Moral Outrage
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Wall Street protesters in for the long haul

A standoff near Wall Street between protesters opposed to what they say is corporate greed and police may drag on into winter, with a march on police headquarters the likely next test of whether tensions escalate.

“We’re here for the long haul,” said Patrick Bruner, a protester and student at Skidmore College in upstate New York, who is among those camped out in a private park near One World Trade Center. Mindful of the cold weather coming, protesters have a “winterization committee” to prepare for the season.

Experts say they don’t expect the type of violence recently seen in London. In the British protests in August, more than 2,700 people were arrested after destruction and looting spread from the capital to other cities. Authorities said some rioters were known gang members.

In New York, the protesters from The Occupy Wall Street movement are largely educated, organized and their marches are planned, not spontaneous.

Zuccotti Park is festooned with placards and anti-Wall Street slogans. People sleep wrapped in blankets or sleeping bags, some on donated mattresses. There is a makeshift kitchen and library and celebrities from filmmaker Michael Moore to actress Susan Sarandon have stopped by to show support.

Vancouver-based activist media group Adbusters organized the protest but failed to attract the throngs some had hoped for. Instead, there are a few hundred people, mostly unemployed youth and college students.

“These are the most overeducated crowd of people that I’ve even seen in my life,” said Daniel Levine, a student at Baruch College. “People come out of college and there are no jobs.”

[Toronto Star]


5 Responses to “Wall Street protesters in for the long haul”

  1. Update: Occupy Wall Street protesters speaking out against corporate greed and other grievances were maintaining a presence in Manhattan’s Financial District even after more than 700 of them were arrested during a march on the Brooklyn Bridge in a tense confrontation with police.

    Erin Larkins, a Columbia University graduate student at who says she and her boyfriend have significant student loan debt, was among the thousands of protesters on the bridge. She said a friend persuaded her to join the march and she’s glad she did.

    “I don’t think we’re asking for much, just to wake up every morning not worrying whether we can pay the rent, or whether our next meal will be rice and beans again,” Larkins wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “No one is expecting immediate change. I think everyone is just hopeful that people will wake up a bit and realize that the more we speak up, the more the people that do have the authority to make changes in this world listen.”

    Elsewhere in the U.S. on Saturday, protesters assembled in Albuquerque, N.M., Boston and Los Angeles to express their solidarity with the movement in New York, though their demands remain unclear.

    Seasoned activists said the ad-hoc protest could prove to be a training ground for future organizers of larger and more cohesive demonstrations, or motivate those on the sidelines to speak out against injustices.

    “You may not get much, or any of these things on the first go-around,” said the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, a longtime civil rights activist who has participated in protests for decades. “But it’s the long haul that matters.”

    • David Weidner writing in MarketWatch compares the protestors with the bankers they oppose:

      “Unemployment is between 13% and 25% for people under 25. Student loans are defaulting at about 15% at a time when more young people have no alternative but to borrow to pay for school.

      “Meanwhile, Wall Street bonuses continue to be paid at close to all-time highs. Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. took home $13.2 million last year, including a $3.2 million raise.

      “Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America Corp. got $10 million in stock and salary. Thomas Montag, Moynihan’s lieutenant actually got more, $14.3 million.

      “Their bank has lost $14 billion during the last year. Shareholders — that’s you moms and pops, widows and orphans with 401(k)s — are holding the bag.”

  2. […] Occupy Wall Street has chosen a fixed target. … It is a fact of the information age that too many movements spring up like beautiful flowers but quickly die off. It’s because they don’t have roots. […]

  3. […] The members of the Occupy Wall Street movement have vowed to stay on through the winter. […]

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