FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_Wall_StreetIn accordance with Federal Laws provided For Educational and Information Purposes – i.e. of PUBLIC InterestOccupy Wall StreetFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThis article is about the protests in New York City. For the wider movement, see Occupy movement. Occupy Wall Street Part of the Occupy movement Official logo of protest September 17, 2011 – ongoing Date (3 months, 1 week and 2 days) Location New York City Status Ongoing Wealth inequality, Corporate influence of government, Causes Populism, (in support of) Social Democracy, inter alia. Non violent protest Civil disobedience OccupationCharacteristics Picketing Demonstrations Internet activism Number Zuccotti Park Other activity in NYC: 2,000+ marchers (march on police headquarters, October 2, 2011) 700+ marchers (crossing Brooklyn Bridge, October 3, 2011) 15,000+ marchers (Lower Manhattan solidarity march, October 5, 2011) 6,000+ marchers (Times Square recruitment center march, October 15, 2011)
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is a protest movement which began September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, located inNew York Citys Wall Street financial district, which was initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters. Theprotests are against social and economic inequality, high unemployment, greed, as well as corruption, and theundue influence of corporations—particularly from the financial services sector—on government. The protestersslogan We are the 99% refers to the growing income and wealth inequality in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1%and the rest of the population. The protests in New York City have sparked similar protests and movements aroundthe world.Contents[hide] 1 Background o 1.1 Origin o 1.2 Goals o 1.3 We are the 99% o 1.4 Demographics o 1.5 Organization and group process 1.5.1 Funding o 1.6 Zuccotti Park encampment 2 Reaction o 2.1 Public opinion o 2.2 Political response 2.2.1 The White House 2.2.2 Congress 2.2.3 2012 Presidential candidates 2.2.4 Other politicians o 2.3 Labor unions o 2.4 Federal Reserve o 2.5 Media response o 2.6 Police response o 2.7 International response o 2.8 Responses by notable people 2.8.1 Authors and academics 2.8.2 Businesspeople 2.8.3 Celebrities 2.8.4 Wealthy supporters o 2.9 Criticism 2.9.1 Complaints by local residents o 2.10 Popular culture references o 2.11 Music videos 3 Crime o 3.1 Sexual assaults 4 Chronology o 4.1 First four weeks (September 17 – October 14) o 4.2 Weeks 5–8 (October 15 – November 11) o 4.3 Weeks 9 & 10 (November 12 - November 26) 5 See also 6 References 7 External linksBackground
OriginIn a July 13, 2011 blog post, the Canadian-based Adbusters Foundation, best known for its advertisement-free anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters, proposed a peaceful occupation of Wall Street to protest corporate influence ondemocracy, the absence of legal repercussions for the bankers behind the recent global financial crisis, and agrowing disparity in wealth. They sought to combine the symbolic location of the 2011 protests in TahrirSquare with the consensus decision making of the 2011 Spanish protests. Adbusters senior editor Micah Whitesaid they had suggested the protest via their email list and it "was spontaneously taken up by all the people of theworld.” Adbusters website said that from their "one simple demand, a presidential commission to separatemoney from politics," they would "start setting the agenda for a new America." They promoted the protest with aposter featuring a dancer atop Wall Streets iconic Charging Bull.The internet group Anonymous encouraged its readers to take part in the protests, calling protesters to "flood lowerManhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street." Other groups began to join inthe organization of the protest, including the U.S. Day of Rage, and the NYC General Assembly, the governingbody of the Occupy Wall Street group. The protest began on Sept 17th, 2011, an Occupy Wall Street page onFacebook began on September 19 with a YouTube video of the early protests, and by September 22, it had reachedcritical mass. By mid-October, Facebook listed 125 Occupy-related pages and roughly one in every 500 hashtagsused on Twitter, all around the world, was the movements own #OWS.Adbusters Kalle Lasn, when asked why it took three years after the implosion of Lehman Brothers for people tobegin protesting, said that after the election of President Barack Obama there was a feeling among the young thathe would pass laws to regulate the banking system and "take these financial fraudsters and bring them to justice."However, as time passed, "the feeling that hes a bit of a gutless wonder slowly crept in" and they lost their hopethat his election would result in change.The protest was begun at Zuccotti Park since it was private property and police could not legally force protesters toleave without being requested to do so by the property owner. At a press conference held on the same day as theprotests began, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg explained, "People have a right to protest, and if theywant to protest, well be happy to make sure they have locations to do it."Writing for CNN, Sonia Katyal and Eduardo Peñalver said thatA straight line runs from the 1930s sit-down strikes in Flint, Michigan, to the 1960 lunch-counter sit-ins to theoccupation of Alcatraz by Native American activists in 1969 to Occupy Wall Street. Occupations employ physicalpossession to communicate intense dissent, exhibited by a willingness to break the law and to suffer the --occasionally violent -- consequences.More immediate prototypes for OWS are the British student protests of 2010, Greeces and Spains anti-austerityprotests of the "indignados" (indignants), as well as the Middle Easts Arab Spring protests. These antecedentshave in common with OWS a reliance on social media and electronic messaging to circumvent the authorities, aswell as the feeling that financial institutions, corporations, and the political elite have been malfeasant in theirbehavior toward youth and the middle class. Occupy Wall Street, in turn, gave rise to the Occupy movementin the United States and around the world.GoalsThe protesters targeted Wall Street because of the part it played in the economic crisis of 2008 which started theGreat Recession. They say that Wall Streets risky lending practices of mortgage-backed securities whichultimately proved to be worthless caused the crisis, and that the government bailout breached a sense of propriety.The protesters say that Wall Street recklessly and blatantly abused the credit default swap market, and that the
instability of that market must have been known beforehand. They say that the guilty parties should beprosecuted.Some journalists have criticized the protests saying it is hard to discern a unified aim for the movement, whileother commentators have said that although the movement is not in complete agreement on its message and goals,it does have a message which is fairly coherent. Douglas Rushkoff, writing for CNN, said that even though theprotesters are not ready to articulate an exact array of problems or how to solve them,Anyone who says he has no idea what these folks are protesting is not being truthful. Whether we agree with themor not, we all know what they are upset about, and we all know that there are investment bankers working on WallStreet getting richer while things for most of the rest of us are getting tougher. What upsets bankings defendersand politicians alike is the refusal of this movement to state its terms or set its goals in the traditional language ofcampaigns...They mean to show that there is an inappropriate and correctable disconnect between the abundanceAmerica produces and the scarcity its markets manufacture.In a special for CNN, Sonia Katyal and Eduardo Peñalver said thatWhat has puzzled many observers about the Occupy Wall Street protests is precisely the lack of an obviousconnection between their disobedience (the occupation of parks and streets) and their political and economiccomplaints. This is why Occupys turn toward foreclosed housing is so important. While it takes heroic acts ofimagination to connect the dots between the occupation of Zuccotti Park and worries about economic inequality,political corruption and the excessive power of banks, the connection between these issues and the occupation offoreclosed housing is obvious.The protesters want, in part, more and better jobs, more equal distribution of income, bank reform, and a reductionof the influence of corporations on politics. Adbusters co-founder Kalle Lasn has compared the protests to theSituationists and the Protests of 1968 movements. and addresses critics saying that while no one person canspeak for the movement, he believes that the goal of the protests is economic justice, specifically, a "transactiontax" on international financial speculation, the reinstatement of the Glass-Stegall Act and the revocation ofcorporate personhood.The General Assembly, the governing body of the OWS movement, has adopted a “Declaration of the Occupationof New York City,” which includes a list of grievances against corporations, and to many protesters a generalstatement is enough. However, saying, "‘Power concedes nothing without a demand " others within the movementhave favored a fairly concrete set of national policy proposals. One group has written an unofficial document,"The 99 Percent Declaration”, that calls for a national general assembly of representatives from all 435congressional districts to gather on July 4, 2012, to assemble a list of grievances and solutions. OWSprotesters that prefer a looser, more localized set of goals have also written a document, the Liberty SquareBlueprint, a wiki page edited by some 250 occupiers and still undergoing changes. Written as a wiki thewording changes, however, an early version read: "Demands cannot reflect inevitable success. Demands implycondition, and we will never stop. Demands cannot reflect the time scale that we are working with." TheGuardian interviewed OWS and found three main demands: get the money out of politics; reinstate the Glass-Steagall act; and draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to passlegislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.We are the 99%Main article: We are the 99%
A chart showing the disparity in income distribution in the United States. Wealth inequality and income inequality havebeen central concerns among OWS protesters. CBO data shows that in 1980, the top 1% earned 9.1% of all income,while in 2006 they earned 18.8% of all income. The phrase "The 99%" is a political slogan of "Occupy" protesters. It was originally launched as a Tumblr blogpage in late August 2011. It refers to the vast concentration of wealth among the top 1% of income earnerscompared to the other 99 percent, and indicates that most people are paying the price for the mistakes of a tinyminority.The top 1 percent of income earners have more than doubled their income over the last thirty years according to aCongressional Budget Office (CBO) report. The report was released just as concerns of the Occupy Wall Streetmovement were beginning to enter the national political debate. According to the CBO, between 1979 and 2007the incomes of the top 1% of Americans grew by an average of 275%. During the same time period, the 60% ofAmericans in the middle of the income scale saw their income rise by 40%. Since 1979 the average pre-tax incomefor the bottom 90% of households has decreased by $900, while that of the top 1% increased by over $700,000, asfederal taxation became less progressive. From 1992-2007 the top 400 income earners in the U.S. saw their incomeincrease 392% and their average tax rate reduced by 37%. In 2009, the average income of the top 1% was$960,000 with a minimum income of $343,927.In 2007 the richest 1% of the American population owned 34.6% of the countrys total wealth, and the next 19%owned 50.5%. Thus, the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the countrys wealth and the bottom 80% of thepopulation owned 15%. Financial inequality (total net worth minus the value of ones home) was greater thaninequality in total wealth, with the top 1% of the population owning 42.7%, the next 19% of Americans owning50.3%, and the bottom 80% owning 7%. However, after the Great Recession which started in 2007, the share oftotal wealth owned by the top 1% of the population grew from 34.6% to 37.1%, and that owned by the top 20% ofAmericans grew from 85% to 87.7%. The Great Recession also caused a drop of 36.1% in median householdwealth but a drop of only 11.1% for the top 1%, further widening the gap between the 1% and the 99%.During the economic expansion between 2002 and 2007, the income of the top 1% grew 10 times faster than theincome of the bottom 90%. In this period 66% of total income gains went to the 1%, who in 2007 had a largershare of total income than at any time since 1928. This is in stark contrast with surveys of US populations thatindicate an "ideal" distribution that is much more equal, and a widespread ignorance of the true income inequalityand wealth inequality.DemographicsEarly on the protesters were mostly young, in part due to their pronounced use of social networks through whichthey promoted the protests. As the protest grew, older protesters also became involved. The average age ofthe protesters is 33, with people in their 20s balanced by people in their 40s. Various religious faiths have beenrepresented at the protest including Muslims, Jews, and Christians. On October 10 the Associated Pressreported that "there’s a diversity of age, gender and race" at the protest. Some news organizations havecompared the protest to a left-leaning version of the Tea Party protests.
