Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy Wall Street I: Formal Statement

Occupy Wall Street protested in strength at Times Square, NYC this past Saturday, October 15, 2011, as pictured. The movement is gathering in momentum and now seems to be resonating around the world. While Occupy Wall Street as a movement appears diffuse and leaderless for now, the frustration and anger that the hundreds of thousands of worldwide protesters feel is palpable. The anger primarily relates to the corporate and bank takeover of economies around the world. This blog has often expressed the dangers in adopting the Wall Street Economy as the official economic policy of the United States--one in which "what is good for Wall Street" is deemed without interrogation as "good for America." When the Wall Street economy is embraced as official U.S. policy, then we see a government willing to provide taxpayer funded bailouts that end up (a) rescuing Wall Street executives from their reckless and fraudulent conduct; (b) paying bonuses and executive compensation to corporate leadership at record rates, while unemployment skyrockets; and (c) paying lobbyists hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for lobbying against reform and new regulation. Simply stated, TARP bailout funds ended up in the pockets of lobbyists working hard against Dodd-Frank legislative proposals. Additionally, TARP bailout funds ended up as hoarded capital enabling near record executive compensation based on faux-profit balance sheets. Occupy Wall Street decries all of these corporate realities, and more.

Despite the diffuse goals of Occupy Wall Street, some have attempted to capture the movement in words. Below is a video link to one formal statement of the Occupy Wall Street movement as read by Keith Olbermann:

According to the Wall Street Journal, the worldwide protests have been primarily peaceful, though riots did break out in Rome, Italy. "The protest in Rome was one of many rallies taking place around the world as part of an international day of protest inspired by the "Indignant Ones" movement in Spain and the Occupy Wall Street protests in the U.S. Most of the protests were peaceful."

(photo of Times Square protest courtesy of AP)


  1. I support the movement, but it seems like it's getting a bad rap for nothing.

    My favorite part is:
    [A]s Mr. Zuckerman ponders the Occupy Wall Street movement, he concludes that "the door to it was opened by the Obama administration, going after the 'millionaires and billionaires' as if everybody is a millionaire and a billionaire and they didn't earn it. . . . To fan that flame of populist anger I think is very divisive and very dangerous for this country."

    Why isn't he mad about the republican attitude of, "oh we need to end the entitlement programs," and "oh, minimum wages/worker safety regulations/payroll taxes (take your pick) are the reason I can't hire anyone."

    But Occupy Wall Street's the ones being divisive. Right.

    One other point, this about the "primarily peaceful" point you made above--
    I've been reading on various G+/Facebook/blogs that the OWS people are trying to go into their banks and close their accounts and are being arrested/assaulted as a result. I would encourage anyone who believes this is occurring (and this is the most anti-OWS I hope to ever be) to read the articles very carefully. The OWS protestors are going into banks in small but loud groups, yelling at the clerks to close their accounts, and are then being subsequently arrested for trespassing/disturbing the peace. The first article I read didn't even address the fact that there were two dozen protestors immediately outside the door (blocking the path of egress. . .) however the video they posted revealed the position the bankers were in.

    If anyone reads these comments--I encourage you to protest. But I also encourage you to do so in a peaceful, non-tortious way. :)

  2. This post is important. I don't think many people realize the protesters have articulated a list of grievances.

  3. dre,

    Great post! I agree with Cheryl, thank you for sharing the list of grievances with everyone. It is important to see that this is not some unarticulated movement like some in the media would lead us to believe.

  4. While the list of grievances read are accurate and substantial, that letter never formulated a plan or suggested how to stop this behavior. I don't want to beat a dead horse but the movement still seems leaderless and without a plan of attack on how to solve the issues. While protesting may bring to greater light the problems we have, the only way to fix them is to discuss ideas on a better way. Instead of talking about the problems themselves, why don't we suggest ways to fix them?