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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Part II: An Interview With A College Student, Who Appeared Neither Dirty Nor Hippie, In Fact, Yuppie Is The Word I Would Use To Describe Her

This is not the sign that Julie held, but it is similar in tone.
Julie requested that I not publish her photograph.
I interviewed a student from Columbia University named Julie, who had arrived about two hours before I caught up with her and was planning to go back to her apartment to bake a cake for her dad for his birthday.

Me: Can I ask you a few questions for a libertarian publication?
Julie: Sure. I am the exact opposite of a libertarian though.

Me: That's fine. Why are you here?
Julie: I strongly believe in the movement and I feel we are reaching a boiling point where we can't exist anymore. There are so many people suffering in this country who deserve a chance to have their voices heard and I feel the United States is a country that's not used to protesting, we don't really know how to do it. And I feel that any chance American citizens have to speak publicly, that they need help, well of course I have to be here.

Me: When we first started talking you said you were 'the exact opposite of a libertarian.' Right?
Julie: Yeah.

Me: Do you know what that is, a libertarian?
Julie: No.

Me: Okay, basically, the Cliff Notes version is we believe that the size of the government is at the root of the problem. Would you agree or disagree with that?
Julie: I'd say the way the government is behaving is more of a problem then the actual Constitution or set up of the government.

Julie is a fair representative of the younger, college-aged, people I spoke with yesterday. She didn't profess to have answers, but she had questions and concerns. Based on her last answer, I'm more radical than she is, which is actually a comforting thing for me to hear. She was apolitical, but she was concerned about her future and the future of our country.

Note at the Bottom: I did not cherry-pick protesters based on appearance or a pre-conceived notion of who a person might be in an attempt to score a "gotcha" interview. I was drawn to protesters by the signs they held and started my interviews from that point.

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