Estimates for Occupy Wall Street alone vary wildly from hundreds up to 50,000. Moot actually as the specific numbers are unimportant, what is important is the global participation and duration of the protests. I feel safe in saying hundreds of thousands of protesters have made themselves present for some time holding signs and chanting. Also unimportant is the specific cause or lack of cause that was the catalyst for these gatherings.
What is interesting to note is the tremendous number of “man hours” that have been allocated to protesting and supporting a cause that at the highest level is discontent on the inequality of treatment to fellow humans on our earth.
Also, I trust I am safe to suggest that the demographics of these protesters is equally as diverse as the cause of the chants and placard slogans. From the homeless to labourers and trades people to doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs all took their place to improve the human condition.
Unlike my typical tendencies to do the math to make my point, a quick calculation of the number of worldwide protesters multiplied by the number of house spent in the mobs would result in a VERY large total of “man hours” dedicated to the cause.. Maybe in the millions?
What if these millions of man hours were allocated to actually improving the human condition??. Now THAT would be an earth changing protest. That huge (even for a short period of time) access to manpower would make change, and could possibly touch hundreds of thousands of the 99%ers, rather than standing idly by complaining about the 1%ers.
The possible incredible social impact of applying millions of man hours are way too numerous to even begin to compile a list of in a simple blog post. I encourage you to take a moment to consider how even a tiny sample of 500 protesters, for a single day applying their time to reach out to the less fortunate in your community; providing maintenance in homeless shelters, raising money for general charities, volunteering for youth groups, offering help to less fortunate. Has a much better ring to it than taking these man hours to build makeshift tents and standing in circles debating what their actual cause is.
Listening to lawyers, accountants and physicians taking their place in front of news reporters microphones detailing their personal reasons and interpretation of the “occupy” protests.. leaves me to wonder, what if these valued professionals took that time instead to offer a day of pro bono work for the 99%’s who they claim are being down trodden.
The question, would these thousands of protestors, get as much attention to their cause(s) if they were diversified out into the communities, and not standing in impressive mobs and making awe inspiring photographs of their numbers in national newspapers? I feel a massive outcry of protesters who actually putting their money where their mouth is would gather much more public support, than throngs of people standing around a burning barrel. And more important.. who cares if they get more “impact” in the press. Is the cause of the protest “impact” or is it to improve our world.