According to a survey of Zuccotti Park protesters by the Baruch College School of Public Affairs published onOctober 19, of 1,619 web respondents, 1/3 were older than 35, half were employed full-time, 13% wereunemployed and 13% earned over $75,000. 27.3% of the respondents called themselves Democrats, 2.4% calledthemselves Republicans, while the rest, 70%, called themselves independents.Racially, the majority of participants are White, with one study based on survey responses atOccupyWallStreet.org reporting 81.2% White, 7.6% Other, 6.8% Hispanic, 2.8% Asian, and 1.6% Black.Organization and group processProtesters engaging in the human microphoneThe New York City General Assembly (NYCGA), held every evening at seven, is the main OWS decision-makingbody and provides much of the leadership and executive function for the protesters. At its meetings the variousOWS committees discuss their thoughts and needs, and the meetings are open to the public for both attendance andspeaking. The meetings are without formal leadership, although certain members routinely act as moderators.Meeting participants comment upon committee proposals using a process called a "stack", which is a queue ofspeakers that anyone can join. New York uses what is called a progressive stack, in which people frommarginalized groups are sometimes allowed to speak before people from dominant groups, with facilitators, orstack-keepers, urging speakers to "step forward, or step back" based on which group they belong to, meaning thatwomen and minorities may move to the front of the line, while white men must often wait for a turn tospeak. Volunteers take minutes of the meetings so that organizers who are not in attendance can be keptup-to-date. In addition to the over 70 working groups that perform much of the daily work and planning ofOccupy Wall Street, the organizational structure also includes "spokes councils," at which every working groupcan participate.According to Fordham University communications professor Paul Levinson, Occupy Wall Street and similarmovements symbolize another rise of direct democracy that has not actually been seen since ancient times.Sociologist Heather Gautney, also from Fordham University, has said that while the organization calls itselfleaderless, the protest in Zuccotti Park has discernible "organizers". Even with the perception of a movementwith no leaders, leaders have emerged. Ad hoc leaders discussed whether to leave. They plan for the occupation ofother cities and neighborhoods, with an infrastructure to keep the movement beyond just the park. A facilitator ofsome of the movements more contentious discussions, Nicole Carty, says “Usually when we think of leadership,we think of authority, but nobody has authority here,” - “People lead by example, stepping up when they need toand stepping back when they need to.” According to TheStreet.com, some organizers have made more of acommitment and are more visible than others, with a core of about five main organizers being the most active.Critics of the General Assembly believe that consensus-based democracy cannot work in a group that is larger thana couple hundred people because it requires excessive amounts of monitoring in order to prevent free-riding, andworks best with like-minded individuals. They also suggest that there is a higher chance of groupthink amongconsensus-based groups because there is pressure to conform in order to maintain consensus.
FundingMost of OWS funding comes from middle-class donors with incomes in the $50,000 to $100,000 range, and themedian donation was $22. According to finance group member Pete Dutro, OWS had accumulated over$600,000 and had $450,000 remaining as of November 21, 2011. During the period that protesters were encampedin the park the funds were being used to purchase food and other necessities and to bail out fellow protesters. In thefuture members of the OWS finance committee say they will initiate a process to streamline the movement and re-evaluate their budget. They may eliminate or restructure some of the "working groups" they no longer need on aday-to-day basis. "We have some ideas but we want to hear ideas from the other working groups," said Dutro, "Sowe can put forward a proposal that would be fair and suit everybodys needs." Presently the movement continues toorganize out of donated office space and give money to other "occupations." According to The Wall Street Journal, "A few weeks ago, the Alliance for Global Justice, a Washington-basednonprofit, agreed to sponsor Occupy Wall Street and lend it its tax-exempt status, so donors could write offcontributions. That means the Alliance for Global Justices board has final say on spending, though it says its notinvolved in decisions and will only step in if the protesters want to spend money on something that might violatetheir tax-exempt status." As of late October it was reported that the OWS Finance Committee works with alawyer and an accountant to track finances; the group has a substantial amount of money deposited at theAmalgamated Bank nearby, after first making deposits at the Lower East Side Peoples Federal Credit Union. Inlate October the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street registered for tax exempt status as a 501(c)(3)Occupy Wall Street accepts tax-deductible donations, primarily through the movements website.Zuccotti Park encampmentZuccotti Park with the "Occupy" encampments Peoples LibraryPrior to being closed to overnight use, somewhere between 100 and 200 people slept in Zuccotti Park. Initiallytents were not allowed and protesters slept in sleeping bags or under blankets. Meal service started at a total costof about $1,000 per day; while some visitors ate at nearby restaurants according to the New York Post localvendors fared badly and many businesses surrounding the park were adversely affected. However, MSNBCreported that small-business owners generally "are almost evenly split on whether they support the protestmovement." Other Contribution boxes collected about $5,000 a day, and supplies came in from around thecountry. Eric Smith, a local chef who was laid off at the Sheraton in Midtown, said that he was running a five-star restaurant in the park. In late-October kitchen volunteers complained about working 18 hour days to feedpeople who were not part of the movement and served only brown rice, simple sandwiches, and potato chips forthree days.The protesters constructed a greywater treatment system to recycle dishwater contaminants. The filteredwater was used for the parks plants and flowers. Many protesters used the bathrooms of nearby businessestablishments. Some supporters donated use of their bathrooms for showers and the sanitary needs ofprotesters.New York City requires a permit to use "amplified sound," including electric bullhorns. Since Occupy Wall Streetdoes not have a permit, the protesters have created the "human microphone" in which a speaker pauses while the
nearby members of the audience repeat the phrase in unison. The effect has been called "comic or exhilarating—often all at once." Some feel this has provided a further unifying effect for the crowd.Feeding people in the temporary camp simple sandwichesDuring the weeks that overnight use of the park was allowed, a separate area was set aside for an information areawhich contained laptop computers and several wireless routers. The items were powered with gas generatorsuntil the New York Fire Department removed them on October 28, saying they were a fire hazard. Protestersthen used bicycles rigged with an electricity-generating apparatus to charge batteries to power the protesterslaptops and other electronics. According to the Columbia Journalism Reviews New Frontier Database, themedia team, while unofficial, runs websites like Occupytogether.org, video livestream, a "steady flow of updateson Twitter, and Tumblr" as well as Skype sessions with other demonstrators.In October a makeshift tent was erected, formally calling itself The Peoples Library, and began offering free wi-fiinternet to protesters and containing over 5,000 books. The library operated 24/7 and used an honor system tomanage returns. It offered weekly poetry readings on Friday nights, provided a reference serviced frequentlystaffed by professional librarians, and procured materials available through the interlibrary loan system.However, the library was removed on November 15 when the park was closed to overnight use and it was reportedthat many of the books were destroyed. The librarys cataloging system is accessible online at LibraryThing, whichdonated a free lifetime membership.Zuccotti Park, cleared and cleaned on November 15, 2011On October 6, Brookfield Office Properties, which owns Zuccotti Park, issued a statement that "Sanitation is agrowing concern... Normally the park is cleaned and inspected every weeknight[, but] because the protesters refuseto cooperate ... the park has not been cleaned since Friday, September 16 and as a result, sanitary conditions havereached unacceptable levels."On October 13, New York Citys mayor Bloomberg and Brookfield announced that the park must be vacated forcleaning the following morning at 7 am. However, protesters vowed to "defend the occupation" after policesaid they wouldn’t allow them to return with sleeping bags and other gear following the cleaning, under rules setby the private park’s owner—and many protesters spent the night sweeping and mopping the park. The nextmorning, the property owner postponed its cleaning effort. Having prepared for a confrontation with theauthorities to prevent the cleaning effort from proceeding, some protesters clashed with police in riot gear outsideCity Hall after it was canceled.
