petition was preserved as a basic democratic way after the founding of the United States. The bill of rights was officially written into the constitution as an amendment to the constitution. Its first article is: “Congress shall not enact laws on the following matters: or deprive the people of the right to peaceful assembly and petition the government to redress their grievances.”

“occupy Wall Street” activities also spread to the campus, and there was a small campus protest – “occupy Harvard”.

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after entering the 21st century, diversification and globalization have become the basic characteristics of contemporary culture, which is embodied in the “occupy Wall Street” movement.

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, “occupy Wall Street” and “occupy Boston”,

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in October 17, 2011, the title of the magazine’s cover is “China bubble”. The theme of this issue is China’s economy and its influence on the world. Only in the form of a brief form of the sixteenth page of the journal, is the publication of “occupy Wall Street”. By October 17, “occupy Wall Street” had lasted for a whole month, and its influence had spread all over the world. Many cities have joined the petition of “occupy Wall Street”. Large mass gatherings have appeared in Boston,, even Rome, Berlin and London. The number of petitioners sleeping out in zuccotti park is increasing, and more people come to help them on weekends. In the first month of the petition, 955 people were arrested by New York police. According to statistics, more than 200000 people took part in various forms of protests in 900 cities in 82 countries around the world.

at Harvard, the dark tide of “occupy Boston” is surging. Many students of colleges and departments use weekends and spare time to go to Dewey square to cheer for the petition. These activities are usually personal behavior. There are no slogans or demonstration signs on the campus, and there are no notices related to the “occupy Wall Street” action in the dazzling bulletin boards. But others quietly brewing a small campus protest – “occupy Harvard”: on November 1, there was a riot in Professor Nicholas Gregory Mankiw’s classroom, and nearly half of the more than 100 students stood up and walked out of the classroom. They used the “call and response” method of “occupy Wall Street” to express their position:

“this course will affect Harvard graduates.”

“this course will affect Harvard graduates.”

“Harvard students have assisted”

“Harvard students have assisted”

“and participated in”

“and participated in the most unjust actions in recent years.”

“the most unjust action in recent years.”

“Harvard students will never do that again!”

“Harvard students will never do that again!”

Mankiw became the youngest tenured professor in the history of Harvard University at the age of 29. From 2003 to 2005, he served as the chairman of the presidential Economic Advisory Committee of the Bush administration and the economic adviser of Mitt Romney, the current Republican presidential candidate. His economic views were considered “too conservative” by students. In response to the “occupy Wall Street” action, Professor mankun is obviously a suitable target. After the protesting students left, the “Introduction to economics” went on normally. The theme of Professor mankun’s class was “on income inequality”. On his highly clicked blog, Professor mankun said: “I’m sorry that the protesting students didn’t hear this class.”

nearly two months after the “occupy Wall Street” action, such events and attitudes well illustrate the way Americans view petitions and demonstrations. They are not afraid to publicly express their views and question their authority, but their daily life is still in good order. When occupy Harvard students went out of class and joined occupy Boston demonstrations, most Harvard students still studied step by step on campus. And the next day, the students of occupy Harvard returned to Professor Mankiw’s class with a critical perspective. Dissent has been expressed, and the purpose of “occupying Harvard” has been achieved. The lives of citizens were not affected at all. Traditional costume parades were organized in various communities around Halloween, and no one talked about the petition that took place not far away. Television and newspaper reports are regular, without deliberately avoiding or overemphasizing. Some Americans feel that the objectives of this petition are very scattered, so it is unlikely to achieve any results.

on the weekend, I went with my friends to visit the South Station in Boston, the headquarters of occupy Boston. In November, the cold in Boston became thicker and thicker. The heavy snow a week ago made the ground in the tent area of South Station muddy and difficult to walk, and many temporary passages were built with boards in many places. In the small park, more than 200 tents were densely erected, and slogans and demonstration signs can be seen everywhere. The most common slogan is “we are 99%!” This is a basic theme of the occupy Wall Street movement: the gap between the rich and the poor and social justice. According to statistics, one percent of people in the United States have an average annual income of US $1.530773, while the remaining 99 percent have an average annual income of US $54792. Many slogans are aimed at large group companies, “this should be a government owned, governed and enjoyed by the people, rather than a government owned, ruled and enjoyed by group companies”. “Sovereignty belongs to the people!” A simple portrait was erected in the center of the tent area. “Non Violence” and “civil disobedience” are another special feature of “occupy Boston”. As the hometown of Thoreau, the author of on civil disobedience, Boston is one of the origins of American freedom. So when mayor Thoma”We will tolerate demonstrations; we will tolerate freedom of speech; but we will not tolerate civil disobedience… Civil disobedience doesn’t work in Boston,” s Menino said Caused a strong protest. A protester left his words on the fence beside the camp: “Mr. Mayor said ‘civil disobedience is intolerable’. That’s why I’m here. It shocked me!”

every protester has his own reason. Many slogans say “we have no leader!” A retired couple has been living in the camp for several weeks. They joined the demonstration because they were dissatisfied with the current situation of American society, especially the increasing number of drug and alcohol users. A non-profit teacher said he protested for his students that education and employment had become so difficult that “many children could not see the future”. A group of students from the suburbs of Boston came to the camp to express their support and “let the movement continue”. A young man living in a blue tent picked up a carnation that fell on the roadside and pinned it on his tent. He protested because “American democracy is on the verge of bankruptcy. We have no other way, we have no spokesperson, and we want our voice to be heard”. There are three or five groups of police chatting around the camp. They are obviously part of 99%. In order to ensure the normal operation of “American democracy on the verge of bankruptcy”, they are on duty in the cold wind in Boston in October. In addition to journalists, protesters and visitors coming and going, many volunteers are busy in the camp. The protesters’ three meals a day and medical treatment are provided by volunteers, and other donations can be seen everywhere. The whole camp is like a small society with its own system. Its existence reminds people: what’s wrong with American society? But its way of existence, even its existence itself, reminds people that petition, as a legal way of civil rights appeal, has a long tradition in the United States, and this tradition still maintains vitality.

