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It was definitely an interesting look back tonight. Most people didn't think this group -- which started out as a small gathering on a Saturday against corporate greed -- would last this long; even the protestors didn't. And now their impact can't be denied as the movement has become a platform for people around the world to express their frustration over several issues. Let's see if the group can coalesce at some point, but for now, I think the reason so many are flocking to Occupy Wall Street (Berlin, Chicago etc) is that very openness.
One month down, and there appears to be no slowing down Occupy Wall Street. The movement has collected nearly $300,000 in donations, which has been put in an union-owned bank. The protest also continues to spread across the country and the globe. Over the weekend, hundreds of thousands of people took part in rallies in several U.S. cities and in more than 80 countries, leading to hundreds of arrests. Here in the City, 70 people were arrested in Times Square and near Washington Park. Mayor Bloomberg says the NYPD has already spent $3.5 million so far policing the protest.
All this comes as demonstrators decide on the future of Occupy Wall Street. Some are calling for the movement to write up demands and rally around a goal, while others insist that isn't the point. They say coming up with specific demands would transform the movement into a political campaign rally.
What do you think is the future for the month-old movement? Do you think it should come up with specific demands? Are the protestors having an impact in shaping policy? What are your thoughts on the growing costs associated with policing the movement?
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If the money used and projected to be used for policing the area were used for jobs programs then perhaps the protesters would be willing to stop. Perhaps that should be a carrot but can we trust we will get what we negotiate for. Unfortunately our government does not make allowances for need but instead comes up with emergency money for police, etc. That money could certainly have been better spent on New Yorkers who are hurt by the economy.
The movement should continue without a specific goal for the time being. What is going on there has started a grass roots thing that should be appreciated for what it has accomplished. My hat is off to whomever is behind this thing. The bankers and their friends should pay for their evil behavior.
The irony shouldn't be lost with the fact that New York has a billionaire mayor who insisted and bought a 3rd term saying only he knew how to handle the financial sector while he is now confronted with the 99 percent movement. He appears as a Duke of medieval times looking down on the scruffy peasants. Two terms should have been enough for Mayor Bloomberg. He may now regret his greedy power grab, when he could have retired with his billions into the sunset. Americans will no longer stand for this inequality in the "land of No-opportunity" and no future while the rich keep getting richer and big money corrupts our democracy. The police are working class folks who many in the Wall Street movement have respect and sympathy for, in fact they deserve higher salaries too. Enough is enough.
Lower East Side
good its about time people have the say & the right to be heard tell the mayor to pay he has it....
If the city can spend all of that money on policing the park imagine what they can do abt building affordable houses for everyone. I'm stuck between the devil and the deep blue suit. Don't qualify for the affordable houses program and don't make enough to live in a decent building (but, yet I have to get a mice infected building in the city). Go figure.
OWS Rocks!!! This movement is just in its infancy ---- there will be many to follow. We, the 99%, are fed up with all the injustices bestowed upon us. Like The Chambers Brothers said "The Time has Come." We all know what the specific demands are - it is time to stop the games.
I feel that if the occupy Wall St. protesters do not come together with a SOLID message and an eloquent spokesperson, that they will soon become ignored, or laughed off the news channels and papers. I'm sorry to say that I have yet to hear the kind of inspiring message that past civil disobedience groups have put forth. I wish do them well, and hope they get their act together.
I was there on Saturday. It may be necessary to have police there, but they are over doing it and are not well organized. I was on 46th when the riot police came in. We weren't doing anything except standing in the sidewalk chanting. How did we wind up on 46th...the cops directed us onto that street from 6th Ave. The street got overly crowded, but the cops wanted to open it to traffic so directed us onto the sidewalk. They were friendly, and gave us the impression it was fine to stand there. Then, after a half hour, riot cops appeared out if nowhere, and the orange nets came out, and we felt threatened and many, including myself, retreated. Those who
stayed were arrested. It was overkill!!
How about lowering APRs on credit cards instead of raising them after the credit reform act of 2009? Many were raised to almost 25% on long standing customers with good credit.
Two words: Over policed.
No need during the day to have Top Brass cops overlooking the park at the top and lines of regular officers nearly should to shoulder surrounding the park. Nothing is happening at that time. Meetings, lunch, discussions, planning etc. Nothing but non violent activity.
I want an explanation of that Top Cop slugging a protester seen on TV. Police are to show restraint unless threatened with a weapon or some other very violent activity. They have handcuffs, night sticks, stun guns, ways to call in reinforcments etc. So what happened? Did this police officer loose his cool? Over policed except during major demonstrations.
There is no focus to this group. They cover everything and at the same time nothing. How much are they costing the city of New York City with millions being spent on police overtime and leaving this city vulnerable to another attack.
If they really want to do some good, Go march on Washington and hold Obama's economic policies to the fire.