Shortly after midnight on November 15, 2011, the New York Police Department gave protesters notice from theparks owner (Brookfield Office Properties) to leave Zuccotti Park due to its purportedly unsanitary and hazardousconditions. The notice stated that they could return without sleeping bags, tarps or tents. About an hourlater, police in riot gear began removing protesters from the park, arresting some 200 people in the process,including a number of journalists. While the police raid was in progress, the Occupy Wall Street Media Teamissued an official response under the heading, "You cant evict an idea whose time has come."ReactionPublic opinionNational polls from October to December 2011 were mixed, with agreement/approval ratings for Occupy WallStreet varying from 59% to 22%, but approval was fairly consistently larger than disapproval, with large numbersoften not giving an opinion.September - October 2011An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey released October 12 found that 37 percent of respondents "tend to support" theoccupy movement, while 18 percent "tend to oppose" it. An October 13 survey by TIME magazine found that54 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of the protests, while 23 percent have a negative impression.An October 18 Gallup poll found that 22 percent of Americans agree with the protests goals, while 15 percentdisapprove and the remaining 61% say they dont know enough to decide. Gallup found that Democrats,Independents and Republicans all follow the news about OWS in equal numbers, and those who closely followedOWS were more likely to approve of its goals and methods. An October CBS News/New York Times pollsfound 43% of Americans agree with Occupy Wall Street while 27% disagree. An October Rasmussen pollfound an almost even split, shows that 33 percent of Americans have a favorable view, while 27 percent areunfavorable and 40 percent have no opinion. A Pew poll taken October 20-23 had similar findings, with 39%supporting "the Occupy Wall Street movement," while 35% opposed. An October UnitedTechnologies/National Journal Congressional poll found that 59 percent of Americans agree with the movementwhile 31 percent disagree.An October Quinnipiac University poll of New York City voters found that 67 percent of New Yorkers approvedof the movement with 23 percent disapproving. The results also found 87 percent of New Yorkers find it OK thatthey are protesting. Despite media criticism that the protesters views are incoherent, the poll also found that 72percent of New York City voters understand their views.November - December 2011A NY1-Marist Poll released November 1 showed 44 percent of New York voters supported the Occupy WallStreet movement, while only 21 percent supported the Tea Party. A survey of roughly 1,000 adults conductedfrom November 10 to 14 found that majorities of nearly identical size felt that Occupy Wall Street, and the TeaParty, respectively, did not share their values. A November 3 poll done by Quinnipiac University found that 30percent of American voters have a favorable view of the protests, while 39 percent do not. The same poll foundthat among independent voters, 29 percent have a favorable view opposed to 42 percent who have an unfavorableview, while 45% of Democrats have a favorable view opposed to 19% who have an unfavorable view. APew Research Center poll, released December 15th, 2011, found that nearly three months after the start of OWS,44% support the Occupy Wall Street movement and 35% oppose it. Americans overwhelmingly agree with theconcerns raised by the movement, but more disapprove of the tactics used than approve.According to a November Wall Street Journal article, the age group that most strongly supported OWS were 50 to64, and OWS had the strongest support among those making $50,000 to $70,000 a year, rather than under $30,000,with only 27% of people making over $75,000 a year backing the movement. Managers and other professionals
supported the movement more than blue-collar workers, and men over 50 showed the strongest support. Thesefindings were contradicted by a December Pew Poll, which found opposition to OWS "higher in the older andaffluent" while those making under $75,000 a year and those under 29 were the most supportive. The Pew poll(published Dec. 15th) also found more support than opposition in Democrats (60/21) and Independents (46/34),and more opposition than support in Republicans (21/59). Political responseThe White HouseDuring an October 6 news conference, President Obama said, "I think it expresses the frustrations the Americanpeople feel, that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage allthroughout the country ... and yet youre still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fightefforts to crack down on the abusive practices that got us into this in the first place." When Jake Tapperof ABC News pushed Obama to explain the fact that his administration hasnt prosecuted any Wall Streetexecutives who didnt play by the rules, he replied, "One of the biggest problems about the collapse of Lehmansand the subsequent financial crisis and the whole subprime lending fiasco is that a lot of that stuff wasntnecessarily illegal; it was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless." On October 18, when interviewed byABC news, he said "in some ways, they’re not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming fromthe Tea Party. Both on the left and the right, I think people feel separated from their government. They feel thattheir institutions aren’t looking out for them."On November 22, President Barack Obama was "mike-checked" at a speech in New Hampshire by a group ofOccupy Wall Street protesters as a series of call-and-response quips ensued, "Mr. President: Over 4,000 peacefulprotesters have been arrested while bankers continue to destroy the economy. You must stop the assault on ourFirst Amendment rights. Your silence sends a message that police brutality is acceptable. Banks got bailed out. Wegot sold out." The crowd quickly drowned the protesters out with chants of “Obama!” Obama thenresponded, "I appreciate you guys making your point. Let me go ahead and make mine." Later in thespeech, Obama said, “Families like yours, young people like the ones here today — including the ones who werejust chanting at me — you’re the reason that I ran for office in the first place.”Vice President Joe Biden likened the protest to the Tea Partys similar anger at the banks, saying, "Look, guys, thebargain is not on the level anymore in the minds of the vast majority of the American (people). The middle classhas been screwed."CongressHouse Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va), at the Values Voter SummitHouse Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, said she supports the growing nationwide Occupy Wall Streetmovement. Pelosi said she includes herself in the group of Americans dissatisfied with Congress and stated, "Isupport the message to the establishment, whether its Wall Street or the political establishment and the rest, thatchange has to happen. We cannot continue in a way (that) is not relevant to their lives."
Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who caucuses with the Democratic Party, appeared onCountdown with Keith Olbermann and supported the protests saying, "We desperately need a coming together ofworking people to stand up to Wall Street. We need to rebuild the middle-class in this country and you guys canthave it all."House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va), in a speech to a Values Voter Summit, characterized the movement as"growing mobs" and said that Obamas "failed policies" and rhetoric "condon[ing] the pitting of Americans againstAmericans" were to blame. In response, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney accused Cantor of "unbound"hypocrisy, given the Majority Leaders support of the Tea Party protests, adding, "I dont understand why onemans mob is another mans democracy." Carney characterized both movements as examples of Americandemocratic traditions.The Democratic co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Representatives Raúl Grijalva and KeithEllison, announced their solidarity with the movement on October 4. The Democratic Congressional CampaignCommittee is asking for 100,000 names on its website which will subsequently be added to 100,000 letters toSpeaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor expressing support for the OccupyWall Street protesters, the middle class, and opposition to tax loopholes for millionaires and big oil.2012 Presidential candidatesU.S. Congressman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX) stated, "If they weredemonstrating peacefully, and making a point, and arguing our case, and drawing attention to the Fed—I wouldsay, good!" In a GOP debate, mentioning the ongoing “Occupy Wall Street” protesters, he stated that cronycapitalists are those “that benefit from contract from government, benefit from the Federal Reserve, benefit fromall the bailouts. They don’t deserve compassion. They deserve taxation or they deserve to have all their benefitsremoved." When protesters conducted a mic check, at one of Ron Pauls rallies, he replied, "If you listencarefully, Im very much involved with the 99. Ive been condemning that 1% because theyve been ripping us off.The people on Wall Street got the bailouts and you guys got stuck with the bills and thats where I see the problemis."Former 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain accused the movement of being "anti-capitalist" andargued "Dont blame Wall Street, dont blame the big banks, if you dont have a job and youre not rich, blameyourself!" In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cain also expressed his belief that Occupy Wall Streetwas "planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration," but admitted thathe "[didnt] have facts" to back up his accusation.Former Speaker of the House of Representatives and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wasquoted as saying at the 2012 Bloomberg/Washington Post Debate, "Let me draw a distinction. Virtually everyAmerican has a reason to be angry. I think virtually [every] American has a reason to be worried. I think the peoplewho are protesting in Wall Street break into two groups: one is left-wing agitators who would be happy to show upnext week on any other topic, and the other is sincere middle-class people who frankly are very close to the TeaParty people who care. And actually... you can tell which are which. The people who are decent, responsiblecitizens pick up after themselves. The people who are just out there as activists trash the place and walk off and areproud of having trashed it, so let’s draw that distinction." On November 21, Gingrich was quoted as saying tothe protesters that they should "Go get a job right after you take a bath."2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that while there were "bad actors" that needed to be"found and plucked out", he believes that to aim at one industry or region of America is a mistake and viewsencouraging the Occupy Wall Street protests as "dangerous" and inciting "class warfare". Romney laterexpressed sympathy for the movement, saying, "I look at whats happening on Wall Street and my view is, boy, Iunderstand how those people feel."
