Creating the necessary bridge over the societal communication gap

One of the main points I extracted from the Boal reading is the importance of communication and how varied that from of communication could be. I feel that one of the big issues with American society that is occasionally emerging in the Occupy Wall Street movement is the extreme separation between ‘the people’ and the authority, but specifically police officers. Within an abundance of progressive societal movements and protests lies a face value hatred for the police, however what is not taken into account is that the rights and privileges the protestors are fighting for, the ability to provide support for the families of those speaking out, are the same goals of the officers. When an officer is out regulating a protest before it gets out of hand, the officer is performing their job and their duties in order to make a living and provide for their families. These are real people with real emotions, frustrations, and complications, very similar to the prison guards performing in the Theater of the Oppressed.

The distinction between American society and a culture that breeds a performance such as the Theater of the Oppressed is that the communication embodying the similarities between the protestor and the police officer do not exist. However, the Occupy Wall Street movement is showing some signs of this cultivation of thought. In a few occurrences, police officers at specific protests are joining the protestors and abandoning their authoritative responsibilities, relaying the message that they, in addition to the protesters of the movement, are the oppressed 99%. That while they serve as the tangible face of civil authority, they do not reap the benefits of the 1% and, instead, receive all the anger from the 99% directed at the higher authority. I believe the American public could benefit greatly from this humanizing form of communication and can aid in understanding where and at whom to cast blame for economic instability.


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