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Occupy protesters march through downtown Denver

I’m deeply conflicted when I look at the Occupy protesters.

The part of me that bought into “the system” all those years ago wants to tell the demonstrators to quiet down. It’s the part of me that feels justifiably selfish. It’s the part of me that’s been chipping away at a mortgage, saving for college, and trying to squirrel something away in my 401k. It’s the part of me that’s quick to anger when I hear people complain about having to go through the “difficult years.” I never say it, but I always think, “Yeah! We all go through those times. It will get better!” It’s also that hopeful part of me that still wants to believe that hard work creates opportunity, and opportunity eventually allows each of us to build a better life if we don’t give up.

However, as the Occupy protests grow, I have to admit that some of what the demonstrators are saying is beginning to connect with another part of me. It’s the part of me that is scared about my kids’ futures. It’s the part of me that sees closed businesses in my town and foreclosed houses in my neighborhood. It’s the part of me that worries that America somehow slipped off the tracks during my watch.

What do you think? Will Occupy Wall Street demonstrations bring significant political and economic change, or will things settle down once winter sets in?

All photos by John Moore / Getty Images

Protesters march through downtown Denver on Nov. 5, 2011. Hundreds of demonstrators marched in a peaceful protest, denouncing the Federal Reserve and urging customers to close their accounts with large banks and deposit their funds into local credit unions.

(Left) Occupy protesters dance on an American flag, Nov. 5, 2011 in Denver, Colo.
(Right) A restaurant patron watches Occupy protesters march by on Saturday.

AP reports

Protesters marched in cities across the United States on Saturday in support of Occupy Wall Street, with a focus on asking bank customers to move their money to credit unions.

One of the biggest protests was in Denver, where about 1,500 people marched to a new site with police escort, denverpost.com reported. The move to Skyline Park was done so that the protest could not interfere with a larger Veterans Day march, the Post reported. Read more...

Bank customers tired of mounting fees have organized a 'Bank Transfer Day' to pull out their money from major financial institutions. NBC's Stephanie Gosk reports.

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