Occupy Wall Street refers to a group of activists who are fighting for social equality between the rich and poor in America. They are also fighting against individual and corporate greed as well as increased corruption in government dealings among other social evils. The group describes itself as a leaderless resistance movement that consists of people from various races and genders with varied economical and political motives that is beneficial to the whole society (Chomsky 2012). The main objective of the Occupy Wall Street group was to establish socio-economic equality between all members of the society. The group claims to represent the ninety nine percent of the society that is poor and helpless.
According to Lenny Flank, the one percent remaining of the society is represented by rich people and organizations in the banking, insurance and mortgage industries (138). The Protestants from Occupy Wall Street assert that they are addressing serious social and economic problems in America that have been ignored by the media for centuries (Chomsky 2012).
Commence of the Protests. Members of Occupy Wall Street started protesting on September 17, 2011. New York Times reported that the group began holding street protests at ZuccottiPark in Lower Manhattan (Toure 16). The Occupy Wall Street group started a few weeks following the registration of OccupyWallStreet.org as a domain name by the Adbusters Magazine. Adbusters is an anti-consumerist magazine in Canada. Calls for the September 17 protest were made by Adbusters on July 13, 2011.
Spread of Occupy Wall Street Protests to other Cities. The Occupy Wall Street protests started by a small gathering at Zuccotti Park in the financial district of New York City. According to Van-Gelder, the protests were organized in a similar manner to other previous protests that has taken place in Israel, Spain and Egypt (27). Adam Gabbatt reported that within three weeks after the beginning of Occupy Wall Street in New York, similar protests had started in other cities such as Los Angeles, Maine, Chicago, Memphis, San Francisco and Boston (Gabbatt 19).
On September 19, 2011, renowned celebrity Roseanne Barr endorsed the Occupy Wall Street Movement, thereby giving the group more recognition and publicity in America and other parts of the world. On September 24, antiriot police in New York’s financial district arrested hundreds of protestors of the Occupy Wall Street group (Bill 11).
In mid October 2011, various protests outcropped from different parts of the world in support of Occupy Wall Street movement, for example, numerous supporters of Occupy Wall Street movement demonstrated in major cities in Europe and Asia (Toure 29).
Emergence of Occupy Wall Street Movement. Bill postulates that Occupy Wall Street Movement emerged as a result of social maltreatment of the poor (31). The poor people form the largest composition of the American society.Furthermore, the movement arose as a result of failure of political leaders to address effectively social and economic problems and challenges faced by thousands of Americans, for instance, Herman Cain, a presidential aspirant of the Republican Party, was quoted saying that poor Americans should blame themselves for their poverty (Chomsky 2012). This symbolized lack of commitment of political leaders and the elite to assist the poor in solving their social and economic problems. Similarly, Mayor Michael Bloomberg condemned the protests basis his arguments on possibility of reduced economic activities in the country. Mayor Bloomberg argued that the Occupy Wall Street protests would drive away tourists hence they should be stopped.
In my view, the Occupy Wall Street protests gathered momentum after numerous encounters with the police, for instance, on September 24, 2011, police arrested nearly one hundred people as they matched towards the SquarePark in New York City. This led to the first media coverage of the activities of the Occupy Wall Street group thereby giving it more publicity. The use of coercion and pepper spray against the demonstrators by police inspired similar protests in Chicago.The Occupy Wall Street protests emerged in the context of war against social inequality. The group was fighting for equality between all members of the society.The existence of corrupt dealings, unethical practices amongst the rich and wealthy politicians gave room for social unrests that led to formation of the movement.Furthermore, the Occupy Wall Street Movement received support from consumer-watch organizations and labor unions in New York City.
Authority being challenged by Occupy Wall Street protests. In my opinion, the Occupy Wall Street protests are organized to challenge the wealthy members of the society from continued exploitation of the poor. It is believed that the rich forms one percent of the population while ninety nine percent of the population is poor. The Occupy Wall Street protests were organized thus to challenge politicians, corporate organizations as well as other super-rich and greedy personalities in America. The protestant were not impressed with the unfair treatment of poor people in the society.
Organization of Occupy Wall Street Protests. The Occupy Wall Street movement was organized by the Adbusters Magazine. It withdraws its members from the entire America as well as other parts of the world. According to Flank (162), the movement spread to dozens of countries by October 15. The Adbusters Magazine organized the protests so that followers of the Occupy Wall Street movement would show their discontent with social evils caused by financial institutions and other rich people in America and other parts of the world. The Occupy Wall Street Movement was also formed to create awareness of the role of financial institution in global economic crisis experienced between 2010 and 2011 (Flank 95).
However, Bill argues that protests by the Occupy Wall Street group are organized by New York City General Assembly (34). It is claimed that New York City General Assembly offers financial resources and leadership to Occupy Wall Street movements.