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Occupy Wall Street!

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, September 29th, 2011 - 39 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, class war, us politics - Tags:

It’s had very little coverage in the “mainstream media”, but an interesting protest in America has now passed its tenth continuous day. The aim of the protest is to Occupy Wall Street:

Our Mission
On the 17th of September, we want to see 20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up beds, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months.

Like our brothers and sisters in Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Iceland, we plan to use the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic of mass occupation to restore democracy in America. We also encourage the use of nonviolence to achieve our ends and maximize the safety of all participants.

Who is Occupy Wall Street?
Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.

The original call for this occupation was published by Adbusters in July; since then, many individuals across the country have stepped up to organize this event, such as the people of the NYC General Assembly and US Day of Rage. There’ll also be similar occupations in the near future such as October2011 in Freedom Plaza, Washington D.C.

So how are they doing?

Defying harsh critiques from Stephen Colbert and slews of bloggers who scoffed last week at the “leaderless”, “directionless”, Frisbee-throwing hipsters camping out on cardboard at a random New York City park in the financial district, Occupy Wall Street appears to be gaining ground. From the modest 200 occupiers last week, numbers of protesters rose to an estimated peak of approximately 3,000 to 5,000 at the weekend’s march. Media attention has grown exponentially.

That  same piece draws links between Occupy Wall Street and the “virtual collective” Anonymous.  Other Guardian coverage is here (overview) and here (live blog), see various images here.

Check out the Occupy Wall Street home page for photos, video clips, daily blogs and other resources.  And its not just limited to Wall Street, many related occupations have sprung up in support.  So far at least 52 cities in America are occupied or organising – see Occupy Together.

Hard to say which way this movement will go, but it’s nice to see some signs of grass roots activism in an America which has seemed politically lobotomised for so long.

39 comments on “Occupy Wall Street! ”

  1. Rijab 1

    The mainstream media in America are finally starting to find a voice on this. This video is a must watch:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5zmzV5IxpQ

  2. randal 2

    So who is going to pay for all this?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      JPM and GS, I hope.

      Because ordinary tax payers have paid for these bankster a-holes and their billion dollar bonus pools quite long enough.

  3. JS 3

    This youtube clip of Michael Moore’s visit is great. They aren’t allowed mikes or loudhailers so the created their own magification system.

  4. JS 4

    The Occupy movement is also spreading other US cities. Along with @Moving-Planet and @350 and other grass roots movements which are starting to spread, it almost makes you feel optimistic for the future. Also shows that the current NZ government is just an irrelevant blip.

  5. queenstfarmer 5

    Hard to say which way this movement will go

    I don’t think so. We all know where it will go. Just like the London riots (remember those?) that were, according to some here, the start of the beautiful revolution etc etc, but have now been shown to be primarily simple hooliganism led by career crims. Maybe a small hard-core will remain camped out on Wall St for years and years, like the handful of people who have protested on Parliament Square for about a decade – and if so, will be about as effective.

    • bbfloyd 5.1

      exposing your lack of depth, and bigotry doesn’t qualify as an argument queeny….it’s just tawdry and demeans people whom you have no knowledge of whatsoever…. we all know how self important torys tend to be.. no need to remind us..

      • queenstfarmer 5.1.1

        Calm down, I wasn’t making an argument. I was simply stating facts and adding an opinion, or a prediction really, based on those facts. I don’t see how bigotry comes into it – don’t suppose you would care to explain?

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          You’re assuming that current power structures will stay intact.

          Multi-billion dollar hedge funds are coming down in Oct, and that’s just for a start.

          • queenstfarmer 5.1.1.1.1

            Yes I am assuming that. Hedge funds have fallen before and not taken the world with them – I don’t see what will be different here. But what I do hope will be different is that (if they fall) they take a few speculators with them. No more crony capitalist bailouts.

            Even when (I really don’t think it’s “if”) Greece defaults, yes there will be some chaos and carnage, but I don’t think “power structures” will fall.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    It will last for as long as it takes to rain or snow. Then they will all crawl back to their pathetic little lives.

    • Galeandra 6.1

      ‘Pathetic little lives..’—in the way their jobs, savings and futures have been ‘vanished’ by the too-big-to-fail brigade?
      You really are an insensitive wanker.

    • AAMC 6.2

      It rained on day two didn’t it. I’ve been watching the Twitter feed, they just tweeted for umbrellas.

    • felix 6.3

      “Then they will all crawl back to their pathetic little lives.”

      tsmithfield likes to pretend to be a fairly boring but level-headed middle-class drone but he can’t always hold back the seething hatred, the vile liquid filth, the poison boiling just beneath his skin.

      And in those moments we catch a glimpse of what this nasty, petty, impotent right-wing swamp-dog really thinks about ordinary people.

  7. You can Agree or disagree with the protestors, until there is something like 100 thousand people there, then the media wont take notice.