2012 Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer expressed support for the movement, saying, "We havealmost permanent unemployment. They say it’s nine percent, but the real unemployment rate is more like 16percent. These are people there are no jobs for, or they have to work part time to try to make ends meet. It’sdisturbing. The Wall Street protest is unshaped, unfocused, but there’s a lot of power in it."On October 18, 2012 Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson visited with the protesters in New York,expressing his support for the movement, stating, "I just have to express my solidarity with everyone there thatexpresses the notion that we have a country that doles it out unfairly. Corporatism is alive and well in thiscountry."Jill Stein, a 2012 Green Party (GPUS) presidential candidate, has strongly and consistently voiced support for theOccupy Wall Street movement. On October 9, prior to announcing her candidacy, she visited occupied DeweySquare in Boston, where she thanked the protesters for "breaking through the sound barrier," established by the"conglomerate media" which, according to her, have silenced those who have tried to speak out againstinjustice.Other politiciansMayor Bloomberg said that the protests "arent productive," although he also expressed sympathy for some of theircomplaints. On October 8, during his weekly radio show, Bloomberg complained that the protesters are tryingto "take the jobs from the people working in the city," and said that although "[t]here are some people withlegitimate complaints, there are some people who just like to protest."In an interview with The Washington Post, Former Democratic U.S. Senator Russ Feingold endorsed themovement on October 5 stating, "This is like the Tea Party—only its real... By the time this is over, it will makethe Tea Party look like ... a tea party." Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of StateColin Powell declared that the demonstrations of the OWS movement were "as American as apple pie," adding"“This is something that our political leaders need to think about. It isn’t enough just to scream at our Occupy WallStreet demonstrators — we need our political system to start reflecting this anger back into how do we fix it? Howdo we get the economy going again?”Labor unionsOn October 5 members of the National Nurses United labor union march to Foley Square in support of OWSIn September, various labor unions, including the Transport Workers Union of America Local 100 and the NewYork Metro 32BJ Service Employees International Union, pledged their support for demonstrators. Unionleaders say that unions and OWS can offer mutual support, with OWS gaining from the unions money, stature, andlarge membership, and the weakened labor movement absorbing the protesters vitality. The IndustrialWorkers of the World announced on September 28, 2011, that its General Executive Board (GEB), and theGeneral Defense Committee (GDC) had issued statements of support for Occupy Wall Street. Afternumerous arrests of protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge, police commandeered city buses to pick up detained
protesters and union drivers later sued the New York Police Department. Union President John Samuelsen said,"Were down with these protesters. We support the notion that rich folk are not paying their fair share. Our busoperators are not going to be pressed into service to arrest protesters anywhere". On October 4, representativesfrom more than 14 of the countrys largest labor unions joined the protesters for a mass rally and march. Inearly November, National Nurses United (NNU), the largest union of registered nurses in the nation, expressedsupport for OWS and rallied in front of the White House and Department of Treasury. Karen Higgins, co-presidentof NNU, said, "A real finance tax would generate $350 billion a year in the U.S. alone and bring relief to familiesout of homes, friends out of work, patients out of care, communities running out of time. The tax starts a revenueflow back to the 99 percent." Noting the growing union support, an article in the progressive-leaning Mother Jones magazine said that unionsupport could splinter and derail the protests rather than sustain them because while unions are tightly organized,hierarchical, and run with a clear chain of command, Occupy Wall Street is the opposite in that they are "ahorizontal, autonomous, leaderless, modified-consensus-based system with roots in anarchist thought." However,the article went on to suggest that if the unions and OWS joined together they could work to create a progressivemovement that "effectively taps into the rising feeling among many Americans that economic opportunity has beensquashed by corporate greed and the influence of the very rich in politics." As the success of the movement hasbecome apparent, union organizers have begun to embrace some of their social media skills, bold tactics, and thesimplicity of the 99% slogan. Damon Silvers, the AFL–CIOs policy director, said, “We think the Occupymovement has given voice to something very basic about what’s going on in our country right now. The fact thatthey’ve figured out certain concepts and language for doing that, we think is really important and positive.”The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)has endorsed the movement saying, "We recognize the need to work together and learn from each other. Thevitality, energy and dialogue growing from the Occupy Wall Street movement show the potential to organize, buildpower and win justice for the middle class.”Federal ReserveDuring a hearing before the Joint Economic Committee October 4, 2011, Federal Reserve Chairperson BenBernanke said, "[P]eople are quite unhappy with the state of the economy and what’s happening. They blame, withsome justification, the problems in the financial sector for getting us into this mess, and they’re dissatisfied withthe policy response here in Washington. And at some level, I can’t blame them. Certainly, 9 percentunemployment and very slow growth is not a good situation." On November 2, he again expressed sympathywith frustrations about the economy but also said many of the complaints levied at the Fed, including those madeagainst the steps it took during the financial crisis, are misguided. “The concerns about the Fed are based onmisconceptions,” he said. “A very simplistic interpretation of that [criticism] was that we were doing that becausewe wanted to preserve banker salaries. That was obviously not the case.” Dallas Federal Reserve PresidentRichard W. Fisher said that he was "somewhat sympathetic" to the views of the protesters, and added, "We havetoo many people out of work. We have a very uneven distribution of income. We have a very frustrated people,and I can understand their frustration."Media response
A protesters sign references the alleged lack of news coverage by mass media as a media blackout. Five days into the protest, Keith Olbermann criticized the initial media response for failing to adequately cover theprotests. The protests began on Saturday, September 17. The following Wednesday, The New YorkObserver reported on the nascent protests in Zuccotti Park. On Friday, September 23, Ginia Bellafantepanned the movement in The New York Times. Joanna Weiss of The Boston Globe found it difficult to take theprotests seriously, criticizing Occupy Wall Street for its "circus" atmosphere." In a September 27 article,Lauren Ellis of Mother Jones magazine criticized the movements lack of a clear message.By October 4, economist Richard Wolff commented that the unclear shape of the movement is "mostly irrelevant"at this early stage and the priority should be to invite all interested parties. Kalle Lasn, co-founder of Adbusters,believed that the protests had gone mainstream and expressed the opinion that "its become kind of a political leftmovement in the U.S., hopefully to rival the Tea Party." Michael Daly, of Newsweek and The Daily Beastcharacterized the position of the protesters as a "feeling that there is just a fundamental unfairness. From their pointof view, the very people who almost wrecked the U.S. economy on Wall Street continue to get wealthy whileworking people are struggling to pay their bills." On October 11, Katrina vanden Heuvel, who writes a weeklycolumn for The Post and is the editor and publisher of The Nation, said "most understand that the main task aheadis growing the movement," and pointing to recent legislation, she suggests that the movement has alreadyinfluenced public dialogue. From October 17–21 Cenk Uygur of the internet news show The Young Turksfilmed the political segment of the show in Zuccotti Park. MSNBCs Technolog noted that policymakers had failed to address economic problems, and news media had failedto cover the unemployment crisis: "Tracking CNN, MSNBC and Fox, ThinkProgress found 7,583 mentions of theword debt, compared to 427 mentions of unemployment on all three networks combined." NM Incite said 22% oftweets using the #OccupyWallStreet hashtag voiced general support for the movement, 11% indicated participationin it, 5% described celebrity support, 11% were complaints against the movement, 13% shared news, 6% sharedvideos, 4% blamed government, 2% blamed Obama, and 1% blamed capitalism.Police response
Community relations detective Rick Lee, called "The Hipster Cop"Police reaction has varied. Some incidents have been criticized. The New York City Police Department hasassigned Rick Lee, a First Precinct community relations detective, to duty at the demonstration. He is one of thedepartments main liaisons with the protesters on behalf of the police department, and advises protesters on suchmatters as, avoiding arrest and getting along with police as well as attempting to get information of protestersplans. As a plainclothes officer, he has been referred to as the "hipster cop" for his attire consisting of glasses,cardigan sweaters, skinny ties and skinny trousers. Reaction to his presence is mixed.Occupy Wall Street has cost the Police Department $5 million in overtime as of October 27. Police statisticsshow competing information. Arrests and crimes have risen, while the number of summonses has fallen. Howdangerous it may be for Occupy Wall Street protesters and nearby residents is difficult to assess due to an informaldivide that has sprung up between who patrols inside and outside the park. While NYC police are stationed aroundthe periphery, police seem to have ceded patrol of the interior to protesters.The protesters have complained of noise from the New York Police using small handheld LRAD sound cannons tocommunicate instructions to protesters, in an effort to break up the demonstrations.International response Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said, "We agree with some of the expressions that some movements have used around the world [in] demonstrations like the ones we see in the US and other countries." Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that because there was nothing like a Canadian TARP program, he did not think Canadians were as angry as Americans. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty expressed sympathy with the protests, citing high unemployment amongst the youth. Comparing Canada to the U.S., he said that unlike the U.S., Canada has a progressive income tax system that favors the vulnerable, and the government has regulated and supervised its financial institutions. Peoples Republic of China state news agency Xinhua said the protests had exposed "fundamental problems" with the US economic and political systems, and that it showed "a clear need for Washington, which habitually rushes to demand other governments to change when there are popular protests in their countries, to put its own house in order." Egyptian protesters from Tahrir Square have spoken out in support of Occupy Wall Street. A message of solidarity issued by a collective of Cairo-based protesters declared: "As the interests of government increasingly cater to the interests and comforts of private, transnational capital, our cities and homes have become progressively more abstract and violent places, subject to the casual ravages of the next economic development or urban renewal scheme. An entire generation across the globe has grown up realizing, rationally and emotionally, that we have no future in the current order of things." Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou supported the U.S. protests saying, "We fight for changing the global economic system, like many anti-Wall Street citizens who rightly protest against the inequalities and injustices of the system." Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated, "There are reasons why people are protesting. People are protesting in Wall Street, in Europe about the fat salaries that the bankers are getting when people are being asked to tighten
