Interview with Sam Bruckman: Occupy Wall Street Millennial

Kevin Beerman
November 7, 2011

For six weeks now, the Occupy Wall Street has been taking the country by storm, forcing the already heated debate about class equality to the forefront of discussion in communities across the nation. At this point, millions around the globe have been involved, in varying degrees, with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Sam Bruckman is a Millennial who goes to school in New York.

Six weeks ago, when he heard that a few people from his school were going down to stay a night in lower Manhattan with the protesters, he felt obligated to go check it out. Mobilze.org caught up with Bruckman and asked him a few questions about his experience with the movement and why he thinks it is important to the Millennial Generation.

What do you think makes the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement so infectious and powerful?

I think the movement is so infectious because just about every American has suffered in one way or another due to the greed and corruption on Wall Street. Also, people who may have thought that protesting an issue is ineffective have seen the protests and revolutions around the world and have been encouraged that they can enact change by speaking out, especially in a movement with as much momentum as Occupy Wall Street.

How important is the OWS movement to the Millennial Generation?

The movement is important to the Millennial Generation not only because it has the potential to become a defining historical moment, but also because we have to live in this country for a lot longer. The America I live in today is not a place that I would like to graduate into and start my life in four years from now.

Why do you think it is important that Millennials get involved in the movement?

It’s important we get involved because, like I said, we have to live here for a long time and no one else is going to demand change for us. It’s something we need to do ourselves

What separates the OWS movement from other political movements in recent years?

A major difference from other movements I saw in general was that OWS is really trying to work outside the system. There was no discussion of trying to get bills passed through Congress or running any candidates for political office to represent the movement. They didn’t want to use the broken system that they are protesting.

Do you think OWS is a political movement or a re-definition of ideals?

I think it is more a redefinition of the morals of the middle class more than a political movement simply because they are trying to enact change outside the system. Are the morals of the middle class actually are shifting because of OWS? I really have no idea. I guess time will tell.

Why do you think older generations are apprehensive about the OWS movement?

I think the older generation is apprehensive because there is such radical change being suggested. With that said, there were lots of older people at the rally, especially during the day. They are out of work and angry too. One of my favorite things I overheard at the rally was this older woman, probably in her 50s or 60s, who said to her friend “you see, we hippies never die out.”

Do you think that the OWS movement is a signal of the “passing of the torch” from past generations to the Millennial Generation in terms of who holds political capital? Why?

18-22 year olds have the potential to be a massive voting block if we choose to go out and vote. This movement is our generation’s opportunity to show the politicians that we are ready to be involved in the political process. I think that the OWS movement is the time when our generation asserts itself politically.

Interested in learning more? Follow the Movement here.


Kevin Beerman is a Featured Blogger for Mobilize.org’s The Millennial Report. Beerman is a senior at Francis Howell North High School in St. Louis. He has worked with several organizations in the past, including the Red Cross, Salvation Army, The Mission Continues and other local organizations. In college, he plans on studying law and political science, and wants to pursue a career in politics when he is older.

This article was originally published by Mobilize.org. It is reprinted here with permission.