‘People’s revolution’ spreads in US; mass arrests in New York
FP Editors Oct 2, 2011
#ConnectTheDots #Decline of America #Occupy Wall Street #Protests #Wall Street
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The ‘People’s Revolution’ that is sweeping across large parts of the Arab world has now well and truly spread to America.
The protestors in the US may not be trying to overthrow a dictatorial regime – as is happening with the ‘Arab Spring’ uprising. But in the US too, the protests are channelling widespread popular frustration with a corrupt, broken system of politics and economics.
In the main, the protestors, gathered under the umbrella organisation Occupy Wall Street, are targeting Wall Street bankers and corporate tycoons – who they say symbolise corporate greed and influence, social inequality and widespread disparity between the rich and the poor in the US.
The Occupy Wall Street protests are inspired by the Arab Spring uprising. Reuters
On Saturday night, a dramatic confrontation on the iconic Brooklyn Bridge between Occupy Wall Street protestors and the New York Police Department – in which hundreds of people were arrested – symbolises the growing public anger against a political system that many say favours rich bankers and corporate tycoons. Among those arrested was a 13-year-old girl (watch the video of her being arrested here, while the crowds chant: “Let her go!”)
(Follow the Occupy Wall Street protests live on Twitter.)
Last week, the New York police came in for severe criticism after a pepper spray attack on women who were protesting peacefully as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. (Watch the video of the pepper spray attack here.)
Although the Occupy Wall Street movement began with its epicentre in the now-discredited district that represents the financial capital of the world, the protests have since spread to many other cities in the US. (Watch Livestream video of the protests here.)
CBS reports that similar protest marches are being held in Los Angeles and Albuquerque, New Mexico. In Chicago, crowds have been gathering regularly outside the Federal Reserve Bank.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof noted that the Occupy Wall Street protests reminded him of Tahrir Square in Egypt, which earlier this year became the epicentre of a popular movement that led to the peaceful overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.
The striking thing about the Occupy Wall Street protests is that it isn’t just “jobless hippies” who are a part of it – as some commentaries have dismissed them. As a blogger on ZeroHedge points out, they are being led by middle-class families that are struggling – pilots, US Marines, old grannies, and young unemployed people.
The group’s rallying slogan has become “We are the 99 percent.” That’s a reference to a grim statistic that points to deepening income disparity, particularly after the Wall Street bailouts of 2008. The group claims on its website that 1 percent of America’s population – the richest – account for 99 percent of the money.