As part of our bi-monthly net impact meeting we decided to offer a tour of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement right at the heart of where it started and became a global sensation from.
The actual number of interested members that showed up on the cold saturday morning was not much to boast about but it was still a worthwhile experience and we had a good time learning and observing the folks involved.
A very basis 101 on ‘OWS’ straight from the mouth of Wikipedia: Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is an ongoing series of demonstrations in New York City‘s Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street financial district which began on September 17, 2011. Initiated by Canadian activist group Adbusters, the participants are mainly protesting social and economic inequality, corporate greed, corruption and influence over government—particularly from the financial services sector—as well as lobbyists and the jobless rate. The use of the slogan, “We are the 99%“, refers to the difference in wealth and income growth in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population.
My unbiased opinion of the movement: I think it’s very commendable that so many people seriously believe in the cause and are giving it there all. Some have companies and have temporarily handed over the reigns to devote their energies to this full-time. We met a phd student who’s opened a think tank and has become an active voice shedding all inhibitions and fears of cameras and public speaking. We met another guy who’s combining multiple causes through this one forum: gay rights, homelessness and also trying to raise money for the area. It was cold there and to think people spend day in day out sleeping in tents, eating cold bagels and showering God knows where does show dedication and belief in the cause. So much so that they maybe sending a delegate of folks from Zuccotti park to Egypt to help improve the situation there.
I am not sure if it’s being done in a right way and many people who are part of it also are feeling the lack of intentional ‘no leadership’ and what it might mean for their future but it’s definitely a start in the right direction. as one poster stated: When the women’s right movement started, one opposer had asked; ‘What exactly do you hope to achieve from this?’..so hope is all we have and a group of concerned citizens. Check out some pics taken..