their belts. There is problem of growing unemployment in the United States. There is also worry in Europe. So there are problems which the system must have credible answers to take them on board." The Korean Central News Agency of North Korea commented that the Occupy Wall Street movement were "in protest against exploitation and oppression by capital, shaking all fabrics of society." Former president of Poland and cofounder of the Polish Solidarity Movement, Lech Wałęsa, has expressed his support for Occupy Wall Street and is considering a visit to the site. Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev compared it to the perestroika period and the dissolution of the Soviet Union superpower, calling the protests justified. He said Americans should put their own house in order before attempting to do such with other countries. Former United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the protests were about fairness. "There are voices in the middle who say, ‘Look, we can build a better financial system that is more sustainable, that is based on a better and proportionate sense of what’s just and fair and where people don’t take reckless risks or, if they do, they’re penalized for doing so.’" Former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair criticized the movement, stating, “a protest is not the same as a policy. Someone who’s demonstrating will often make demands, but they don’t necessarily have answers.” Vatican City Cardinal Peter Turkson, a senior Vatican official, defended the protests: "Do people at a certain time have a right to say: Do business differently, look at the way you are doing business because this is not leading to our welfare, to our good? Can people demand this of the people of Wall Street? I think people can and should be able to." The comment was in light of a new publication the Vatican released entitled Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority, which agreed with many of the protesters issues. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez condemned what he claimed to be "horrible repression" of the Occupy Wall Street activists and expressed solidarity with the movement.Responses by notable peopleAuthors and academicsNaomi Klein leading an open forum on October 6Kate Pickett, coauthor of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, said in TheGuardian that "Few doubt that it was the actions of the rich and the super-rich, the 1%, that created the crisis. Butsadly, debate has not yet been translated into action...This is why we need the Occupy movement and the staunchactions of the trade unions – why we need protest and demonstrations and activism."Canadian writer Naomi Klein has spoken at the protest several times. Writing in the New York Times she said sheis "delighted" that OWS has not given in to issuing a list of demands. "This is a young movement still in theprocess of determining just how powerful it is, and that power will determine what demands are possible. Smallmovements have to settle for small reforms: big ones have the freedom to dream."
Professor and author Cornel West addressed the frustrations that some critics have expressed at the protest’s lackof a clear and unified message, saying, "It’s impossible to translate the issue of the greed of Wall Street into onedemand, or two demands. We’re talking about a democratic awakening."Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig who has called for a Second Constitution of the United States agreed withthe demands of OWS protestors but felt that too many demands generated "noise"; he called for clarity. Philosopher Slavoj Žižek gave a speech on Wall Street in which he expressed support for the protests saying,"They tell you we are dreamers. The true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way theyare. We are not dreamers. We are awakening from a dream which is turning into a nightmare."On November 15, when police closed the park to overnight use by the protesters, Chris Hedges, who has beenparticipating since the onset, wrote in his weekly column that he believed that through a rigid adherence tononviolence and a verbal respect for the police, the movement would continue to move forward to see therealization of its goals. Author Barbara Ehrenreich, in response to the dismantling of the occupations, statedthat "One of the appalling things here is that there are so many Democratic mayors involved in these crackdownsor in Bloombergs case, someone who is seen as a liberal."Over one thousand authors have announced their support for the movement via “Occupy Writers”, an onlinepetition that states “We, the undersigned writers and all who will join us, support Occupy Wall Street and theOccupy Movement around the world.” The initiative began when Jeff Sharlet e-mailed Salman Rushdie tosuggest a petition for writers who support Occupy Wall Street, and signatories range the spectrum of literarygenres and academic disciplines and include Margaret Atwood, Noam Chomsky, Neil Gaiman, DanielHandler also known as Lemony Snicket, and Alice Walker. The site also features original work from thewriters expressing their take on the Occupy movement.Authors and academics supporting include professor of economics and best-selling author Ravi Batra,anthropologist David Graeber, Stéphane Hessel, Nobel Prize winning economists Paul Krugman, andJoseph Stiglitz, Jeff Madrick, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and professor of economics Richard D.Wolff.BusinesspeopleJohn Paulson, billionaire and founder of the hedge fund Paulson & Co., criticized the protesters for "vilifying ourmost successful businesses," citing that "The top 1% of New Yorkers pay over 40% of all income taxes, providinghuge benefits to everyone in our city and state." Vikram Pandit, head of Citigroup, called the protesterssentiments "completely understandable" and said that Wall Street had broken the trust of its clients. Bill Gross,manager of PIMCOs Total Return Fund, the worlds largest mutual fund, stated "Class warfare by the 99%? Ofcourse, theyre fighting back after 30 years of being shot at." PIMCOs co-CEO Mohamed El-Erian argued thatpeople should "listen to Occupy Wall Street". Businessman and CEO Peter Schiff wrote an opinion columnwhere he stated, "I own a brokerage firm, but I didnt receive any bailout money... Yes, I am the 1% - but Iveearned every penny. Instead of trying to take my wealth away, I hope they learn from my example." Thelobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford proposed to the American Bankers Association a plan to respondto the Occupy movement by researching the backers and doing public relations work against them like puttingnegative stories in the media.Karl Denninger, former CEO and one of the original co-founders of the Tea Party movement, expressed supportfor the movement, saying "The problem with protests and the political process is that it is very easy, no matter howbig the protest is, for the politicians to simply wait until the people go home, and then they can ignore you. Well,Occupy Wall Street was a little different, and back in 2008, I wrote that when we will actually see change is whenthe people come, they set up camp, and they refuse to go home. That appears to be happening now." JeffImmelt, CEO of General Electric and a member of Obamas Economic Recovery Advisory Board, stated "It isnatural to assume that people are angry, and I think we have to be empathetic and understand that people are not
feeling great." Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the worlds largest hedge fund, stated in aninterview with Charlie Rose, "I think the number one problem is that were not having a quality dialogue...Icertainly understand the frustration, I understand the dilemma, I understand the discontent." Other businessleaders lending their support include George Soros and Russell Simmons.CelebritiesTom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, who is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, on Day 28 of OccupyWall StreetOn September 19, Roseanne Barr, the first celebrity to endorse the protest, spoke to protesters calling for acombination of capitalism and socialism and a system not based on "bloated talk radio hosts and that goddamnAyn Rand book".Filmmaker Michael Moore also spoke in support, saying, "They have tried to take our democracy and turn it into akleptocracy." Rapper Lupe Fiasco, one of the initial supporters of Occupy Wall Street, wrote a poem,"Moneyman", for the protest. Susan Sarandon spoke at the demonstration saying, "I came down here toeducate myself.... Theres a huge void between the rich and the poor in this country." Actor and activist MarkRuffalo has supported the Occupy Wall Street protest saying, "Peaceful Resistance. That is what changes theworld. We must be peaceful. This movement is about decency."Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel played a solo acoustic set for the protesters on October 4, and TomMorello performed on October 13. Folk singer Pete Seeger led a group of several hundred protesters on amarch through the streets on October 22, singing several songs, including "This Land Is Your Land" and "WeShall Overcome". Other musicians joining them included Arlo Guthrie, Tao Rodríguez-Seeger, Tom Chapin,David Amram, and Guy Davis.On October 23, Asmaa Mahfouz, whose video blog helped spark the 2011 uprising in Egypt, held a teach-in atLiberty Plaza. When asked why she came to the OWS protest she replied, "Many of U.S. residents was insolidarity with us. So, we have to keep going all over the world, because another world is possible for all ofus."On October 23, musicians Sean Lennon and Rufus Wainwright showed their support for the Occupy movementand played among a large crowd in Zuccotti Park. On October 25, international street artist Abovecompleted a 255 foot long mural in Miami, Florida that read "Give a wall st. banker enough rope and he will hanghimself" next to Interstate 95. The artist installed a controversial effigy that mimicked a wall st banker hangingfrom a noose.On November 8, folk-rock singers David Crosby and Graham Nash appeared at Zuccotti Park to offer their supportand sing to the occupiers. Three days later, on November 11, folk singer Joan Baez sang there as well. Many ofthe young protesters were not familiar with her songs and were unaware of her long history as an activist.
