Occupy Wall Street

May 29, 2017 | Barcelona, ​​Spain

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I had the opportunity of seeing Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, NYC, USA first hand a few months ago when visiting my sister in New York. It has become a place of interest for people visiting New York due to the large protest action that has been going on there since September of 2011 known as Occupy Wall Street. Anyone who has been following the new in the US knows that in simple terms, the purpose of the protest is against the large corporations in the world, or the richest 1%. Those protesting hold strong beliefs against the systematic tax invasions they believe this small demographic to be guilty of.

This movement all started largely as a result of the economic crisis worldwide starting in 2008. A small Canadian group, the Adbusters Foundation, known for ads free of anti-consumerism proposed the idea to protest against the US government policies they believed to be guilty of causing the global financial crisis. It’s aim is just as the name would suggest, to occupy the financial district of New York to make a statement against the perceived greed and social inequality that exists in the financial world. Everyday, these protestors occupy Wall Street in an attempt to make a statement against the government and what they view as corruption that allows big businesses and the 1% leading them to influence the government. One of its main arguments is against the disparity of salary earned by company executives and the average worker. In 1960, the salary of the CEO of a company and it’s average worker was 50 times larger and between the years of 2005 and 2010, the difference has grown up to 350 times as much.

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Protestors of the movement on Wall Street, NYC, U.S.A

Based off my knowledge of the Occupy Wall Street movement it is tough for me to completely agree with their initiative. I’m all for more government regulation in the economy, as there is a global trend towards a lack of accountability and trust of large financial institutions in the world but the movement seems to lack specificity. From doing my research, it seems it lacks a clear vision of what they actually want to see and their argument is much too broad. It is clear that they want to see change and more equality between the 99% and the wealthiest 1% in the world, but the movement is strongly criticized for it’s lack of specific agenda or demands. It seems more like an easy idea to rally around for people who are looking for someone to blame for their financial woes, rather than actually seeking a specific change. It’s almost become a norm for those protestors to be in Wall Street, making it’s influence much weaker and less likely to really create any change.

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Sources:

  1. http://occupywallst.org/
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/18/occupy-wall-street-reunites-five-years-later-it-never-ended-for-most-of-us
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/us/politics/protesters-resist-trump.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FOccupy%20Wall%20Street&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=collection
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/20/nyregion/trump-presidency-new-york-city.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FOccupy%20Wall%20Street&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=9&pgtype=collection
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/09/17/opinion/Occupy-Wall-Street.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FOccupy%20Wall%20Street&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/business/ng-interactive/2016/oct/08/great-recession-financial-crisis-recovery
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/14/breaking-up-banks-public-bailouts-ownership
  8. https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-05-31/supreme-court-reviews-mass-arrests-without-warning
  9. http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/networth/article/Will-Occupy-Silicon-Valley-be-the-sequel-to-11165058.php
  10. https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2015/sep/16/occupy-wall-street-four-years-later-timeline
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