Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street is a people powered movement for democracy that began in US on September 17 with an encampment in the financial district of New York City. Starting with less than a dozen college students spending days and nights in Zuccotti Park, a private plaza off Broadway, it has grown into a movement that has spread all over the country. Inspired by the Egyptian Tahrir Square uprising, they vow to end the money corruption of our democracy. The question that these protests have raised is why the public is so powerless against uncaring corporations and government. 

Now, nearly at its one month mark and no signs of going away, most want to know what are the protesters demands. Their slogan "We are the 99 percent” contests that it is the 99 percent of Americans that feel the ill affects of the bad choices of the government and Corporate America. One protester Lloyd Hart has created a list of demands, and although it's not a formal list his 13 demands do shed light on a lot of the things everyone's resentment is rooted in. It  includes the implementation of a living wage, single payer health care, free college education, investing in alternative energies and infrastructure, a $1 trillion investment in ecological restoration, a racial and gender equal rights amendment, open borders, closing all U.S. nuclear power plants, and complete international debt forgiveness. Although these demands are great they aren't very realistic, and will take a whole lot more than protesting to achieve. It would take a very long time for all of his demands to come to light during many of our lifetimes.

The protesting has spread to other cities in the USA from San Francisco to Chicago. People all over the country are taking a stance. Even small towns many have never heard of like Oberlin Ohio have planned protests. On Wednesday, the latest high-profile figure to react to the protests was Vikram Pandit, chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc. In sympathetic comments, he said he found the protestors' complaints "completely understandable.""Trust has been broken between financial institutions and the citizens," Pandit said at a Fortune magazine breakfast. "I'd be happy to talk to them anytime they want," he said in the comments posted by Fortune. These protesters and the rest of the people who agree with the Occupy Wall Street agenda need more than just talk, they want action, and until action happens this protest may turn into a stance for a complete revolution.

By: Naima Muhammad

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