THE WORLD SHOULD BE WATCHING - THE MOVEMENT TO OCCUPY WALL STREET
On September 17, close to 5,000 American citizens descended on New York City’s Financial District to express their dissent for our capitalist-driven economy. The event, called OccupyWallStreet, was organized by many different activist groups including CodePink, Adbusters, and the hacker collective Anonymous.
This incident has received little media attention, but this hasn’t stopped protesters from continuing their fifth day of Wall Street ‘occupation’. Yesterday brought the first arrests, and several videos surfaced on the Internet of police brutality toward the peaceful activists.
Despite the media’s attempts to downplay and discredit the movement, the Internet support is massive. Last night, a Twitter fundraiser garnered enough donations to purchase a generator for the protesters, who have set up camp in Zuccotti Park.
Occupywallstreet.org publishes frequent updates and provides a live feed of the protesters. On Day 4, they published this statement:
This is the fourth communiqué from the 99 percent. We are occupying Wall Street.
On September 20th, 2011, we were awoken by police bullhorns around seven in the morning, they objected to us protecting ourselves from the rain. They told us that the tarps suspended above us had to be taken down. We held a General Assembly to determine how to respond. We decided that we would hold the tarps over ourselves and our possessions. The police ripped the plastic away from us. We then scrambled to protect our possessions, primarily the media equipment streaming our occupation to the world.
Before we say more about what happened to us it seems important to point this out: we do not think the police are our enemy. They have jobs, how could we fault them for that, when one sixth of America lives in poverty? when one sixth of America can’t find work? The police are part of the 99 per cent.
The occupiers aren’t simply voicing their dissent and anger with cute signs and V for Vendetta masks. They are organized. They are active. In addition to their usual community outreach activities, today they have planned meetings with the IWW and Teamsters as well as discussions on political prisoners and social media training workshops. A “Patriarchy Teach In” will close out the day.
If you don’t live in NYC and can’t physically go out to support the movement, there are thousands of ways to spread the word across the Internet. Watch the live feed, post updates and footage of the protests on your social network of choice, donate, educate, spread the word.
If you’re reading this, you are part of the 99%. Even if you feel helpless, you can lend a hand to this cause. Express your opinions, express your anger. Above all, remember there are thousands of people just like you who are dissatisfied with our government.
(Edit: you can view photos of Occupy Wall Street here)