I've been following, with a great deal of intrest, the Wall Street protests in New York, over the past week, or so, and their apparent growth to other cities around the country. At first it surprised me that they got so little media coverage, until things started getting a little ugly. I think that the NYPD went more than a little overboard with their handling of things. Some people got maced, and some pushing matches occured.
Then 700+ were arrested Sunday. Here are some videos from some of the actions
Even the more liberal news outlets have been slow to start taking them seriously, although an Alter Net reporter got arrested during Sundays (attempted) march across the Brooklyn bridge,
The upshot of most of the reports I'm seeing has been "Who are these people?" "Why are they doing this?" and "What do they want?" I won't disparage the professionals out there covering this, but A little research can go a long way.
The NYC Group has an official website. It lists their logistical support needs, committee meeting minutes, etc... and includes a link to a 24hr live feed.
A lot more about the people in the Occupation Movement can be found at this site.
At first glance a lot of them are recent college grads with amazing piles of student debt. A closer look shows that more than just a few are working poor, and middle-class people, who in todays economy are tired of living from paycheck to paycheck, afraid for their future, and being squeezed ever harder by companies that don't care about anything but the closing stock price for the day.
I think that as the word spreads they'll come a lot closer to being what they're apparently trying to be: A movement for those of us in the lower 99% of wealth distribution. Those of us that the so called "Recovery" from the implosion of the economy left behind. The 99% of the country that isn't being represented by our government.
Why are they doing this? Well check out the website above, then check these out
If you've read them, and you still don't understand why they're out there, I'll never be able to explain it to you, but I'll try to give you the short version.
We're getting screwed sideways by "Trickle down economics" Tax breaks for the top 1-2% of earners havent done a F'n thing to create jobs, or improve the economy. De-regulation of the financial/banking sector enabled the massive fraud that caused mortgage crisis, and the bank bailouts that followed never eased the ensuing credit crunch, or addressed the underlying housing market bubble. They only allowed the perpetrators of that fraud to recover their losses without being held responsible for it. Our government has allowed itself to be bought out from under us by the financial/ business sector, and the ultra rich. WE WANT IT BACK!!!
What do they want? Why haven't we seen a list of "Demands"?
It takes time to hammer these things out, but I found this site:
where you can see (and help form) that list. Most of it falls under the heading of "Social juctice"
Are they wasting their time?
I hope not.