable purpose or plan. This perspective is misguided. Especially considering that the primary critique is that there is a major problem, namely, that one percent of the population controls approximately 40 percent of the wealth. In other legal context, this disparity alone would be sufficient to shift the onus of any proof from the individuals claiming to be harmed to the individuals perpetrating it. For example, in the context of tort law, the doctrine of ”Res Ipsa Loquitur,” meaning that the action speaks for itself, applies to relieve a plaintiff of having to prove how a defendant’s behavior caused the resulting problem and shifts the burden of proof to the defendant. To invoke this doctrine, the law generally requires a showing that the accident is the kind that would usually be caused by negligence and that the defendant had exclusive control over the instrumentality that caused the accident. The mere fact that so much of our country’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few is highly compelling evidence that someone has been negligent. As for the second element, large corporations, through their power and influence, have exercised exclusive and unbridled control in making corrupt decisions. It is very difficult to articulate an exact path or solution to a problem when corrupt corporations have created a labyrinth of lies. As such, the media’s focus should be on the large corporations that have caused the problem, not The Occupy Wall Street Movement. More accurately, the Occupy Wall Street Movement should be applauded for bringing attention and focus to an important issue of social, financial and political concern, not unreasonably dissected.