OCCUPY WALL STREET: QUICK FACTS
Occupy Wall Street? What’s that about?
It’s easy to be out of the loop on this one.
The protests about the greed, excess and incompetence of the global financial system only began on September 17 this year in Canada and the US.
Since then they have spread across the world to Rome, London, Berlin, Zurich, Madrid, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong and right into the heart of Sydney this past weekend.
The latest demonstration saw 20,000 people gather in New York’s Times Square.
Protest placards read: “Nationalise the Banks”; “CEO pay up 444 per cent in 12 years”; “Bankers are the Real Looters” and “No Bulls, No Bears, Just Pigs”. “Economic Royalists.”
It’s said the protestors are mimicking the “Arab Spring” uprisings when people power revolted against the corrupt regimes of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and across the wider Arab world. One characteristic of these (continued) protests is the use of social media to communicate and organise which means they can be spontaneous and leaderless – thereby frustrating attempts of Governments to control them.
At a gathering in Chicago, a speaker shouted: “Look at what we did! The corporations control the government and the wealth but we have the greatest power of all: the power of the people!”
“This is our Tahrir Square,” said another speaker, referencing the protests in Egypt. ”We’re not going to take it anymore! We’re going to take these streets!”
The Occupy Wall Street movement began with the Canadian Adbusters Media Foundation which calls itself a not-for-profit, anti-consumerist and pro-environment group.
The protestors style themselves as the “99 percent-ers” – a reference to the study by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz showing the top one per cent of Americans control 40 percent of US wealth.
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