Monday, October 17, 2011
Occupy Wall Street organizers called for a Global Action Day, Saturday, October 15th.
In response, protesters marched into Times Square, waving signs and beating drums rhythmically to the bellows of "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out." The group garnered an estimated 6,000 protesters and rallied for about 5 hours.
The Times Square invasion followed a flash mob-style bombardment on the Chase Bank located near Wall Street by two dozen protesters, where they closed their accounts and passed out fliers urging clients to follow suit. The group reportedly gained momentum and proceeded to a downtown branch of Citibank at LaGuardia Place, which resulted in 24 arrests for trespassing.
A few scuffles ensued, sending two police officers to the hospital for minor injuries. An estimated 92 people were arrested citywide during events speckling New York City.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, based downtown Manhattan in Zuccotti Park, began September 17, protesting what demonstrators call a broken system. They call themselves “The 99%” , based on a study by Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz's which reveals one percent of Americans control 40 percent of wealth in the United States. The protesters denounce a system that has brought about 14.0 unemployed Americans, home foreclosures, government cutbacks to health and education spending and other social services, lack of government support for war veterans , class wars, and overall corporate greed.
More than 700 protesters have been arrested in New York alone since day one of Occupy Wall Street.
The movement is rapidly picking up steam as OCW-inspired protests continue sprouting up throughout the nation and the worldwide.
Outbreaks have spurred in Washington, D.C., Fairbanks, Cincinnati, Chiago, Alaska, Burlington, Vermont, South Dakota, and Wyoming, to name a few. 175 people were arrested in Chicago for civil disobedience. An estimated 100 arrests were reported in Arizona and about 24 in Denver.
Violence was reported in Rome, where 150,000 occupied the streets in what protesters call a "global day of action against Wall Street greed." Eight arrests were reported in London. Citizens of Tokyo, Hong Kong and Australia have also joined the movement.
Trade unions, local community groups, politicians, celebrities, students and environmentalists have thrown their support behind OCW, who have raised an estimated $230,000 online and on site donations.
Critics censure the movement, calling the protesters a mob of anarchists, extremists and “lazy commies.” Black Star News caught up with artist, Noah Fischer, who has been a Wall Street occupant since day one. Mr. Fischer stated that his discontentment stems from "economic injustices keeping us divided and taking away the power of the people all over the world. People are suffering from all types of economic difficulties while the banks play games with our money."
Questions have been raised about the minuscule presence of the African American population to Occupy Wall Street.
It has been speculated that the low number of African Americans participating in Occupy Wall Street is based on an economic system that has never offered a level playing field to African Americans.
Some consider Occupy Wall Street too little, too late. Others envision the movement the birth of a new frontier.
What’s your opinion?
Brenda Jeanne Wyche
The Black Star News
"Speaking Truth To Empower"