I think bloomberg is saying it's costing 3.5 million to police the protests to turn us taxpayers against them. But I think if we get rich wall street big wigs to pay taxes like we do the 3.5 mill is just a fart in the wind. Let's build bike lanes
your premise assumes there is not a unified message
there is one
we are the 99%
and 1% are controlling our country
that says it all
folks feel oppressed and without a voice and this protest is finally giving voice to the voiceless-the 99%
Upper East Side
The movement will continue to grow by the tens of thousands because 99% of Americans are fed up. They are exasperated by the economic inequality that has taken place over the last 30 years reflect by an indisputable growth in wealth disparity gaps and stagnant income wages for working class Americans.
The good news is that as the movement grows and grows it will the reach the critical mass necessary to force policy change in Washington. The goal isn't to tear down capitalism but to institute change and reform that gives the poor and middle class a fair shake. For starters, the goals should be no more unfair tax systems where a CEO pays less then his secretary, no more deregulation of financial institutions that got us into this mess, and no more corporate money in politics influencing politicians and policy.
There is a huge amount of money being spent because there is a huge police overreaction, as usual. This has happened every time New Yorkers have tried to express their right to speak freely and openly protest anything. It happened at the march against the Iraqi war where Ray Kelly had the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators corralled like cows on their way to the slaughterhouse, and at the protests about the Republican Convention in NYC, where there were scores of unlawful arrests, for which the city paid dearly, because they lost in court. Oh, the cops will tell you they're there to protect you. They're not. They're there to provide an overwhelming show of force to intimidate demonstrators.
The costs are irrelevant. What are the costs of a Super Bowl ticker tape parade or New Year's Eve? The right of political dissent is more important than dropping the 'Big Ball.'
OWS does one good thing: remind us (If anybody needs to be reminded) that Wall Street traitors shot America in the stomach and wrecked our economy. I'd like to lock the Directors of Lehman Bros. up on Guantanamo Bay as enemy combatants. As for the knee-jerk cries of 'class warfare', the scamming mortgage bundlers already declared class warfare when they caused the global financial meltdown.
You just aired a clip featuring bloomberg saying that the city will expend resources to provide police services that are absolutely necessary, then we'll figure out how to pay for it.
I wonder why the NYPD is expending so many resources with cops standing around Zuccotti park everyday when it is not absolutely necessary to police peaceful demonstrators who are not breaking any laws and are only exercising their fundamental first amendment rights.
It seems to be that the nypd's definition of 'absolutely necessary' should be revised- in a post 9/11 NYC apparently any kind of uprising with real potential to change the dialogue is a threat to public safety and is absolutely necessary to police.
Upper East Side
Profits (97%) made in U.S STays in U.S.
Only Corporate investment creates jobs and it all went to India and China.
Infrastructure jobs are financed by borrowing which will be paid by more taxes.
That joke is on us. Obama proposes we pay for our own jobs.
people should take a day a really rally agaist the banks and people should come together and show corporate america that we the people have the last word
Some one must mention the fact that our economy is based on consumerism and spending, instead of conservation and real production
This is a place where the change can begin, first in a way that directly effects the place where we spend our money and the businesses that we support.
The change must come from every individual in our personal shopping habits, and most importantly: remember the reusable shopping bag!
Most of these left-wing people participating at the occupation voted for Obama. The man continues to want items such as the public option for health care and everyone getting high risk insurance. Then, the man backtracks on everything, bowing to Republican pressure.
Many of the demonstrators are from the anti-Israeli and Pro-Palestinian crowd. Be careful before joining in.
The purpose of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations around the world is not to propose
solutions to economic problems, but, rather, to stimulate the national, and even international, conversation about what's wrong so that solutions may be explored.
The disparity of income and economic quality of life between the rich and poor has become
a national tragedy as more and more of the middle class is eroded by unemployment,
evictions and foreclosures, and the further tearing of whatever safety nets exist by
budget cuts and revenue shortfalls. Unless there is a drastic overhaul of public policy,
the downward spiral of our economy will continue to turn what was once the American
Dream into our worst nightmare.
Despite the seemingly radical rhetoric seen of some of the signs, this struggle is not about class warfare, as, these days, it's hard to determine to which class any of us belongs. The struggle is about the survival of the American people and the humane society that makes our country the greatest and freest country in the world.
Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn
the most important aspect in this country right now is for politicians
to try harder to CREATE JOBS rather than thinking about themselves
and their big salary !
A recent caller indicated an opinion that the Occupy Wall Street protests are anti-semitic. I'd like to point out that Jews have been very-well represented in the protests. This includes a service on Yom Kippur evening (Kol Nidre), as well as the building of a Sukkah (temporary shelter/hut) for the present holiday of Sukkot (the harvest festival). It hardly appears to be an anti-semitic gesture, and there has also been a representation by the Muslim community in the protests. We all understand poverty, injustice, and the need for tikkun loam, repair of the world that these protests represent.
