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On September 16th during a radio interview, the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg said that “We have a lot of kids graduating college, can’t find jobs. That’s what happened in Cairo. That’s what happened in Madrid. You don’t want those kinds of riots here.” And it’s with those words that seemingly set the prescient for the current protests already underway.
“We are the 99%” a peaceful protest of solidarity at Wall Street continues to burgeon to enormous heights. Those taking part in the protests are individuals and people from a multitude of groups who are overeducated, underemployed, ethnically and geographically diverse. Despite the diversity and differences, their goal of a justified flawed economic system unites them all.
There are more or less a generalisation of three goals the protestors wish to attain. The movement began with no clear goals, other then to occupy wall street and voice their opinions. The generalisations are that: one, cancel the debts, two, investigate Wall Street and finally three, create a financial transaction tax. More information can be found here. Please note that the following link is a suggestion and not officially declared goals of Occupy Wall Street.
The goal for a majority of these protesters may be ubiquitous, though individual motivation differs. Thorin Caristo from Connecticut says that “We demand the accountability of the financial processes of the United States until we know they are benefitting the 99 percent and not the 1 percent,”
Amanda Clarke a protestor arrested, released and protesting again said that: “I give a shit about the people of this country, but I don’t have millions of dollars to get my representatives to listen to me.”
Originally the leaderless protests were organised by magazine Adbusters and infamously notorious group Anonymous. Anonymous has also forewarned of a “global revolution” to follow occupy wall street which will take place on October 15th.
Occupy Wall Street which began on the 17th of September, although peaceful it had one major flaw. They failed to obtain a permit to march on the streets of New York. This provided the New York Police Department fearful of a violent repeat of: the London, Group of 20 economic summit (2009) and Seattle World Trade Organisation (1999) riots; with the excuse needed to crackdown hard.
The sudden crackdowns to maintain crowd control involved orange mesh netting, forced arrests and the extensive use of pepper spray. The police have even begun to monitor social networking sites in a bid to control the protests.
Police brutality may not be conventional as of yet, but the Gothamist has reported claims from protesters that police were purposefully making them march onto the Brooklyn Bridge (Oct.1st).
More than 1000 protesters marched across the bridge who were then met by a heavy police presence under the western arches. The New York Times says that more than 700 people were arrested.
As we’re now at day 17, Occupy Wall Street has stated that they’re in it for “the long haul.” With their extensive use of media such as, twitter, various websites and real time live video streaming they continue to increasingly attract people to their cause. They’re also on a mission to take America by storm with “Occupy Chicago” and “Occupy Cleveland” protests already organised and ready for action.
Here is a personalised look at who the individuals that make up that 99% are: http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/
On Sep. 30 the Occupy Wall Street protestors have made an official declaration of their goals and call for the world to join them. The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City can be found here: http://nycga.cc/2011/09/30/declaration-of-the-occupation-of-new-york-city/