citizen participation has changed the political coordinates of North America.

petition was originally the practice of British political culture. People can appeal to the authorities for “any conceivable dissatisfaction”. Even the high king of England cannot completely ignore the people’s petition. On his way to the British throne from Scotland to London in 1604, James I was “bombarded by various petitions” and finally prompted him to convene parliament in order to alleviate “all the grievances and resentments of our people”. Since then, dealing with all kinds of petitions has become a basic business of the British Parliament. In the mid-17th century, petitions developed into a means of encouraging the public, no longer just the behavior of individuals or small groups, but with more political color. Many petitions were printed and widely disseminated.

British immigrants obviously brought this political tradition to the North American colonies. The people’s court in the Massachusetts colony established a special committee to deal with public petitions. Since the colonial era, public petition is a way of political participation that can be applied to anyone regardless of social status, wealth and gender. Like many political traditions brought from Britain to the North American colonies, the nature of the petition itself began to change fundamentally with the change of the environment and the passage of time. David Zarit pointed out that the legitimacy of petitions in the UK has always been fragile. “A petition is legitimate only if it reflects humility and loyalty in a model document that begins with an established and extremely respectful tribute to the king and Parliament.” Petitioners know very well that petition is not a right, but a privilege for them. If a petition is accepted, it is a gift of those in power. If those in power choose to ignore the petition, the petitioner has no right to further appeal at all. Therefore, petition in Britain can never be a challenge or challenge to the authority. On the contrary, it is essentially begging for a little extra “favor” from the authority. The establishment of a completely different kind of authority in the North American colonies, its legitimacy itself depends on its relationship with the people, and the colonial “authority is based on the free identity of the people”. In the colonies, petitions were not begging for gifts, but recognizing that the authorities had the responsibility and obligation to quell public discontent and deal with troubles and problems for them in order to improve the public welfare of the colonies.

of course, not all colonial petitions ended in comedy. In 1637, some fundamentalists petitioned the Massachusetts people’s court that the court’s judgment on pastor John Wheelwright’s “sedition” was unfair. They believed that the “influence of Satan” could be seen in the court’s judgment. The Colonial Court responded to the petition by sentencing them to “seditious libel” and punishing everyone who signed the petition. It is worth noting that when denouncing the drafters of the petition, Governor John Winthrop stressed that the reason for their punishment was not “committing insurrection”, but that they called on the people to challenge the court’s decision, because “the opposition of the people will overthrow the foundation of our community”.

nevertheless, the colonies never recognized that the petition itself was anti-government. Just after deciding that the petition was “seditious rebellion”, the Colonial Court stated: “this court does not restrict other freedom of petition, other personal complaints, or any other legitimate means of public expression.” Four years later, the Colonial Court reaffirmed its support for the freedom of petition and formally incorporated it into the colonial “Freedom Act”. The people of the North American colonies used petitions to legally express their individual or group rights. Together with other forms of political participation, they gradually developed a public lifestyle with a high degree of democracy and autonomy in the 150 year colonial history.

when the British government began to strengthen taxation and other controls on the North American colonies in the late 18th century, the colonists first chose to petition to express their political dissatisfaction. The main work of the first Continental Congress held in Philadelphia in September 1774 was to draft a petition to the king of England. The colonists soon realized that this was what they thought was“The most basic characteristics of an autonomous mass movement that is not confused and corrupted by professional politicians.

the 20th century was an era of totalitarianism. All political movements in the 21st century will be based on the reflection of this reality. The significance of the diversity of the petition movement may be better understood by comparing the characteristics of the totalitarian movement: “The totalitarian movement is essentially a mass organization composed of some isolated individuals. One of its most remarkable external characteristics is that individual members must be completely, unconditionally and as always loyal. Loyalty is the psychological basis of totalitarian rule. Leaders and elites of the totalitarian movement must constantly maintain the loyalty of the masses in order to inspire them to Dedication in sports. They want the masses to know that the reason why they exist in this world and occupy a place is entirely because they belong to a movement and are members of a political party. They can only “benefit from the party they join and the tasks assigned to them by the party.” The 99% declaration of

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is not only to explicitly oppose social injustice, but also to show a pluralistic position. If 99% is just a homogeneous group, then politics will lose space and petition will lose significance. It is undoubtedly a historical progress that petitioners no longer agree with a single political goal and political identity, but will this disperse the energy of the Petition Movement, and eventually lead to the petition becoming a mere formality and only a way to release political emotion and political tension, prevent the petition goal from entering the legislative process and finally form an effective law, and change the reality of people’s dissatisfaction? We can’t see such doubts in the occupy Wall Street petitioners, because they don’t expect to solve all the problems through one petition. Petition is not the only way for Americans to participate in politics. People only want to achieve the goal that the petition itself can achieve, that is to make a voice and make a different voice. The specific requirements put forward in each petition can not be all reasonable. It is childish to expect to change the chronic disease of society through one or two petitions. However, the petition activity maintains a healthy vitality and freely expresses the political, economic and cultural demands of any person or group of people in a peaceful, open and legal way, which is precious to the normal operation of a democratic and healthy society.