Video: For the Youth of Occupy Wall Street, Personal Stories Inform Political Action

Video: For the Youth of Occupy Wall Street, Personal Stories Inform Political Action

Video: For the Youth of Occupy Wall Street, Personal Stories Inform Political Action

As the mainstream media debate Occupy Wall Street’s agenda (or lack thereof), protesters discuss their personal reasons for taking to the streets.


As mangy tent settlements spring up across the nation, it’s clear that the Occupy Wall Street protesters are gaining an unwieldy momentum, and that no one particularly knows what they want. Critics have noted their lack of an agenda, then gone on to bemoan or excuse it. Nick Kristof and other liberal columnists have suggested a variety of platforms that the protests should adopt. In the meantime, Fox News is arguing that John Lennon look-a-likes who play pipe organs while dressed like zombies should not be taken seriously, and are using such antics to dismiss the protests altogether.

We can’t help but think that pundits in search of Occupy Wall Street’s political agenda are missing a fundamental component of the protest’s ethos; like so many organic populist movements, the Occupyers appear to be emotionally, rather than politically, driven. Many of the protesters we interviewed were motivated by their personal experiences in the economic downturn, and a vague but unshakeable sense that their experiences were the result of much larger structural problems.

Our second interview was with Gaia, a young teacher in Brooklyn who’s been personally effected by systemic socioeconomic problems. For more personal stories on how how young people have been effected by the economy, we recommend you take a look at We are the 99 percent.

You can watch our first video from Liberty Square here.

Thank you for reading The Nation!

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read. It’s just one of many examples of incisive, deeply-reported journalism we publish—journalism that shifts the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media. For nearly 160 years, The Nation has spoken truth to power and shone a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug.

In a critical election year as well as a time of media austerity, independent journalism needs your continued support. The best way to do this is with a recurring donation. This month, we are asking readers like you who value truth and democracy to step up and support The Nation with a monthly contribution. We call these monthly donors Sustainers, a small but mighty group of supporters who ensure our team of writers, editors, and fact-checkers have the resources they need to report on breaking news, investigative feature stories that often take weeks or months to report, and much more.

There’s a lot to talk about in the coming months, from the presidential election and Supreme Court battles to the fight for bodily autonomy. We’ll cover all these issues and more, but this is only made possible with support from sustaining donors. Donate today—any amount you can spare each month is appreciated, even just the price of a cup of coffee.

The Nation does not bow to the interests of a corporate owner or advertisers—we answer only to readers like you who make our work possible. Set up a recurring donation today and ensure we can continue to hold the powerful accountable.

Thank you for your generosity.

Ad Policy