Let's take this protest inside

(Scott Walker/Chicago Tribune )
December 01, 2011|By Jen Kim, For RedEye

I'm not camped out in front of the Federal Reserve Bank, nor am I marching across downtown Chicago with my fellow compatriots, even though I am more than 99 percent sure I should be.

After all, I am a fervent supporter of ending tax breaks for corrupt financial institutions—not to mention the creation of more jobs, universal health care and an annual wealth tax imposed on the very rich (i.e., not me, ever). In fact, I agree with nearly all the unofficial demands put forth by Occupy Wall Street and its noisy conglomerate of protesters across the globe.

So, why am I not out there in the freezing cold with my comrades, being a vigilante for justice, fairness and equality?

How do I put this gently? I'm not a fan of the cold or smelling urine all the time. No offense to the movement, but it seems like it wouldn't hurt for some of those folks to occupy a bathroom once in a while.

I get it; many occupiers do not have homes, jobs or 99 percent of anything they need in this world. But I still have to protest that they are doing it wrong, and that is why there are more people like me (entitled, lazy, dumb folks who have jobs and homes), who should get involved but simply don't want to because it's too chilly, it smells bad or may interfere with the latest episode of "Community."

Instead, Occupiers should go to places where the 99 percent live and breathe. Force us to care by invading the places we care about.

Dunkin' Donuts: At 8 a.m., that is where you'll find 99 percent of humanity. Set up camp before breakfast. Make signs and posters that explain how the government favors big business by pouring "extra cream and sugar" in their coffee while the rest of us are forced to drink it black.

Public bathrooms: Follow my earlier suggestion and occupy public bathrooms—at parks, malls, amusement parks, wherever. Plant yourself in a stall until the person who needs to use it agrees to convert to the cause. And trust me, he will. Use this scenario as a lesson on how occupying somewhere can absolutely change behaviors and mindsets.

The mall: For Black Friday this year, Occupy protesters rallied at shopping centers around the country to condemn corporations raking in high profits at the pinnacle of this economic crisis. Why limit these rallies to one day of the year? Why not fight irresponsible consumerism on a larger scale by invading our retail temples on a daily basis? Blockade entrances to brand-name stores. You will be greeted with a mob of angry shoppers ready to attack. Redirect their rabid energies into fighting the giant retailers that continue to thrive while they scramble and fight other consumers to find cheap and discounted products that are actually affordable.

The only way we will start to participate is when we are forced to—until we lose our homes, our jobs, our winning lottery tickets—we will forever remain, sadly, 99 percent lazy.

JEN KIM IS A REDEYE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR.

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