Occupy Wall Street's demands still remain unclear despite its growth in a matter of weeks from a small group of protesters in Lower Manhattan to a national movement.
With no appointed leaders, no planned end date, and no clear demands, it is uncertain how the community plans to bridge the gap from protest to political change.
While there are no official demands, the Occupy Wall Street website does host a forum where members can post their opinion and requests. Some members have called for lists of demands while others argue for an outline of current problems.
- Ending free trade
- Raising the minimum wage to $20 an hour
- Instituting a universal single payer healthcare system
- Opening borders for free migration
- Urging Congress to fully investigate and prosecute the Wall Street Criminals
- Revamping securities and exchange commission
- Taxing the rich who use corporate loopholes (Buffet Rule)
Another website, Occupy and Demand, affiliated with Occupy Wall Street, claims to track members' votes for demands. The most popular demands at press time include:
- A constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood
- Tougher criminal laws for dishonest financial profiteers
- Tax the rich
- Reform campaign finance laws - limit corporate donations and contributions to political campaigns.
The Occupy Wall Street message, however, is muddled by conflicting demands, differing opinions, and no clear political goals. The protestors themselves only seem to be bound by a common frustration towards corporate greed and failures of the government.
The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants, states the Occupy Wall Street website.
Michael Heaney, a political scientist at the University of Michigan and author on protest movements, tells The Guardian that without any electoral pressure, it's hard to see that politicians would have much fire under them to listen.
Without leadership, clear demands, and an effort to appeal to politics, it is unclear how successful Occupy Wall Street can be.