Young people camp out in the financial center of the United States against the effects of the economic crisis and Obama’s economic policy.
Writing for Opinião Socialista (PSTU/LIT publication)
Wall Street, the heart of global capitalist finance, has been occupied by demonstrators since September 17th. Thousands are camped at the site in protest of the Obama administration’s economic policy that poured billions of tax dollars into bailing out banks.
The movement, called “Occupy Wall Street,” was organized via online social networking and bears obvious ties to the occupations of Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid and Tahrir Square in Cairo.
Surprisingly, the movement grows stronger every day despite severe repression. On September 24th, the Republican mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg (the eighth richest man in the United States), ordered police to detain the occupying protesters. More than eighty young people were arrested as a result.
On October 2nd, the mayor turned to repression again, ordering police to apprehend protesters who had occupied the Brooklyn Bridge. Close to 700 people were arrested. The police used a giant “fishing net” to entrap the protesters. The protest, however, continues to gain strength. Film director Michael Moore, actress Susan Sarandon, philosopher Noam Chomsky and journalist Amy Goodman are among the artists and intellectuals that have joined the demonstrations.
“Come one and all to occupy Wall Street,” urged Michael Moore in his blog. “This is the first time that a mass of thousands has taken over Wall Street,” continued the director. The mass media of the United States, for its part, openly boycotts the protests.
The demonstration has already spread to other American cities. Mobilizations against the financial system, greed and cuts in the federal budget are appearing in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, although these protests have not reached the scale of those in New York. In Boston, close to three thousand people participated in a demonstration on October 1st. Twenty four protestors were arrested.
Will this be the beginning of the North American spring? Such a conclusion would be premature, but one thing is certain. “Occupy Wall Street” shows that the American people are part of the global movement of “os indignados” that continues to grow worldwide.