“99% of the world’s cookies are consumed by 1% of the monsters….occupy Sesame Street.” Clever political cartoons such as this have gone viral on Facebook and Twitter as awareness for the Occupy Wall Street protest increases. It didn’t take long for this movement to spread to cities all over the U.S., many of them familiar to protests i.e. San Francisco and Seattle, as protestors organized rallies and encampments in solidarity.
Beginning with a march on Manhattan’s financial district on September 17th, the movement has been gaining momentum for almost a month now. This past Tuesday New Yorkers carried out a “millionaires march,” demonstrating in front of wealthy resident’s homes such as Rupert Murdoch, David Koch and Howard Milstein. Other dedicated protestors in Washington D.C. continue to occupy Washington’s Freedom Plaza even though their permit to gather in the square expired. Then in Boston over 100 protestors were arrested after they refused police demands to leave a public space that had recently been renovated.
Closer to home in Chicago protestors have kept a presence outside the local branch of the Federal Reserve for almost three weeks. Occupy Chicago activists have been staging rallies and protests throughout the weeks with different themes. This past week hundreds gathered outside the offices of the Chicago Association of Realtors, to show their anger at recent foreclosure practices and mortgage lending.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has been gaining support across the country, despite commentaries from the Herman Cains of the world—“Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!” But then again Cain likes to preface his statements with, “I don’t have the facts to back this up but….” Protestors and organizers are calling for global support, making October 15th International Day of Action. Even in the C-U supporters will be marching and rallying Saturday at West Side park.
It’s pretty incredible how many people continue to protest day and night like in Washington’s utopian encampment that was set up in Zuccotti Park almost a month ago. Americans have endured a lot of financial and economical hardships over the past ten years only to be continually let down by our government that’s giving billion dollar bailouts to Wall Street and tax breaks on the rich, but can’t provide health care access to all of its citizens. Americans have had enough and are taking to the streets to make their voices heard, whether they’re 50-some years old and trying to support a family or an unemployed college grad with sizeable debt. While there might not be a clear list of demands for these protests, one thing is clear, Americans want political accountability, and we will demand it.