My experience at Burnside Park in Providence was an interesting one. I went expecting to find groups of people living in a commune type society, all having a common interest in protesting an injustice of some sorts. In reality, what I did find was something completely different.
The first time I had heard of the Occupy protests was from a friend who was very interested in this new happening that he could relate to. He was glad that these groups of people were ticked off and were actually doing something about it. They were 'fighting the power', so to speak. My friend and I are big fans of peaceful protests, like the ones performed by people protesting the Vietnam War and Civil Rights in the 1960s and 70s. The idea that there would be a similar type movement in our time was exciting and we wanted to be a part of it. My friend took off for Occupy Boston a week later. When he returned he told me stories of protestors arguing constantly, fights breaking out, and never hearing the same story of why people were there protesting. He never said that any of the time he was there was ill-spent, he just walked away with a feeling of disappointment.
My friend lost faith in the Occupy movement after his adventure in Boston. I never got the chance to up to Boston since I was working the days he was up there. My chance to check out the Occupy protests in Providence came just last week and I can't say that it was any better. The whole affair seemed to be patchwork at best. I never saw any of the people living up there fighting or arguing at anytime. I was also suprised to see that there wasn't that many people up there at all. It was pretty cold the day I went up there so many of the protestors could have been seeking shelter and warmth nearby. I did get to speak to three of the people there that day. One gentleman who did not want to be named, was protesting the equality of the wealth and how there is too wide a space between economic classes these days. Another gentleman by the name of Mike told me that he was there for many reasons for him being there, one of which was taxes and another would be the shortage of jobs in our country. Just like my friend, I never heard the same thing twice. There is nothing wrong with this but most of my time at the park, many things they did seemed like it was thrown together at the last minute. It was not very inspiring. I don't think about the many people that was once there. I don't want to say that all of their protesting has been for nothing, their opinions count just as much as others with higher power. All I can say is that maybe the whole movement would be taken a tad more seriously if they had a common goal and had more organized gatherings. Right now, in my opinion, it's people hanging out in tents that don't like things that are happening in our country.