No struggle is a total waste of energy. The problems that the OWS protesters are calling for change to are very serious and evident (so long as you turn off mainstream news).
The mainstream news has dubbed it as a protest solely against those on Wall Street, but there's people from all segments and vocations that are fed up. It's also a nation wide movement, and spreading across the globe. If anyone has reservations or little understanding about the movement, the best thing you can do is go to a local rally and ask questions. Protests of such a grand scale as this have meaning and importance.
It's difficult for some people to see the tangible means of a mass movement when it's their country because we've been conditioned. Meanwhile, we'll all accredit the peoples in other countries-whether civil or not-who are fighting against the same things - austerity measures, corporate greed, corruption, social inequality et.al. Those people are revolutionaries, but at home they're all long haired, jobless, uneducated, pot smoking hippies. Spin works. "It's the intelligent manipulation of the public with false realities, which a compliant media would dispense" - Edward Bernay's (the father of spin).
Here's an amazing video of a U.S. marine sergeant protesting in NY - 'OWS ain't a war zone' - One marine vs 30 cops in NYC
And lastly - "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Gandhi
We, the people, create change. Not politricktions!