CNBC Speaker's Corner, Zuccotti Park, NYC
CNBC gave participants of the Occupy Wall Street protests a podium to express their views, from Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.
The first speaker works with homeless people and says there's a change in consciousness around the world, and that's one of the reasons why he's in Zuccotti Park. The great-great grand niece of Kathryn Lee Bates, who wrote "America the Beautiful," says we need to turn away from the America where greed works. America gets it, she says, and we need to return to the culture of liberty and freedom. Another speaker asks where are the unions? Where are the senators? Where are the jobs? A man named Sean from Houston expreses his outrage at the fact that banks are profiting while rest of us are stagnating. An older woman says she's proud of the protesters the senior citizens have been forgotten.
Jason says Wall Street helped create this financial crisis, and we represent the 99 percent of people who were left out of the economy. He hopes to see the power return to the people. Lauren says she's concerned about industrial food production and wants proper labeling on genetically-modified food. Unfortunately, she thinks that won't happen because the food companies are paying off the politicians. And Eric wants to thank the people of Occupy Wall Street because, he says, they're protecting his pension.
There's a new front for the OWS movement: Occupy Government is planning to run hundreds of candidates, says David. The smart people who set up this country set it up so we can fire the corrupt people and replace them with people who represent the 99 percent. They're seeking a pledge that the candidates will only represent the interests of people and not corporations. Vote for a candidate you respect. And Liz Abzug, former Congresswoman Bella Abzug's daughter, says she wants to take the buck out of the ballot. Her mother, she says, represented the people and did it without taking corporate money.
Lynn, who came to town for the Jewish holiday, says she was part of the 70s women's movement and that things didn't change until they took to the streets. She's also concerned that whenever there's an economic crisis, antisemitism rears its ugly head. Cynthia, who's originally from San Francisco, wants health insurance for everyone. David says he wants corporate money taken out of the political process, so we can get back to government by the people, for the people, and that the OWS movement is giving a voice to everyone. While Colby from Israel says he wants to help create a better world and build a social movement that challenges existing institutions. Mike, who's producing a Wall Street crime drama, has five points that would help the economy grow: campaign finance reform, reinstate Glass-Steagall, charge a tariff on any company manufacturing abroad and selling here, tax reform, which he says should make the people pay their fair share, and finally, he wants term limits on judges and Supreme Court justices.