In fellowship with "Occupy Writers", hundreds are signed supporters as "Occupy Musicians" and "OccupyFilmmakers", respectively. Additionally, "Occupy Comics" and "Occupy Design" have lent their talentin support. Other celebrities lending their support include John Carlos, Anti-Flag, Radiohead, TalibKweli, and Kanye West.Miley Cyrus released a video on her official YouTube channel for the remix of "Liberty Walk" from her albumCant Be Tamed. The video is entirely made of footage from the Occupy movement, including "police beatings,things burning and lots of angry marching". On her YouTube channel the video is dedicated "to the thousandsof people who are standing up for what they believe in..."Wealthy supportersSeveral wealthy supporters have joined the protest, and have started a blog, westandwiththe99percent, in whichthey say, "I am the 1%. I stand with the 99%," and give their stories. The granddaughter of oil tycoon H. L.Hunt, Leah Hunt-Hendrix, 28, was quoted as saying “We should acknowledge our privilege and claim theresponsibilities that come with it.” Farhad Ebrahimi, who received an inheritance as a teenager, has beenparticipating in the Occupy Boston protest wearing a T-shirt that says, "Tax me. Im good for it." RussellSimmons, hip-hop artist and successful businessman, has actively supported the OWS movement saying that hebelieves that it is his moral duty to do so. "You give what you get. I want to do what I can to relieve suffering andimprove the quality of others lives."Criticism The neutrality of this section is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (December 2011)There has been criticism of the Occupy Wall Street movement by various groups and individuals.In an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, pollster Douglas Schoen wrote that the protesters reflect "valuesthat are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people" and have "a deep commitment toleft-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth, intenseregulation of the private sector, and protectionist policies to keep American jobs from going overseas", and thatpoliticians who support them will be hurt in the 2012 elections. Journalist David Weigel responded in anopinion piece published on Slate characterizing Schoens opinion piece as "a dishonest column full of claims thatcouldnt be backed up by his own research", while Washington Monthly lead blogger Steve Benen wrote anopinion piece accusing Schoen of political spin in his analysis and referring to Schoen, a frequent contributor toFox News, as "the quintessential Fox News Democrat".A group of bloggers, led by political commentator Erick Erickson, organized a website criticizing the movemententitled "We Are the 53%," referring to the 53% of Americans who earn enough income to pay federal incometaxes. An opinion piece by CBS contributor Jim Edwards, comparing the We are the 99% blog to the 53%blog, commented that "once youve looked at both blogs, the impression you come away with is that the recessionis as devastating to conservatives as it is to liberals, but that conservatives regard their misfortunes as their ownfault whereas the liberals see structural forces at work -- lack of health insurance, student loans -- that they cannotovercome."Mike Brownfield of The Heritage Foundation argued that rejection of the capitalist system and the policies thatOWS protesters advocate, including limits on trade and student loan forgiveness, would not lead to improvedeconomic conditions for unemployed Americans. According to Brownfield, the Foundation believes it is "right todecry out-of-control bailouts and corporate subsidies" and there are valid concerns regarding the economy,unemployment rates and low job creation. However, Heritage argued that capitalism is key to improving the
economy and that the movement is focusing on the wrong solutions to the problems they protest: it should beprotesting the expansion of government instead of calling for more government intervention.Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, said that while Occupy Wall Street has succeeded ingetting attention, it is limited because it is only attracting religious support from the left. He said that a call forthe government redistribution of wealth and reliance on street activism did not appeal to those with conservativepolitical or religious leanings. The protest has been criticized for tolerating anti-Semitic activists. TheEmergency Committee for Israel ran an ad condemning anti-Semitic remarks and calling on Obama and otherpolitical officials to do likewise. These allegations lead the Anti-Defamation League to call on the movement"to condemn anti-Semitic signs and comments that have appeared at some of the protest rallies across the countryand around the world". Other journalists have disputed allegations of anti-Semitism as not reflecting themovement as a whole.Complaints by local residentsProtesters dance in front of drummers at the protestSome residents of the area surrounding Zuccotti Park have voiced complaints about the demonstrations. A caller toa radio show complained that the park has been rendered "unusable" by the protesters, and that "a generalatmosphere of incivility," together with loud shouting and drums, prevailed; another complained that the drumsfrom the protest, which he said "start in the morning" and get louder in the evening until 11:30 pm, made itdifficult for his children to sleep or do their homework. Another resident complained that protesters had beenvandalizing and urinating in the vestibule to his apartment building. Responding to a caller to his radio showcomplaining about noise and incivility at the park, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said "we couldnt agree more."The Mayor has been criticized for alienating both supporters and critics for his stance that seems supportive of theprotests one day and opposed on others. The Mayor has vowed to crack down on the protesters behavior as well assaying he’ll allow the protests indefinitely.Protesters and community residents clashed at a standing room only Community Board One meeting October 20.Residents complained about inadequate sanitation, verbal taunts and harassment, noise, and related issues. Oneresident angrily complained that the protesters "[a]re defecating on our doorsteps"; board member Tricia Joycesaid, "They have to have some parameters. That doesnt mean the protests have to stop. Im hoping we can strike abalance on parameters because this could be a long term stay."Popular culture referencesCNBC correspondent Jane Wells reported that the Occupy Wall Street movement sparked parodies which connectthe movement to pop culture icons from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and others. An image of Luke Skywalkerholding a protest sign was published: "It wasnt glamorous but I had a steady living working on my unclesmoisture farm... my aunt and uncle were unjustly murdered and the farm destroyed. I was forced to leave my homeand join an extinct cult just to survive. I am now a member of an upstart movement to take down a greedy corruptestablishment. I AM THE 99%." Skywalkers enemies, the Imperial Storm Troopers, joined the protest on anotherimage circulating on the Internet holding signs: "End Galactic Corporate Greed", "Get Our Troops Off Tatooine"and "Keep Your Empirical Hands Off My Healthcare". Parodies relating to Middle Earth include a woman who
had written her complaint in Elvish, allegedly translated: "I spend every waking hour fighting Orcs while Elrondand Galadriel eat lembas bread all day. I am the 99%."Other parodies include Occupy Narnia and Occupy Sesame Street. Occupy Sesame Street went viral and,following violent encounters between NYPD and the protesters, Tumblr posted pictures of Elmo arrested, Groverrestrained, and Count von Count pepper-sprayed. Occupy Wall Street and its related protests were satirized inthe South Park episode "1%", which aired on November 2, 2011. Remy Munasifi wrote and sang a songcalled "Occupy Wall Street Protest Song", which criticized the protestors for not understanding, in his opinion,how well off they are. According to AFP, the song went viral in early October.Popular culture images are also employed by protesters to make statements. For example, Guy Fawkes masks fromthe film V for Vendetta are worn by protesters in New York and around the world as visual symbols of resistanceagainst corporate greed.Music videosOn October 26, 2011, the first video setting footage of Occupy Wall Street to the song Love, Thats America byMelvin Van Peebles was uploaded to YouTube. In an interview with Van Peebles several weeks later, hediscussed the song going viral. Turkish newspaper Radikal described the song as becoming the surprisingunofficial anthem of the movement.CrimeOn October 11, it was reported that OWS protesters staying in Zuccotti Park were dealing with a worseningsecurity problem with reports of multiple incidents of assault, drug dealing and use, and sexual assault. ACrown Heights man was charged with sexually assaulting a protester at the park raising the level of publicdiscussion of lawlessness at the demonstrations. Protesters use de-escalation techniques, talking down or blockingwith their bodies those people throwing punches. In more tense situations, protesters encircle troublemakers andusher them out. But many times, those kicked out or arrested return. Protester sanitation teams have reportedfinding needles in tents, and reports of crack and crystal meth use have surfaced. But most protesterssay that the most serious concern is the risk of assault, especially for women and at night. Demonstrators havecomplained of thefts of assorted items such as cell phones