2011-09-17 "Anonymous Amongst Protestors in Occupy Wall Street Demonstration" by Jo Harrington
A mass protest against the monetisation of basic needs is being held in Wall Street, NYC. Adbusters and Anonymous warn that they will be there for weeks.
On September 17th 2011, protestors gathered in Wall Street, New York City, for a demonstration which is set to last for weeks. Activists Adbusters raised the call, in July 2011, in a bid to have '20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months.' It is being described as America's 'Tahrir Square moment.' Hacktivists Anonymous are amongst the demonstrators joining together, in the financial heart of the USA, in a rally against profit over people.
The One Demand of Protestors in the Occupy Wall Street Campaign
Demonstrators are angry about the influence that corporations and wealthy lobbyists have over the democratic process in the USA. They are calling upon President Barrack Obama to create a Presidential Commission 'tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington.' Tired of policies perceived as putting profit over the basic needs of the American people, Occupy Wall Street was conceived as a way to communicate this to the highest levels of government.
Amongst the campaign sites is We Are the 99 Percent, which highlights some of the concerns of demonstrators. They include the monetisation of healthcare, with the poorest people unable to afford essential medication and treatment; soaring unemployment, seen as being a result of a recession caused and perpetuated by bankers; homelessness through mis-sold mortgages and the inability to pay rents; and environmental pollution at the hands of industry. The 99% refers to the wealth that is reportedly in the possession of just 1% of American citizens.
This comes in a week when the US Census Bureau released figures showing that poverty amongst Americans is at a seventeen year high.
Who are Involved in the Occupy Wall Street Campaign?
While Adbusters sounded the call for action, several other organisations and ordinary people answered it. Amongst the more celebrated protestors are hacktivists Anonymous, who have promised a physical presense under the banner #OccupyWallStreet.
However, they are not alone. The NYC General Assembly and US Day of Rage are two of the pressure groups angry at the observed corruption of politics by wealthy corporate lobbyists. New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts are railing against the acceleration of defence spending, while there are domestic issues. Their website exclaims, 'One cruise missile could pay 10 teacher’s salaries for a year!' Before raising their slogan, 'We need jobs, health care and education! Not continued budget cuts, prisons and war.'
They are just some of the organised groups joining the protest, in Wall Street, New York City, on September 17th 2011. Others are simply individuals who agree with the basic tenets of the day, without being affiliated with any particular cause.
* Adbusters: #OccupyWallStreet: A Shift in Revolutionary Tactics. (July 13th, 2011.) [http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/occupywallstreet.html]
* Occupy Wall Street. [https://occupywallst.org/]
* The Economist, Pinched: Shocking Numbers Just as Sacrifices are Being Demanded. (September 15th, 2011.) [http://www.economist.com/node/21529076]
* New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts. [http://nocutsny.wordpress.com/]
* NYC General Assembly. [http://www.nycga.net/]
* Tumblr: We Are the 99 Percent. [http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/]
* US Day of Rage. [http://www.usdayofrage.org/]
* Vanity Fair, Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%. (May 2011.) [http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105]
* YouTube: Anonymous - Occupy Wall Street. (Uploaded by Xen0ymous, on September 10th, 2011.) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6jdkpQjueo]
2011-09-17 "Anti-capitalist protesters descend on New York City, but where's the coverage?" by Miranda Nelson
Twitter is blowing up right now about an entirely peaceful protest by over 50,000 people in New York City, which has been taking place since 2 p.m. EST.
Well, who the hell knows if 50,000 is an accurate count. Or maybe they've been there since noon. It's nearly impossible to find any accurate information as most mainstream media outlets aren't talking about it.
If you search the hashtag #OccupyWallStreet, you'll find thousands of people talking about the event, which is meant to protest the governments putting the interests of corporations over the interests of the general populace.
There are reports that Twitter itself is throttling the #OccupyWallStreet hashtag, sending many users to also use the hashtag #TakeWallStreet.
CNN is calling it "hundreds of protesters" [http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/us-protesters-rally-occupy-wall-street], although video from the scene shows several thousands on the ground. CNN is also claiming that this protest was an initiative of AdBusters [http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/occupywallstreet.html], which put out a call earlier this year for "20,000 people [to] flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months."
Al Jazeera also notes [http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/us-protesters-rally-occupywallstreet] that information can be found at OccupyWallSt.org [https://occupywallst.org/], which "is unofficial and not affiliated with Adbusters or Anonymous."
Many on Twitter are saying there is a media blackout on the action, including on local TV outlets in NYC.
For the latest information, follow @OccupyWallStNYC [http://www.twitter.com/OccupyWallStNYC]
Similar protests are planned for Toronto, Greece, Spain, Belgium, France, and Iceland.
2011-09-17 "Occupy Wall Street" photograph by Jordan Malter
2011-09-17 "10 questions about Occupy Wall Street that should be answered urgently" by David Wendt
1. Why are peaceful protesters being treated as if they are criminals?
2. Why are thousands of police, and SWAT teams and police dogs, being mobilised to protect Wall Street bankers?
3. Why are almost all the mainstream media outlets in America ignoring a major civil protest in the heart of New York?
4. Why do the police not pursue criminal bankers and business leaders with the same venom and force that they use when pursuing protesters who have so far done nothing wrong?
5. Why is nothing being done to address the genuine economic problems in America? Why, instead, is the old system – the one that failed disastrously in 2008 – being rebuilt brick by brick, fault by fault?
6. How much longer will the doctrine of ‘plausible denial’ be allowed to act as an excuse for widespread corruption and criminality?
7. Why (if true) was the Occupy Wall Street protest treated as a police code 1-34, which is used for riots? Are all protests now riots?
8. Why has not one banker or corporate leader emerged to talk to the protesters or debate with them?
9. Is it a coincidence that many people in the heart of the protest have had trouble getting mobile / cellphone / internet signals?
10. Does the government genuinely believe the pent-up anger and frustration will simply go away?