I've been around here long enough to know that top posting unrelated to the prior comment is bad etiquette, but again, I've been around here long enough to know when it is appropriate. I also know the magic formula for getting modded up is to say "I'll probably get modded down for this but.."
I'll probably get modded down for this but it is important enough to risk it.
The Occupy Wall Street movement does not have any leaders or stated goals or structure on purpose. This is an action deliberately taken in order to have broad populist appeal. The same instant they take a side on any issue, the established political system will immediately use that as a wedge issue to label, then divide and conquer the scraps of popular sentiment and kill any interest. Once a leader is selected, they will find one thing that guy/gal has said publicly, label him as a partisan for it and kill the movement. The parties have been doing this for years and have more experience, skill and money to deflate populist action than can be competed against. The only way to win that game is not to play.
The movement does have a goal and that is to take back our democracy. Get people talking about the issues again without having predetermined party lines or agendas. Once those lines are drawn, almost everyone stops listening or thinking and just go like lemmings how they have always done. The only thing this movement wants is an equal shake at a fair government. They want their representatives to actually represent them instead of representing the highest bidder: usually the rich and the corporations.
The purpose here is not to take any specific issue to congress, it's to overturn congress with people who actually listen to their electorate. If that means voting incumbents out, great, or at least put the fear of the people back into them, good too.
What is their stand on abortion? None. But once we have fair representation, we can talk about it democratically.
What is their stand on gay rights? The environment? Housing? Taxation? Big Government? None. But once we have fair representation, we can talk about it democratically.
What is their stand on any issue? TBD but we'll talk about it democratically once we have fair representation.
You don't have to agree with this movement on any specific issue and you don't have to hold off on support because they don't have talking points or take stands on your personal hot-button issue. For now it's enough to say that all the issues are TBD until such time as we have fair representation and can figure it all out democratically.
There is a sentiment of discontent in everyone I talk to. Everyone knows the system is broken but nobody has the power to change that. Voting is supposed to solve these problems but voting either way is a vote for the same thing.
Slashdot is typically an open minded place, I think this movement should speak to each of you. The only thing they want is more democracy. I don't blame anyone for thinking there is a hidden agenda, because there almost always is. But this movement has reached enough of a mass with the cause of having no purpose that it would be hard to argue that there is one. When the only underlying cause visible in their message is "More democracy!", I don't see how anyone can be against that. Want to change something about that platform, get out there and discuss it democratically instead of sniping at it from the comfort of slashdot.
This is a movement that is outside of and has rejected the established political system. And it's the only one I've seen in my lifetime that has rejected playing the two-party game. I am very excited that it has even gained some traction and has people talking!!! To me it is a moral imperative that we support this. Even if all it means is getting some people you know to talk out the issue.... even that alone is progress.