Occupy Wall Street Protest in New York City is almost in it’s third week, showing no signs of abating. In fact it is growing in momentum, reaching the thousands and over 700 people were arrested on Saturday as they took their fight across the Brooklyn Bridge.
During the first week of protest, 90-100 were also arrested. Wall Street was the intended venue but NYPD has that area of Manhattan on intense lock-down so Wall Street could not be "Occupied." But when people feel continuously trampled on, they will find a way to let their cries be heard and these protesters have, using other areas in the City to get their message out.
There were similar demonstrations in other parts of the U.S. on Saturday. People took to the streets in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Boston and Los Angeles. The masses are becoming restless.
We supposedly live in the land of the 'free and the brave,' where we can peacefully assemble so why are police arresting protesters? America cast judgements on the Middle East handling of their uprisings. We say people have the right to fight for their freedoms, for equality and quality of life, so why is it being suppressed in New York City? Why is Mayor Bloomberg, when asked if he will shut down the protest, answer "We'll see?"
He also said "the banks needed our support" and that the protest was "aimed at the wrong people." I think Bloomberg has it twisted--the banks already got plenty of support--over billions and billions of tax payers money in bailouts and now are holding on to that money instead of helping out folks who need it. To add insult to injury, they are not only holding on to their money, they are trying to hold on to yours as well. Bank of America has come up with more fees to slap on their customers, charging them $5 to use their debit card. JPMorgan Chase is charging for the opposite transaction, extracting fees from consumers if they do not use their debit card 6 times or more to purchase items other than pay bills. Chase also charges for too many transfers on your accounts. Do you see the barely concealed scams coming out of our esteemed financial institutions?
The Mayor added that Wall Street employees made only $40-50,000 and were "struggling to make ends meet" like the rest of us. Who is Mayor Bloomberg talking about? Secretaries and cleaning ladies? For the Fat-Cats on 'Fraud St.' certainly rake in more than that in just bonuses.
The fight is aimed at the those 'Fat-Cats' in the banking sector and Wall St. (My placard calls them Fraud St. but I digress.) Many say they are fed-up with the gross imbalance and inequality of salaries and wealth--fed-up that no one was punished for the financial meltdown that took us to the brink and left us there--fed-up with business as usual: with high bonuses and income still prevalent while main street suffers through 9.1 percent unemployment. Fed-up with expensive healthcare premiums, low wages, escalating cost of living and college education.
Fed-up with a government incapable of reigning in the greed and corruption. The demonstrators are mainly young college aged who say they are fighting mad that their future is in jeopardy because of this. They say they are not giving up the fight until they see change. One CNN reporter jokingly said on air, “that may be a long, long wait.”
The mainstream media didn’t take Occupy Wall Street protest very seriously until recently and still there is this strange low-key, lukewarm coverage. Why is that? When the people in the Middle East fight for equality, freedom and justice, our Western media usually have wall to wall coverage. Egypt’s Arab Spring in Tahrir Square; Libya’s uprising; Syria’s ongoing bloodbath; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Pundits, experts, talking radio heads all give their loud opinions but the noise on our protests in the Financial capital of the U.S. is not garnering the same intense interest.
Do they not see it as gravely relevant, necessary? Do they not see that a 9.1 unemployment rate, almost 17 percent in the African American community--high numbers of foreclosures--rising poverty rate, a sharply unbalanced tax code system--1 percent controlling the vast wealth in the nation--growing national unrest--union gutting--inequality in our public education system--over $14 trillion debt and a broken financial and political system is the stuff that revolutions are made of?
Are we still mostly asleep even as the beast of unrest gets angrier, louder more insistent?
Written By Veronica Roberts, 10.2.11. All Rights Reserved. May not be duplicated, copied or re-written without my permission. Violators will be prosecuted within the full extent of the law.