REUTERS - Insight: Occupy Wall St, the start of a new protest era?

Discussion in 'Economy' started by hvactec, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. hvactec
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    hvactec VIP Member

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    (Reuters) - When Paul Friedman met the rag-tag youth camped out near Wall Street to protest inequality in the American economy, he felt he was witnessing the start of a protest movement not seen in America since the 1960s.

    And Friedman should know. The 64-year-old was a student organizer during the anti-Vietnam War movement, protesting from 1964 for 11 years until the war ended. He also joined Civil Rights actions against racial segregation in America.

    On Wednesday, as thousands of union workers marched to show solidarity with the movement called Occupy Wall Street, he walked shoulder-to-shoulder with dreadlocked college dropouts, unemployed youth and students, who for three weeks have camped out near Wall Street and who have no plans to leave.

    "It felt in my gut very much like what I was a part of in the 1960s," Friedman said. "What people are expressing ... is an experience that their opportunities are shrinking, not growing and their hopes are shrinking, not growing, and that is an unnatural feeling for the young," he said.

    The protesters object to the Wall Street bailout in 2008, which they say left banks enjoying huge profits while average Americans suffered under high unemployment and job insecurity with little help from the federal government.

    What the Occupy Wall Street movement has in common with the 1960s, he said, was that the weak economy hits home, just like racism or the chance that you or your boyfriend or brother or your son might be drafted to fight in Vietnam.

    Most protests since the 1960s - against U.S. actions in Central America in the 1980s or against free trade in the 1990s or the impending Iraq War in 2003 - were in solidarity with an ideal. This, like Civil Rights and Vietnam, is personal.

    That more than anything else is why the Occupy Wall Street movement could spread, Friedman said.

    TEA AND SYMPATHY

    One of the hallmarks of the protests has been the relative lack of violence. Aside from the arrest of 700 people on the Brooklyn Bridge last Saturday and some use of pepper spray by police, the uprising has been relatively tame compared to the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999 or the Free Trade Area of the Americas protests in Miami in 2003.

    "There's a lot of naive idealism happening, what's wrong with that?" said Jeremy Moss, 41, a mental health counselor from the Bronx who lived in Seattle during the WTO riots and said this felt different.

    The movement has prompted marches in cities across America and has garnered sympathy in some unexpected places.

    A top U.S. Federal Reserve official said the protests were an understandable reaction to persistently high unemployment.

    "I am somewhat sympathetic - that will shock you," Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said on Thursday. "We have too many people out of work for too long. We have a very frustrated people, and I can understand their frustration," he said.

    READ MORE Insight: Occupy Wall St, the start of a new protest era? | Reuters
     
  2. The Infidel
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    The Infidel EVIL CONSERVATIVE

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    If the dummies were REALLY wanting to protest high unemployment or any of the bs they are whining about, they'd be "occupying" Wahington DC.

    What a bunch of dumbasses!
     
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  3. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    Yeah I don't get it. What do these people want wall street to do exactly? Clearly they don't like what they're 'doing' now (whatever that is). But what is it that they want exactly? What is it they think 'wall street' (whatever that is) is supposed to be doing for them to make their lives better?
     
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  4. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    What's being protested is the influence Wall Street has over the government. It's not about Wall Street in isolation. It's about the unholy partnership.
     
  5. California Girl
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    California Girl BANNED

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    And yet, they keep electing one side of that partnership. Just goes to show how jack shit stupid some people can be. Protest, but don't vote them out... yea, that's intellectually valid.

    Fucking idiots.
     
  6. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    Then they should stop pissing and moaning at Wall Street and get there asses down to Washington. You can hardly blame Wall Street for taking the advantage that congress gives them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  7. Dragon
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    Yes, considering that the opportunity involves bribery and corruption, I most certainly can blame Wall Street.

    Both ends of the process are at fault. If you were saying that the protesters need to protest in BOTH NY and DC, I'd agree, and then point out that they are doing so. But you seem to be saying that they should protest in Washington and NOT on Wall Street, and with that I can't agree.
     
  8. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    But Dragon, Washington makes the rules and controls the regulators. If you're not happy with what Wall Street is doing, why bother with them for doing precisely what they're allowed to do?

    Sure, bribery and corruption abound, but isn't it more Washington's fault for not cracking down on this stuff? If they're allowing it, and even encouraging it by taking the money, bitching at Wall Street for doing whatever is necessary to play the game to make more money is really lame.
     
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  9. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    They won't protest Washington because it will HURT the Obama and his comrades in arms.

    That is all THIS PROTEST IS FOR folks. don't be fooled.
     
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  10. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    If that's your logic then the protesters should be protesting themselves as well. Don't YOU take every tax advantage/break/credit afforded you? I imagine you do. Yet for some reason you don't hold yourself in the same contempt as you do Wall Street for doing the same.
     

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