On November 2, the entire Smoke Signal staff went to San Francisco to watch and review the musical Hair. This musical, which was set in the late 1960s, spoke of topics that shocked, surprised, and entertained us. The teenagers in the 1960s and 1970s were quite different from us today; they had to worry about war and being drafted. But above all, these teenagers were free-spirited and all they wanted was love.
While we were in San Francisco, we got to experience the Occupy movement first hand. Our first-year journalists interviewed men and women walking down the streets and questioned them about their experience with the Occupy movement.
Many of our journalists were at first hesitant to approach strangers in the street and interview them. However, most of them responded that they met so many interesting people from various parts of the world. Each person had a different viewpoint and different reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with the movement.
Some of the questions we asked were:
Do you know about the Occupy SF protest/movement?
“No, the one percent aren’t going to be affected [but] the 99 percent are going to lose their jobs.” –Ronica, Retail Worker
Do you support this movement?
“Stay informed: being informed is part of supporting.” –Hector
“Yes, it’s a way to gain awareness and bring disparities to light.” –Kari, Social Worker
“No, the protestors’ demands of government aren’t specific enough.” –James, tourist from Australia
How have you been impacted by the movement?
“No, not personally. But I admire [the protestors] for sticking to their beliefs.
“When the government indicts the corrupt bankers, the movement will be successful.” – Ed, Street vendor
“If the people start getting their homes back and the schools stop closing, I know the movement has been successful.” – Robin, Store clerk
“When the banks and financial aspects of our country change.” – Katie, Merchandise retailer
“We have to see some clear public policy changes and see politicians begin to have active dialogue with the protestors.” – Chris, Financial consultant
“Successful? Yes…but improvement is needed for the movement to grow and take hold of our country.” – Gaine, Psychologist
“I think they’ve accumulated a lot of impact, judging by all the media attention. I don’t think the US is accustomed to large street demonstrations. In Europe, we’re much more used to these public street demonstrations.” – Alan, Professor
“I don’t know if you saw the news this morning, about Bank of America dropping the $5 debit fee – so they’ve certainly had an impact. I don’t know about successful.” – Becky, Teacher
“I believe that change will be gradual. Eventually, the wealth disparity will get better.” – Vinay, Banker
“A successful movement involves the passing of laws to stop financial decisions in the government.” – Vikram, Real Estate Agent
“They will be successful if all the media supports and covers the movement.” – Leland, Branch manager
“The movement will be successful if the protestors can somehow motivate the politicians.” – Warren, Finance Manager
“I want to see job guarantees for college graduates, higher pay, and better standards of living.” – Calina, Street Vendor
“The movement needs to make it into history books and the minds of future senators.” – Michael, Student