Why I occupy
I occupy because corporations are not people, and money is not the same thing as free speech.
I occupy because I believe in united citizens, not Citizens United.
I occupy because our military is spending billions of dollars to occupy foreign countries while jobs, infrastructure and the economy suffer at home.
I occupy because my generation should have opposed these wars in greater numbers and with greater outrage to start with.
I occupy because I am tired of going to the polls and trying to decide which politician is least likely to attempt to sell a Senate seat to the highest bidder.
I occupy because I am tired of seeing executives of failed companies receiving bonuses while their employees are laid off without severance.
I occupy because I believe in the First Amendment and the civil liberties it grants us.
I occupy because the system is not broken but relies on this kind of active participation to remain strong.
I occupy because it is exciting to see democracy working.
I occupy because after seven years combined of undergraduate and graduate studies, I have student loan debt but not the gainful employment necessary to pay it down.
I occupy because I have been underemployed since finishing school, often working two or three part-time jobs to try to make ends meet.
I occupy because I have spent half of this year unemployed altogether, through no fault of my own.
I occupy because the unemployed cannot afford to be invisible statistics any longer.
I occupy because the alternative is sitting in my parents’ basement writing cover letters that won’t even be rejected, just ignored.
I occupy because if it weren’t for the safety net my parents have provided, I would be sitting on a street corner all day asking for a different kind of change.
I occupy because my dreams have been deferred, and it was only a matter of time before they would explode.
Originally published in the Chicago Tribune’s Voice of the People on Sunday, October 30, 2011.