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  • I work at building kitty corner from where the Occupy Chicago held its protests last fall in front of the Board of Trade. I walk by them every morning and every evening to and from work. Without staring, I try to take note of who is occupying that corner. I want to see who is there as the seasons change- from the college kids with their Macs in the fall to the sparse numbers of professional protesters who have found another stage for their rants through out the winter and into the spring.

    Since the early days of the protest, I looked for reasons to believe their message, but there was no message. There was just a feeling of discontent and injustice, feelings I feel but am not smart enough or moved enough or eloquent enough to put into words. In the end the kids from the early days just started sounding like scared children who for the first time in their lives were dealing with economic uncertainty and a sense that their uniqueness was not being rewarded.

    They call themselves the 99%, but are they really? Because who of us with a job, who is trying to pay off debts or a mortgage, has time to live in city park just to protest against all the injustices that are dealt to them? To the real 99%, such actions seem irresponsible and selfish without a cohesive message. The real 99% wants change as much as the protesters did in Zucatti Park, but we want a road map and an end goal. The real 99% is just practical like that.

    I realize the movement has moved on, but I have a sense disappointment that nothing more has come of it. We are still mired in the same political system, where people and the environment are still secondary to special interests. I also know this movement is not dead, and I hope that someday someone will provide the real 99% with the message we have been waiting for.
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