Instead of Occupying Wall Street, Try Occupying Your Local Businesses and Banks

Being from San Francisco, passionate about civil rights, and just a tad more opinionated than most, I appreciate all that the Wall Street protestors are trying to achieve. I’m in agreement about their beefs with banks, monetary policies, and government. I don’t agree that the top 1% of the population should hold so much of the wealth. Yet, I wonder if many of these protestors have ever considered where they shop, eat, and bank. Could they be simultaneously contributing to the problem while also trying to protest against it? Have they ever thought about it?

I ponder what the impact on Wall Street and the top 1% would be if the other 99% decided not to shop at national chain stores that buy their products from China, eat at fast food restaurants that are a primary cause of obesity, and use ATMs at banks that have received bailout money?

Couldn’t one key solution to today’s woes be to simply make a pact like we’ve done with OneLocalFamily? We have spent less money this year, eaten better, and have consumed less. I’m going to a business meeting tomorrow on my bike. I made dinner tonight for my family with food purchased from a store owned and operated in my community. And, we might just go to the library instead of buying a book from an online book retailer that doesn’t feel that they should have to collect taxes when their local competitors have to.

While I was too young to be part of the activism of the 1960s, I do believe that we all have the capability of standing up against things that are not morally correct or socially functional. However, it’s how we go about doing so that really makes the difference.

Sure, I can set up a tent on Wall Street and hope I can be heard. Or, I can put my money where my mouth is and make a difference by writing this blog and hopefully inspiring a few others to join us in buying local.

How I wish a reporter would ask one of these protestors where they bank or shop. The answer would probably be quite surprising and hypocritical. I believe that change starts at home, and that if we all do our part, we’ll begin to see real impact one community at a time.

I hope that others will join us in choosing to spend their dollars locally. Together, we can make a real difference.

Song of the Day: Power to the People

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3 Responses to Instead of Occupying Wall Street, Try Occupying Your Local Businesses and Banks

  1. Meg T. says:

    hooray to this!
    Starting on the 15th of October (the same day as the start of OccupyPhoenix) I made a pledge to buy local for at least a month! I was inspired by your awesome family!
    Hopefully it will become a habit that spreads to my friends and family!

  2. Tom Plant says:

    You inspire us at why local matters to do even more. Keep up the great work. You’re a tremendous example of the power we have.

  3. Dana says:

    Love your blog. You show what I have told people for years, that buying local is HARD, but is what is needed to rebuild our neighborhoods and local economies.
    The protests however go beyond the idea of buying local and extend to the idea that the government needs to do the same. We as citizens can support our local businesses and make a difference, but the big picture involves trillions of dollars to multi-national corporations from our own government. Certainly any opportunity to educate the protesters to the buy-local philosophy is a worthy one. I was with the Occupy Los Angeles people one day, and there were more people than I thought already very aware of buying local, and they were helping to spread that word as well.

    I agree that buying local is certainly a part of the picture, but it won’t take the place of protests when it comes to shaping government policy.

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