and laptops. Thieves also stole $2500 of donations thatwere stored in a makeshift kitchen. On October 10, a "methadone-addled man freeloading off the Wall Streetprotest" was arrested for groping a woman. On Nov 10, 2011, a man was arrested at OWS for breaking anEMTs leg.Police Commissioner Paul Browne complained that protesters delayed reporting crime. He stated that its OWSprotocol not to report such incidents to the police until there were three complaints against the same individual.The protesters denied a "three strikes policy", and one protester told the New York Daily News that he had heardpolice respond to a complaint by saying, "You need to deal with that yourselves". "A lot of the folks that are involved in the security operations at the park have been saying that -- when they encounter, you know, sort of transient, homeless type of people there in the park -- they are hearing reports that the police have been encouraging them to head down to Zuccotti, to "Take it to Zuccotti." Its very upsetting. Particularly, when you consider that some of the people that are arriving to the park have severe psychiatric problems or drug-addiction problems." Ryan Devereaux, reporter for Democracy Now!.On November 16, 2011, police arrested Nkrumah Tinsley, 29, and charged him with making a terroristic threat,after police saw a video of him saying, “On the 17th, we going to burn New York City to the fucking ground,” and"In a few days they’re going to see what a Molotov cocktail can do to Macy’s." He had been previously arrestedfor assaulting a police officer during another protest on October 26. Defense lawyer Pierre Sussman saidthat Tinsley had been exercising his right to free speech, and that he was not really going to do the things he
said. When police carried out a search warrant of Tinsleys home, they did not find any bomb makingmaterials.Sexual assaultsAfter several weeks of occupation, Occupy Wall Street protesters had made enough allegations of sexual assaultand gropings that women-only sleeping tents were set up. David Park was arrested for a sexual assault thatoccurred in Zuccotti Park on October 8. At the time of the incident, Park had numerous warrants for his arrests.Tonye Iketubosin who worked as a kitchen helper was charged with an October 24 sexual assault of an 18-year-oldfellow protester. Prosecutors believe he is responsible for an assault on another 18-year-old woman.Occupy Wall Street organizers released a statement regarding the sexual assaults stating, "As individuals and as acommunity, we have the responsibility and the opportunity to create an alternative to this culture of violence, Weare working for an OWS and a world in which survivors are respected and supported unconditionally… We areredoubling our efforts to raise awareness about sexual violence. This includes taking preventative measures such asencouraging healthy relationship dynamics and consent practices that can help to limit harm.” A police unionleader stated, “We have no way of really knowing. If you have three or five crimes reported, you really don’t knowif it’s eight or 10 that happened.”ChronologyMain article: Timeline of Occupy Wall StreetFirst four weeks (September 17 – October 14)Protesters rallying near New York police headquarters, St. Andrews Church in the background.On September 17, 1,000 protesters marched through the streets, with an estimated 100 to 200 staying overnight incardboard boxes. By September 19, seven people had been arrested. At least 80 arrests were made onSeptember 24, after protesters started marching uptown and forcing the closure of several streets. Mostof the 80 arrests were for blocking traffic, though some were also charged with disorderly conduct and resistingarrest. Police officers used a technique called kettling which involves using orange nets to isolate protesters intosmaller groups. Videos which showed several penned-in female demonstrators being hit with pepper sprayby a police official were widely disseminated, sparking controversy. That police official was identified asDeputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, and other videos imerged showing him hitting a photographer with a burst ofspray as well.The activist Anonymous subsequently published the name, phone number and family details of the policeofficer. Initially Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and a representative for Bologna defended hisactions, while decrying the disclosure of his personal information. After growing public furor, Kelly
announced that Internal Affairs and the Civilian Complaint Review Board were opening investigations, againcriticizing Anonymous for "[trying] to intimidate, putting the names of children, where children go to school," andadding that this tactic was "totally inappropriate, despicable." Meanwhile, Manhattan District Attorney CyrusVance, Jr. started his own inquiry.Public attention to the pepper-sprayings resulted in a spike of news media coverage, a pattern that was to berepeated in the coming weeks following confrontations with police. Clyde Haberman, writing in The New YorkTimes, said that "If the Occupy Wall Street protesters ever choose to recognize a person who gave their cause itsbiggest boost, they may want to pay tribute to Anthony Bologna," calling the event "vital" for the still nascentmovement. "After Ron Kuby, an attorney for one of the protesters, demanded Mr. Bologna’s arrest,[Bologna] was instead docked 10 vacation days and given a [...] reassignment to Staten Island, where he lives,"according to an account by blogger Daniel Edward Rosen.On October 1, 2011, protesters set out to march across the Brooklyn Bridge. The New York Times reported thatmore than 700 arrests were made. The police used ten buses to carry protesters off the bridge. Some said thepolice had tricked protesters, allowing them onto the bridge, and even escorting them partway across. Jesse A.Myerson, a media coordinator for Occupy Wall Street said, “The cops watched and did nothing, indeed, seemed toguide us onto the roadway.” However, some statements by protesters supported descriptions of the event givenby police: for example, one protester Tweeted that "The police didnt lead us on to the bridge. They were backingthe [expletive] up." A spokesman for the New York Police Department, Paul Browne, said that protesters weregiven multiple warnings to stay on the sidewalk and not block the street, and were arrested when they refused.By October 2, all but 20 of the arrestees had been released with citations for disorderly conduct and a criminalcourt summons. On October 4, a group of protesters who were arrested on the bridge filed a lawsuit against thecity, alleging that officers had violated their constitutional rights by luring them into a trap and then arresting them;Mayor Bloomberg, commenting previously on the incident, had said that "[t]he police did exactly what they weresupposed to do."On October 5, thousands of union workers joined protesters marching through the Financial District. The marchwas mostly peaceful until after nightfall, when scuffles erupted. About 200 protesters tried to storm barricadesblocking them from Wall Street and the Stock Exchange. Police responded with pepper spray and penned theprotesters in with orange netting.Weeks 5–8 (October 15 – November 11)See also: "Occupy" protestsOccupy Toronto was inspired by Occupy Wall Street.On October 15, tens of thousands of demonstrators staged rallies in 900 cities around the world, includingAuckland, Sydney, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, São Paulo, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, and manyother cities. In Frankfurt, 5,000 people protested at the European Central Bank and in Zurich, Switzerlandsfinancial hub, protesters carried banners reading "We wont bail you out yet again" and "We are the 99 percent."Protests were largely peaceful, however a protest in Rome that drew thousands turned violent when "a fewthousand thugs from all over Italy, and possibly from all over Europe" caused extensive damage. Thousands of
Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered in Times Square in New York City and rallied for several hours.Several hundred protesters were arrested across the U.S., mostly for refusing to obey police orders to leave publicareas. In Chicago there were 175 arrests, about 100 arrests in Arizona (53 in Tucson, 46 in Phoenix), and morethan 70 in New York City, including at least 40 in Times Square. Multiple arrests were reported in Chicago,and about 150 people camped out by city hall in Minneapolis.In the early morning hours of October 25, police cleared and closed an Occupy Oakland encampment at FrankOgawa Plaza in Oakland, California. The raid on the encampment was described as "violent and chaotic attimes," and resulted in over 102 arrests and several injuries to protesters. The city of Oakland contracted the use ofover 12 other regional police departments to aid in the clearing of the encampment. An Iraqi war veteran, ScottOlsen, was allegedly hit in the head with a teargas canister and suffered a skull fracture. His condition was laterupgraded from critical to fair. The next night, approximately 1,000 protesters reconvened in the plaza and heldmarches late into the night.On November 2, protesters in Oakland, California shut down the Port of Oakland, the fifth busiest port in thenation. Police estimated that about 3,000 demonstrators were gathered at the port and 4,500 had marched acrossthe city; a spokesman for the protest movement, who gave only his first name, told the BBC that he had heardpeople say that there were as many as 20,000 or 30,000 demonstrators, but added, "Its impossible to tell."Weeks 9 & 10 (November 