I got back from a week long vacation and was surprised to see how much the Occupy Wall Street protest had grown. In the newspaper, it said people outside NY/the US was perceiving it more than in NYC. Is this true? What is the media coverage where you live.
Let's try to keep this objective - "my newspaper says X" vs "I think Y" so this thread doesn't have to be deleted.
The "park" being occupied by occupy wall street, was one of my favorite areas. It's really small, just a square block, but it has nice sitting areas -- and a great place for an outdoor lunch. When I use to work in the World Trade Center, I use to visit that area many times.
I walked by it earlier this week ... let's just say that it is now different. Most notably, the smell ...
Protesters with "Occupy Austin" rallied in front of the Bank of America branch downtown this afternoon, a spokeswoman said.
A few hundred protesters marched from City Hall, where the rally began yesterday, to the branch on Congress Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets about 4 p.m. The group marched back to City Hall about 45 minutes later.
Spokeswoman Lauren Welker said the bank was targeted because it is one of several that head the Federal Reserve, which Welker said is a private corporation owned by private banks, not a public entity.
"A lot of people were angered by Bank of America’s new debit fees," Welker said. "This is to show you can have a profit but you don’t need to take advantage of your customers."
It was mentioned in our local newspaper, most prominently in an editorial which claimed that the protestors in Cairo were a model of consistency and decorum and the Occupy Wall Street people were incoherent. Not much other coverage but my guess would be that the editorial was somewhat biased.
Apparently we're having a similar demonstration here in Vancouver this weekend so maybe we'll get some decent reporting.
There's some coverage here, but we are *way* more concerned about the state of Greece, since what happens there could unsettle Europe, or in the worst case the entire world economy for a second time. It comes down to a couple of outcomes: Greece goes into a deep recession, the IMF/EU keeps funding them, or there's a chance the economy in Europe completely collapses. I don't believe the people here are very concerned about what's happening in NY right now.
Today some protesters moved to a city park. (the current location is a private park so no closing hours. They aren't leaving the original location though.) It's not clear what will happen tonight when the city park closes. Some say the protesters will resume in the morning and others say they will stay.
I guess most protesters don't really know how to vocalize their discontent, but roughly the point is that while the average standard of living in the US hasn't increased much the last few decades, banks and big corporations have been doing better than ever before. CEOs are receiving higher pay, bigger bonuses, while at the same time unemployment has skyrocketed, and the average worker's pay has remained roughly the same, after accounting for inflation and standard cost of living.
At the same time, banks are essentially loaning money from the Fed for free, and buying risk-free government bonds in return. Banks are making profits more easily than ever. Of course, this has mostly been a measure to keep the country's economic sector from collapsing, but it's easy to understand that the average Joe is feeling trodden down on.
Inequality in the United States has reached incredible levels, and this feeling is sneaking up on many people, even if they don't know exactly why they feel this way. They're unhappy that the system has let it all come to this point. They feel that banks are responsible for the big financial crisis, even though a big part of it is caused (I believe) by dangerous mortgage constructions and the fact that people have been living beyond their means.
Randall Twede wrote:what are they protesting anyway?
I think its pretty clear that they don't know either.
There is a lot for the left to protest in the US. Our politicians are not only owned by the Wall Street folks, but they are enjoying sleeping with them. The politicians have done nothing about the jobless rate, and IMHO, a lot of those folks will never work again. The college loan system is a racket, most folks can never earn back what they own in student loans.
While I think their 99% number is BS, they have a point. The US economy is starting to look like a typical Central American one, where a tiny percent have all the money, and the vast majority have not enough to buy hope. But I seriously doubt that any of our politicians actually care about this problem, let alone are willing to do something about it.
I participated! Well for an hour, at Beursplein Amsterdam. I am commie.
What are they protesting about, is pretty unclear. I, myself, came to protest against the banks and stock markets. But there were also all kind of left winged organizations, in my view, abusing the demonstration for protest against things that are not the issue, and for which I also do not agree with them. Like the issue whether of not Geert Wilders, a populist, should participate in the Dutch government. And then Che Guevara flags, such stuff. For this I was not there.
I wonder how long Wall Street will need to be occupied until things are OK again.
I also wonder how they plan to undo the great banking consolidation of the 1990s that created the concept of banks too big to fail. That's what really hurt us; banks made huge long-shot gambles and when they stopped winning they dared the government to let them go bankrupt. Just letting one of them go bankrupt (Lehman Brothers) triggered a huge recession. The economy cannot work unless people bear the consequences of their own foolish bad decisions.