I think it is disgusting how Mayor Bloomberg continues to mention the amount of money our city has spent on overtime for the NYPD. The gross amount of cops being used to quiet the protest is obscene and unnecessary The truth is Bloomberg should use our police forces to protect our streets, not quell a non-violent sit in. He wants to make the public believe the protesters are harming us when the main aggression has come at the hands of the same police we pay to protect us. He should focus on using that extra money for something more productive, like finishing some of the half finished construction sites littering our city or reviving local parks and community centers.
We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them.
And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you the powers-that-be are not the least bit interested in solving it. They are interested in two things, and two things only: making you afraid of this and other movements and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of older, middle class, middle income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family, and American values and character, and you point to demonstrators being arrested and depicted as unruly hooligans and scream about patriotism.
You tell the American working class they are to blame for the current economic crisis. You use the media and well paid media hosts backed by well-fed lobbyists and call the demonstrators and those who agree with them, sociopaths. You conquer and divide with your rhetoric.
Do they realize that their protest is meaningless?
1. They have no effect on the business at hand. The beat goes on.
2. The people who are being inconvenienced are the commuters and the tourists.
3. The cold weather is coming.
4. They have failed to arise to the status of a legitimate social movement.
5. Many more would support them if they didn’t have to go to work and earn a living.
6. The only protest with a chance of gaining ground would be an economic protest, i.e., a boycott or a sell-off. Unfortunately, I don’t think the limousine liberals involved will sacrifice their capital.
The protest will eventually be taken seriously only if it sticks to a unified message which can be no other than: "STOP CORPORATE GREED NOW". It really makes America and the world bleed.
It seems to me the liberals who wanted education for all, have made a college degree as valuable as a high school diploma. Everyone who played games as a kid these days when nobody kept score, and gave the kids no will to compete and win, are now reaping what the sowed.
I work on Water Street corner of John Street. I have visited the Z park many times. It is more intimidating outside the park than inside. Most of the police are pleasant, doing their job. but do we really need so many? Its not a riot in the park. It is peaceful, and organized. Go in and look. Talk to them. ------ Over policed! If you live on Hanover Square as my friend does, try to sleep at night when the young and the restless, the upward striving with cash to spend, party and drink on Stone Street into the wee small hours. How about police checking that out? How does the neighborhood like all the petty crime going on at the local subway stops? How do the neighbors like the dog droppings on the narrow cobbled sidewalks? And the strewn lunch leavings dropped here there and everywhere outside of Z Park? And the gawking crowds, the puffed up Wall Streeters hanging out and watching, watching nothing. They love watching and the cops love the time and a half. They go home to their beautiful homes in Westchester or New Jersey or Staten Island or Long Island and leave downtown in the struggle to figure out what downtown New York City is. Remember The Fish Market, and the historic buildings, the writers like Whitman and Melville.......................oh, where are they now, and does downtown and our Mayor really care?
Unfortunately, they have lots of power and don't focus this energy towards the correct end. They, the Occupiers, have voting power. If you don't like whats going on, then organize and recall or vote the people who are keeping you from jobs and right to your demands and vote, someone who is sympathetic to your plight. We need a stronger economy and it gonna be cheap getting there.
While it is going to cost money initially to create jobs, it's ok. With a strong economy, the money will come back to the economy. This crap about the Republicans who fight every thing without regard to the people, just to get Obama out of office is stupid. They are the fat cats who will make sure the fat cats on Wall Street continue to get fatter. They are the ones who are making millions, while the poor support their life styles. Cain, with his 999 plan will also help the fat cats. They currently pay 15% Capital Gains tax, they will pay 6% less, and the 46 million people who at the poverty line, and pay no taxes now, will pay 9%. Do I like the current progressive tax? NO. It is overly burdensome and should be revise to be more equitable.
Do I like everything President Obama does? NO...I'm a true independent. I would vote for anyone who indeed can get this country moving. But, with the Republican Majority Leader, Boehner, and Cantor, as well as the Senate Minority leader are just fighting to remove Obama. Not to help us, the people who put them there. They sit in Washington laughing at you and me, and no matter what we say or do, they will do what they want , not what is right for our country and our economy. But, they are wrong...we have power in the VOTE.
You can focus your energies toward removing he cancer that causes us to go down as a country. You can organize and recall them and/or vote the vote when the elections come around. They simply want to wait you out and hope the cold weather will cause you to go away. So go; but don't stop. Continue the effort and put your power to work.
There are lots of people who agreed with you. The last count indicated that 54% of people in the US agree with you...that's a lot of votes. Use them! !
Don't discourage...just keep on keeping on. Focus