I know you have all seen them. They are impossible to miss. They are everywhere. So it one sense, they have accomplished their goal. Who I am referring to is none other than the group of strangers who have "come together" across the world. The above is a picture taken at our very own Illinois State University. This has to be the most disorganized joke of a movement that i have seen in my short life. The picture I found below identifies with the problems with their idealogy, and quite frankly makes me laugh. However I am not here to share my opinion about the people and their goals, but rather to connect it to the world of criminal justice, since they have been able to camp out wherever they please due to the "freedoms" they possess!
So are they breaking any crimes? If so, are they serious ones? Well, from the limited research i have done the answer is slightly! There have been numerous arrests, like the ones near Manhattan, where 234 protesters were all arrested. The article can be found at http://www.dnainfo.com/20111116/downtown/occupy-wall-street-protesters-arrested-zuccotti-raid-appear-court. What they were primarily arrested for is the crimes of trespassing, resisting arrest, and obstruction of governmental administration. Those may not be severe, and the article states that some just resulted in monetary fines, but they are more detrimental than that.
We have all spent alot of time here at Illinois State learning about the broken windows theory and other theories that help lure criminals to an area, or further the decay of an area. This is my biggest concern from the criminological perspective. The sites they have overtaken have become disgusting and honestly shameful. They are in there little tents claiming that the financial breakdown is unfair, yet they have extension cords running so they can have microwaves, radios, crockpots, and anything else they really want. I have not done extensive research on how it effects businesses, but it would be interesting to look at.
In conclusion, The occupy group of people have not had a positive effect on anything thus far, but instead have become a nuisance for both law authorities who have to monitor them, but also for us citizens who have to interact and pass by them. Just because we are not in the little tents, does not mean we do not care. But they need remember one thing. You claim to be the 99%, when in all actuality, if you look at the rest of the world and compare yourselves to the; You are not the 99%, but instead the 1%. What any other person in africa or thailand, or numerous others would kill to have a tent of their own even.