12 - November 26)See also: Chronology of Occupy movement raidsAfter midnight on November 15, police delivered notices that protesters had to temporarily vacate the park toallow cleaning/sanitation crews access. According to the police notice, protesters would have been allowedback in after the cleaning, but without tents, tarps, or sleeping bags. Police moved in around 1:00 AM onNovember 15 and arrested about 200 people, some of whom attempted to stop the entry of cleaning crews. Amongthose arrested were journalists representing the Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, Daily News,DNAInfo, NPR, Television New Zealand, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair, as well as NewYork City Council member Ydanis Rodríguez. An NBC reporters press pass was also confiscated.While the police cleared the park, credentialed members of the media were kept a block away, preventing themfrom documenting the event. Police helicopters prevented NBC and CBS news helicopters from filming theclearing of the park. Many journalists complained of being treated roughly or violently by thepolice. The Society of Professional Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, ReportersWithout Borders and the New York Civil Liberties Union expressed concerns and criticisms regarding thesituation. The OAS Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression issued a statement saying that the"disproportionate restrictions on access to the scene of the events, the arrests, and the criminal charges resultingfrom the performance of professional duties by reporters violate the right to freedom of expression."On November 21, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Associated Press, Dow Jones, NBCUniversal and WNBC-TV joined in a letter written by New York Times General Council George Freemancriticizing the New York Police Departments handling of the media during the raid.Half an hour into the police removal, the Occupy Wall Street Media Team put out an official statement under theheading, "You cant evict an idea whose time has come." It went on to say, "Some politicians may physicallyremove us from public spaces — our spaces — and, physically, they may succeed. But we are engaged in a battleover ideas."The tents and personal effects of the protesters, and the five thousand books of The Peoples Library were putin dump trucks by the police and removed. On the November 15 edition of The Rachel Maddow Show, footageof the raid was shown with the following commentary:
"New York City police officers dressed in riot gear, handed out a written notice to the protesters telling them where their personal articles from the encampment could be retrieved, which sounds lovely until you saw what they were doing to the protesters` personal belongings. There were reports that police use knives to cut up the sturdy military- grade tents that were the best hope of surviving winter down there. You can see police here cutting down the protesters` tent poles with hand-held saws, with sawsalls."Computers retrieved after the raid were found to be smashed.After the removal, New York City officials ordered police to keep the entire park closed and to prevent anyprotesters from returning, pending the outcome of a court hearing on whether and in what circumstances theprotesters could return; a judge issued a temporary restraining order that protesters could return to the park withtheir tents, which Washington Post opinion writer James Downie accused Mayor Bloomberg of ignoring. Ajudge in the late afternoon ruled that the temporary order should not be extended, saying that the First Amendmentdid not give protesters the right to fill the park with "tents, structures, generators, and other installations to theexclusion of the owners reasonable rights and duties to maintain Zuccotti Park."On November 17, journalists representing the Indypendent Reader, IMC and In These Times were arrested.Two reporters for the Daily Caller and a reporter for RT were reportedly struck with police batons.On December 6, Occupy Our Homes, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, embarked on a "national day of action"to protest the mistreatment of homeowners by big banks, who they say made billions of dollars off of the housingbubble by offering predatory loans and indulging in practices that took advantage of consumers. In more than twodozen cities across the nation the movement took on the housing crisis by re-occupying foreclosed homes,disrupting bank auctions and blocking evictions.See alsoOccupy articles Related articles List of Occupy movement protest locations Bank Transfer Day Occupy Marines Corporatocracy The Peoples Library Corruption Perceptions Index Occupy Our Homes Empowered democracy Grassroots movementOther U.S. protests List of countries by income equality List of countries by inequality-adjusted HDI Bonus army 1932 Plutocracy Poor Peoples Campaign 1968 Selected Historical income tax rates in the U.S. 1971 May Day Protests (1913–2010) 2011 United States public employee protests Social peer-to-peer processes 2011 Wisconsin protests The One Percent – documentary about the growing wealth gap between Americas wealthy elite compared to the overall citizenryInternational Wealth inequality in the United States Impact of the Arab Spring 2010–2011 Greek protests 15 October 2011 global protests Social movements portal
Politics portal Business and economics portal Society portal New York City portal New York portal United States portalReferences 1. ^ "Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested". BBC News. October 2, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2011. 2. ^ a b "700 Arrested After Wall Street Protest on N.Y.s Brooklyn Bridge". Fox News Channel. October 1, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 3. ^ Gabbatt, Adam (October 6, 2011). "Occupy Wall Street: protests and reaction Thursday 6 October". Guardian (London). Retrieved October 7, 2011. 4. ^ “Wall Street protests span continents, arrests climb“, Crains New York Business, October 17, 2011. 5. ^ "From a single hashtag, a protest circled the world". Brisbanetimes.com.au. 2011-10-19. Retrieved 2011-11-24. 6. ^ a b Fleming, Andrew (September 27, 2011). "Adbusters sparks Wall Street protest Vancouver-based activists behind street actions in the U.S". The Vancouver Courier. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 7. ^ a b Sira Lazar “Occupy Wall Street: Interview With Micah White From Adbusters”, Huffington Post, October 7, 2011, at 3:40 in interview 8. ^ Adbusters, Adbusters, July 13, 2011; accessed September 30, 2011 9. ^ Beeston, Laura (October 11, 2011). "The Ballerina and the Bull: Adbusters Micah White on The Last Great Social Movement". The Link. Retrieved October 12, 2011. 10. ^ Schneider, Nathan (September 29, 2011). "Occupy Wall Street: FAQ". The Nation. Retrieved October 12, 2011. 11. ^ Saba, Michael (September 17, 2011). "Twitter #occupywallstreet movement aims to mimic Iran". CNN tech. Retrieved September 17, 2011. 12. ^ Adbusters (August 23, 2011). "Anonymous Joins #OCCUPYWALLSTREET "Wall Street, Expect Us!" says video communique.". Adbusters. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 13. ^ "Assange can still Occupy centre stage". Smh.com.au. 2011-10-29. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 14. ^ a b "Occupy Wall Street to Turn Manhattan into Tahrir Square". IBTimes New York. September 17, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 15. ^ "From a single hashtag, a protest circled the world". Brisbanetimes.com.au. 2011-10-19. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 16. ^ "The Tyee – Adbusters Kalle Lasn Talks About OccupyWallStreet". Thetyee.ca. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 17. ^ Batchelor, Laura (October 6, 2011). "Occupy Wall Street lands on private property". CNNMoney. Retrieved October 7, 2011. "Many of the Occupy Wall Street protesters might not realize it, but they got really lucky when they elected to gather at Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan" 18. ^ Occupys new tactic has a powerful past By Sonia K. Katyal and Eduardo M. Peñalver, Special to CNN December 16, 2011 19. ^ a b Apps, Peter (October 11, 2011). "Wall Street action part of global Arab Spring?". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-11- 24. "What they all share in common is a feeling that the youth and middle class are paying a high price for mismanagement and malfeasance by an out-of-touch corporate, financial and political elite...they took on slogans from U.S. protesters who describe themselves as the "99 percent" paying the price for mistakes by a tiny minority." 20. ^ a b Tahrir Square protesters send message of solidarity to Occupy Wall Street by Jack Shenker and Adam Gabbatt The Guardian, Tuesday 25 October 2011 "Much of the tactics, rhetoric and imagery deployed by protesters has clearly been inspired by this years political upheavals in the Middle East..." 21. ^ In the City and Wall Street, protest has occupied the mainstream By Polly Toynbee in The Guardian, Monday 17 October 2011 "From Santiago to Tokyo, Ottawa, Sarajevo and Berlin, spontaneous groups have been inspired by Occupy Wall Street." 22. ^ Occupy Wall Street: A protest timeline "A relatively small gathering of young anarchists and aging hippies in lower Manhattan has spawned a national movement. What happened?" 23. ^ a b c Top 5 targets of Occupy Wall Street The Christian Science Monitor by Maud Dillingham 24. ^ a b Think Occupy Wall St. is a phase? You dont get it By Douglas Rushkoff, Special to CNN October 5, 2011 "...there are a wide array of complaints, demands, and goals from the Wall Street protesters: the collapsing