Nowadays one cannot escape news stories about quantitative easing, stimulus packages and stock market fluctuations, which is testament to the fact that our lives are very much determined by forces totally beyond our control. The Great Depression was caused by the Stock Market Crash of 1928 and the crash of 2008 has led to the world’s current dire economic situation. As pointed out by Dominic Sandbrook, “it is no coincidence that almost all the world’s great financial crises have taken place between late August and mid-October. During the summer, when many bankers and speculators are on holiday and their grip on he movements of economic forces are loosened, downward pressures on the markets can develop. Slowly but surely, confidence seeps away. And then, within days of the financial classes arriving back at work, quite suddenly, but utterly devastatingly, the house of cards comes crashing down. The collapse of Lehman Brothers, for example, began in August 2008, when the financial world first realised how much the U.S. bank had been losing on sub-prime mortgages. The pressure escalated, until mid-September three years ago when Lehmans filed for bankruptcy. In that moment, the global financial system suffered a seismic shock from which it has never recovered”. But now, on 17 September 2011, hapless citizens have begun fighting back . . .
Is it any wonder that the Wall Street Occupation is a totally underreported news story??? The mainstream media are simply ignoring this story. On 17 September, CNN’s Julianne Pepitone, nevertheless wrote that “[h]undreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Manhattan’s financial district on Saturday in a largely peaceful protest aimed at drawing attention to the role powerful financial interests played in wreaking havoc on America [and the world]‘s economy. Modelled on the “Arab Spring” uprisings that swept through Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and other countries this year, Occupy Wall Street is a “leaderless resistance movement” orchestrated through Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools. The Twitter hashtags #OccupyWallStreet and #TakeWallStreet lit up Saturday with coordination messages and solidarity tweets . . .Activist magazine Adbusters spearheaded the event, putting the call out two months ago for participants in a Sept. 17 demonstration in lower Manhattan. Protestors arranged to meet and discuss their goals at the iconic Wall Street Bull statue at noon, as well as at a “people’s assembly” at One Chase Manhattan Plaza at 3 p.m.”.
On her Nation blog Allison Kilkenny writes that “[f]ormerly (and perhaps more aptly) named Liberty Park, the plaza has become home to the activists and the center point of an increasingly bitter standoff between protesters and police. In total, twelve individuals have been arrested, one having suffered a leg injury during the arrest. Activists accuse the police of being too aggressive, and videos have begun to appear online showing the behavior in question . . . While the overall attendance was much lower than original projections, and the ultimate occupation has dwindled even further, those protesters who remain in Zuccotti Park have been very effective at utilizing social media (particularly the hashtag #OccupyWallStreet) to spread their message. Outcry erupted [on Tuesday, 20 September] when it became apparent that Yahoo was censoring e-mails that contained references to the Occupy Wall Street protest. A sender would receive a message that there was “suspicious activity” detected on their account when they tried to send a message relating to the event. Yahoo later responded, saying the culprit was an overzealous spam filter. The occupation has also attracted the attention of celebrity activists like Roseanne Barr and Michael Moore. Barr recently visited the protesters to offer words of encouragement”.
Liberty Plaza Day 5
And here is Keith Olbermann reporting on day 6 . . . and for good measure, Michael Moore also ways in: ‘Keith Olbermann asked Moore about Occupy Wall Street and he said, “I can’t speak for why the networks have not covered this. This is really the very first down on Wall Street in the financial district the very first attempt since the crash of 08 to take a real stand, and it’s been powerful, and I gotta believe that even though it may only number in the hundreds right now, this is going to grow, not only on Wall Street, but in communities all over America. And I would encourage people watching this show to think about, okay you can’t make it to New York City, but there’s a branch of Chase Bank in your town. There’s a branch of Bank Of America, and there’s nothing preventing you from organizing a demonstration outside that branch with signs, with possibly even civil disobedience to make your voices heard. They think they’re going to get away with this. These people stole the pension funds of the American public. Who stole their money, who stole the future of our kids and grandkids. They’re kleptomaniacs, and they think they are going to get away with it. They have taken our democracy and formed it into a kleptocracy, and if we don’t stand up. If we don’t have our voices heard, believe me they’re not done yet”’.
It seems but natural that RT America would pick up on this story. The Alyona Show has this: Occupy Wall Street that started on September 17 with about 2,000 people, is now about 100 people, still camping out in Zuccoti Park. Over the last week, there have been arrests, some more violent than others. But what has this last week taught us about protests in America, about Wall Street’s grip on power, and especially on Washington? Independent Journalist Evan Shamar discusses (23 September 2011).
And finally, on the same day as the Alyona Show’s report the BBC’s Jill Martin wrote that “Wall Street’s unwelcome warriors hang on to protest”. Martin elaborates that the protesters “are the kind of people who would normally find no reason to linger in New York’s financial district – people wearing hooded tops, biker jackets and plaid shirts – but for a week they have been camping there. All are anti-Wall Street protesters, but with barricades and swarms of police officers in front of the New York Stock Exchange the closest they can get to their target is Liberty Street, a good three streets away. An online activist group called Adbusters organised the gathering and the word spread through social media. With attention focused sharply on the financial markets and many US citizens suffering hardships undreamed of in the 1980s and 1990s, campaigners thought they could pull in thousands to join them but although the campaign – broadly known as “Occupy Wall Street” – has attracted people from thousands of miles away, only about 50 people are currently involved”, adding that the “small numbers have not dampened the group’s enthusiasm – but the weather has”.
The BBC reporter observes that “[t]hose who have weathered this week’s rains in New York are clearly tired by the effort: the ground at their base camp is dappled with sleeping protesters, who are covered in blankets and tarpaulin. And they are heavy sleepers. Even though the raucous daily protest march past the New York Stock Exchange involves a cacophony of drumming and chanting, several manage to slumber through it. Protesters chant such slogans as: “Abolish the Fed! Stop building up the debt!” The parading demonstrators are flanked by a small army of police officers, tourists, members of the media, and people who are trying to get to work”. And now, the new mainstream news channel Al Jazeera has decided that Occupy Wall Street deserves some airtime. The OccupyWallStreet website notes that ‘We have at least four arrests today during a community march, a fifth arrest is suspected but police will not confirm. A legal observer attempting to contact an arrested member was not allowed to due to “an emergency situation,” we are currently unsure of what this means. At least one arrest was due to a protester taking photographs. At least one protester’s possessions have not been returned. Please call the first precinct, central booking and the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information and urge them to release these peaceful protesters . . . We are now receiving reports that at least 80 protesters have been arrested. The National Lawyer’s Guild puts the number at around one hundred. Liberty square is currently full with an ongoing discussion on how to respond to this unprecedented level of police aggression. Police are currently surrounding the square. There is nearly one police officer for every two protesters’.
 Jill Martin, “Wall Street’s unwelcome warriors hang on to protest”.
 Jill Martin, “Wall Street’s unwelcome warriors hang on to protest”.