Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Occupy Wall Street" Gains Momentum

The loosely defined "Occupy Wall Street" movement is gaining momentum. Led largely by disaffected twenty-somethings, protestors are intent on shining a national spotlight on corporate greed and excess, government bailouts of Wall Street rather than Main Street, and a host of other issues centering around economic inequality. As protestor Emily Graham articulated: "I'm basically sick of corporate greed . . . . I'm frustrated that companies can pollute on a catastrophic level. They get all the tax breaks."

A fascinating question is whether Occupy Wall Street will resonate across the United States. Protests have broken out in other major cities across the country, as the Wall Street protests have drawn thousands and thousands of disenchanted. This blog has often contemplated why the public outcry has been missing in connection with the financial market crisis. Perhaps the public has had enough of Wall Street economic hijinks.


  1. Jessica R_Memphis LawOctober 7, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Though the movement is led by twenty-somethings, it has grown to represent the diversity of the crowd that is affected by corporate greed. It ranges from college students in deep student loan debt to new immigrants and stay-at-home fathers.

    Check out some of their stories at this site:

  2. Kenneth W (Memphis Law)October 8, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    Occupy Wall Street has definitely spread and made its way to my city. The group has organized under a different guise in Memphis; they call themselves "Occupy Memphis." Occupy Memphis organized and planned protests earlier this week which eventually took place on Thursday. The Thursday protests aligned with the national movement that took place in Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C. Occupy Memphis' organizational efforts were composed of a strategy to target certain areas of the city in order to be heard. Their first public demonstration took place in downtown Memphis during business hours. While conducting their initial meeting, the group read their mission statements aloud. They explained in front of several supporters that they were representing themselves as a group composed of workers, students, the unemployed, and those on Social Security benefits who have not benefited from financial bailouts, tax breaks, etc. Occupy Memphis has also sought to express their opposition to Memphis related issues such as predatory lending in the housing sector and criticizing banks for providing subsidies to corporations. The national movement has influenced many others across the country to express their dissatisfaction and frustration with corporate greed.

  3. I hope they're able to get something done, because stuff is in a pretty sorry state at the moment.

    Ann Coulter said the other day that similar statements had been made before the French Revolution. And my response to her is, "Well, yes. And haven't we been told, 'let them eat cake' enough?"

    I like this video: If nothing else, it's good to see someone with some backbone.

  4. This blog (see link) made me think of this blog.

  5. Jessie C. (Memphis Law)October 12, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    I believe that this movement has definately spread and will continue to do so. Just as Kenneth said, this movement has already spread to Memphis and is addressing not only National issues but also Memphis related issue as well.

    It is very possible that the movement supporters will expand past "twenty-somethings" as the movement gets more publicity and is heard more. The headlines for the past several years about tax cuts for the wealthy and corporate greed have been too influential not to have an effect on everyone.

    A Yahoo article states that the movement has already spread to 150 U.S. cities and Europe. Check it out at:

  6. Spencer (Memphis Law)October 18, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    I haven't studied the Occupy movement in detail; I've just had casual observance from various news outlets. I don't think they are communicating clearly. All I've gathered is that they don't like big corporations and banks. How many people in the movement actually understand capitalism? Do they have any solutions? I'm not taking a side, but I do think they could be more effective with their message.

  7. Caroline (Memphis Law)October 18, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    I also have not studied the Occupy movement in detail but it seems to be getting a lot of attention in the news and certainly on this blog. These twenty something year olds are standing up for what they believe in but I also agree with Spencer (Memphis Law) in the comment of do they really know what they are fighting for? In my early twenties I would have no clue what I was protesting against because the world of Wall Street, Taxation, and Corporations is so complex you cannot learn that just in undergraduate programs. In Law school I learn something new everyday and I still wouldn't be able to confidently join this movement because I do not know all there is to know about the issue at hand. I think some of these people that join the movement are essentially just joining to be a "follower" so to speak and really only have scratched the surface in their understanding of what it is they are really standing up for.


  9. I have the benefit of hindsight in posting well after Occupy movements have begun. Is it possible that the target of such movements has been misplaced? Sure, banks and corporations do not escape culpability, but political oversight (or lack thereof) may be a better target. After all, isn't it the political arena that can't seem to fix problems right now? If the American public has a <10% approval rating for Congress, and a retort to that is that it's "at least better than Castro (5%)," perhaps Occupy movements can redirect their aim?

  10. I also have the benefit of hindsight but this post raises some questions that still have not been answered. What do the OWS protesters actually want? The quote in the post wanted an end to corporate greed and was angered that corporations get all the tax breaks. While those things can be angering the OWS protesters should start making demands as to not only what they want to change but how they expect that to happen. If they are not happy with the decisions politicians are making they must create a platform with how the changes are to be made. If not then the things they are complaining about may be changed but maybe not in the way the OWS protesters will be happy with.