  8. JS 8

    It is both actual and virtual, and the networks are what matter. So the Guardian article yesterday about whether that money trader Rastani interview was for real or not, had a link from the YesMen denying that he was one of theirs, but highlighting the Occupy Wall St movement.
    So hundreds of thousands are already involved, worldwide.

  9. AAMC 11

    This is a must watch too

    Former NYT journalist joins and is interviewed at #occupywallstreet

    http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/chris_hedges_occupies_wall_street_20110926/

  10. Paul 12

    I would recommend that everyone reading this blog watches the following films:
    Inside Job by Neil Ferguson
    Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore

    Of even more interest are the programmes made by Adam Curtis; the most relevant are:
    The Century of Self
    The Mayfair Set
    The Trap

    The occupy movement is now in cities around the world.
    http://occupytogether.org/

  11. Hilary 13

    Paul, thanks for that link. Dear Standard: can you keep this thread from slipping into the archives? It would be good to have regular updates, as this movement grows. In less than two weeks it has spread to cities across the US. When will it reach NZ?

  12. Wall Street soon too become Fall Street.

  13. Paul Edington 15

    Also worth a watch on this subject.
    Lifting the Veil: Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy

  14. johnm 16

    At last! Americans have woken up to the cruel, destroy the public good, ideology of Friedman’s neo-liberalism -the same system this Nat Act government slavishly follows.Our sheople still vote for asset stripper john.

    “Growing anger over police attack on Wall Street protesters”
    “It makes me so angry that these corporations behave like they have absolute power over the workers. It’s okay for Verizon to pay nothing in corporate taxes and turn around and cut jobs, healthcare and pensions for working families. Who are you at the top that you think this is okay? They still have their corporate jets and go anywhere they want for weekends—I can’t even remember the last time my parents went on vacation.”

    “Two-thirds of corporations don’t pay any corporate taxes in this country. Can you imagine if me or my parents didn’t pay their taxes? They’d end up in jail. It’s the law. And multi-billionaires get away scot-free.”

    “I’m so angry that so many people’s lives are being ruined unnecessarily in this country. There doesn’t have to be problems like homelessness, unemployment and the uninsured. It could be fixed—there’s plenty of money. It’s just all being hoarded at the top.”

    “I think it is really sad what is happening to health care. I have already had trouble myself with the insurance companies. The insurance companies run the health care industry. When you spend three hours waiting in a doctor’s office, it is because the doctor has to see more and more people to have enough patients to make a living salary because what the insurance companies are paying doctors to treat a patient is disgraceful.

    “It is a sin that Medicare and Medicaid are being cut. The whole thing is shameful. People should be getting free quality health care because it has to do with the welfare of the people. It should be paid for by taxes. If the politicians weren’t giving tax breaks to the corporations and banks, and weren’t funding so many wars, they would have the money to put into healthcare and public services.”

    Refer link:

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/sep2011/wall-s29.shtml

  15. Afewknowthetruth 17

    Before you get too excited about this I suggest you watch Capitalism is the crisis.

    http://capitalismisthecrisis.net/

    Take particular note of the way police in Toronto deliberately attacked protesters and abused them while they were in custody (pretty standard practice in much of the ‘civilised’ world, of course) in order to show them what happens if you oppose the empire.

    Battle in Seattle was similar scenario. The Wall Street gangsters control the US government (and many other governments) and control the ‘security forces’.

    I strongly suspect this movement has started at the wrong time of the year, and few living in the streets or in parks will stand the weather conditions that prevail in NY from November onwards.

    However, by next March/April, when the global economy will have shrunk a bit more (due to declining oil supply etc.) the number of Americans on food stamps may have topped 50 million, they may be ready for another try.

    It is pertinent to remember that the last time radicals attempted to bring down ‘the evil empire’ students in California were shot dead and ring leaders were sentenced to many years in prison.

    http://www.freewebs.com/ziggystardust26/

  16. idlegus 18

    hilary barry mentioned it on radio live (just to prove there was no msm cover up she said), but said there was no story, protest was unfocussed & ‘rent-a-crowd’, mike moore & susan sarandon (so its gotta be crap), then went on to tell us rhianna got kicked out of a barley field for taking off her top & theres a cat with 2 faces…

  17. JS 19

    Reflection by Matt Stoller – it’s not about success or failure but about making meaning
    http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/occupywallstreet-church-dissent-not-protest

  18. AAMC 20

    #occupywallstreet looking for donations to fund their own newspaper to distribute in States in conjunction with The Yes Men.

  19. Richard 21

    http://jpmorganchase.com/corporate/Home/article/ny-13.htm

    “JPMorgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple. The money will pay for 1,000 new patrol car laptops, as well as security monitoring software in the NYPD’s main data center.”

    OH SNAP

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