Occupy Wall Street

By tamara on
image of occupy wall street

One day last fall, I ventured over to Zuccotti Park where protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement had set up their base camp.  As someone who has spent their entire career on Wall Street and by definition falls into the class divide of the one percent, I am a part of the very establishment protested by this movement.

Although I felt some sense of responsibility, I don’t deny that my objective that day was to ultimately discredit the protesters, whom I felt were attacking my livelihood.  According to the media, the movement lacked organization and a well articulated goal – and that is what I set out to validate for myself.

Much as I had heard, the crowd was an assembly of young rebels and drifters, the unemployed and the unemployable, some homeless, some drug addicts and a few cat ladies.  Not much credibility among them.  They were disorganized and aimless and would have followed anyone who was willing to lead them – if I had microphone and amp, I could have even rallied the movement to follow me down the street and into the East River like the Pied Piper.

But despite the movement’s lack of leadership and well formulated plan, the VIBE of the protest was right.  When 24 million of America’s people can’t find a full-time job, 50 million can’t see a doctor when they’re sick, 15 million owe more on their home than it is worth and 47 million need government help to feed themselves – it is unequivocal – our system IS broken.

I am supportive of activism and in many ways am even supportive of this cause, despite my career.  Like so many Americans, I too have a mortgage that is underwater and although I have a job today there is no guarantee that I will have a job tomorrow.  And if I were to lose my job, my bills would go unpaid with same consequences of foreclosure that face the 99%.

It is now March 2012.  This movement which was quiet through the winter months has begun to re-surge and this time with a greater degree of organization.  The mission is now clearly articulated on the Occupy website which is “fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations.”

But the economy is starting to show signs of improvement.  Recent economic data suggests that unemployment is decreasing with jobless claims at their lowest level in four years.  As the economy continues to grow the anger which has fueled the Occupy movement will begin to subside.  Over time, most of the Occupy protesters will come to accept that social injustice is in the fabric of every society – and the rest of the protesters, will just go to work.

8 comments

  1. Great post. I think many that are in your shoes feel the same way. I’m not sure that the Occupy movement is the best expression of the sense of concern that many–even in the 1%–have–but your post frames the issue well.

    • Are you protesting Obama’s boliauts of Wall Street? His appointing of Geithner and Bernanke, Wall Street cronies? His deficit spending? His fundraising with Wall Street Execs? His more than cozy relationship with GE’s Immelt, who is shipping jobs to China?I think you and the tea party have more in common than anyone would admit.

      • Thank you for your post! I think the list is infinite and together they make up the system and our system isn’t functioning properly. Government has gotten too big and steps into places it doesn’t belong. Even when the banks needed the bailout – Paulson and his team put together a four page proposal that congress turned into hundreds of pages loaded with pork – that’s politics for you and it has corroded our system.

        • Pelosi calls these protesters cguuaoeors and spontaneous and encourages them to continue. She condemns the T.E.A. Party when we hold a well organized and civil demonstration for the purpose of trying to say our country, not destroy it. I feel this is a ploy to take the spot light off Obama and the Democrats as they are doing such a pitiful job of running this country. It is our fault though as we sit around for years and let them take one freedom after another away from us. I also heard of the One World Organization 50 plus years ago. We are in for a real fight so we better be ready.

      • As usual Pelosi ignores or fails to acwkonledge the fact that she is where and who she is as a direct result of the corporate greed her husband being a capitalist of the highest order if I recall, she got legislation passed when she was the Speaker that would exclude US Possession Samoa from legislation regulating corporations .her husband being a significant stockholder in Chicken of the Sea (I believe -its one of the big tuna canneries anyway) based on Samoa, which if I’m not mistaken relegated their employees (the working man as the Left likes to call them) to 2nd class status ..and enhanced the profit position of her husband’s company .I do believe the Wall Street Occupiers are possibly smarter than she and perhaps even we realize .many of them during interviews have expressed Anti Obama/Democrats sentiments..

  2. Pingback: A message to the Wall Street Occupiers: Do Your Jobs! | Painting The Canvas

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