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KatawaGrey's avatar

What exactly is the Occupy Wallstreet movement?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21461points) October 29th, 2011

I keep hearing about the Occupy Wallstreet movement and, quite frankly, I have no idea what it’s about. Every time I try to look up info on it, all I get are articles about protestors. Can you explain to me what this whole thing is about? If possible, can you link some relevant articles about the movement? Thank you, Jellies!

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8 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

”#ows is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.”

Aethelflaed's avatar

From Wikipedia: The “Occupy” protests are an ongoing series of international protests which began in New York City on September 17, 2011 with Occupy Wall Street and are primarily directed against social and economic inequality. By October 9 protests had taken place or were ongoing in over 95 cities across 82 countries and over 600 communities in the U.S.

Initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters, the protests are inspired by the Arab Spring movement, especially Cairo’s Tahrir Square protests, and the Spanish Indignants. The protests take their name from Occupy Wall Street, and commonly use the slogan We are the 99%, the #Occupy hashtag format, and organize through websites such as “Occupy Together”. The movement currently has over 2355 communities in towns and cities worldwide. The protests have been described as a “democratic awakening,” difficult to reduce to a few demands.

Aethelflaed's avatar

It’s also become something of a “peaceful protesters get police brutality” kinda thing, and is raising a lot of debate over when the police should act with force, when the police actually do act with force (and all the criticism that comes with it); it’s become a big thing in First Amendment Rights (and Forth Amendment Rights, also).

syz's avatar

I love this article in Slate about how the OWS movement defies the modern media’s need to dispense complex ideas into a single catchphrase.

Nullo's avatar

@syz That’s a human need, not exclusive to the media. You need to renew attention every 30 seconds or so or you’ll lose your audience. The infamous TL;DR is hardwired into your very brain.
Besides that, good communication requires a message that clearly and concisely encapsulates the idea in question.

LostInParadise's avatar

It seems to me that the protesters in OWS are people who have been affected by the economic downturn and who feel that the government is not providing them with sufficient support. Many feel that it was unfair for the government to help industry and banks but not workers. The 99% slogan refers to how skewed wealth distribution has become, with the top 1% owning an historically high proportion of total wealth. At the moment the protesters are mainly showing their hurt and anger and have not made specific demands. It remains to be seen if they will become a political movement.

laureth's avatar

This is also another excellent OWS-related article. If you show someone something that they cannot understand, they will often not perceive it. This is why many Rightie folks cannot perceive OWS as having goals or leaders. They’re looking for the things they understand, and not finding them.

laureth's avatar

And another, comparing it in a historical context to the Bonus Army during the Great Depression.

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