Occupy Wall Street Speaker's Corner; October 24, 2011
Chris, an OWS organizer, says the "Occupy" movement is about catalyzing a global movement toward direct participatory democracy. No one represents you but yourself. No bosses, no leaders, no capitalism. That is what we want, a peaceful subversion of the current order where commuities can decide for themselves what they want to be. There's no purpose in making demands, because business and the state could only help by disappearing. Monica is a student at St. Francis and is there because she believes if student loans were forgiven, it would help stimulate the economy.
The left is part of America, too, says the next speaker, a college student. There are all kinds of people at this protest. We all have different solutions, but we all know something is wrong with our economy and our system. The economic inequality hasn't been this great since the Depression. A man in a hard hat says we need to end the Federal Reserve and stay as civil as we can, like the founders imagined it. Raphael says he's from Madrid and discusses his presence at Zuccotti Park (in Spanish). A gentleman from New Mexico, who moved away from NYC after 9/11, says he was at the 1969 anti-war protests in DC and this feels like old times-- it's an expression that people want change. It would be wise if the leaders of this city kept a cool head about this. There's nothing here that resembles a rowdy crowd, he adds. Let them have their say. People are suffering becauase of sheer greed, and there's no accountability. Catherine from New Orleans, a retired school teacher, says watch a YouTube video called Military vs. Poverty.
David, who's a long-time protestor, says this is a very different experience. He's glad he came and wants to know why Jamie Dimon gets $254 million in compensation every year. I'd be comfortable seeing their salaries slashed, he adds. While a gentleman from Long Island, who supports the Obama campaign, says hope and change suggested there was an opportunity for people, but the conservatives don't like to hear that. When you're the one percent, the last thing you want to hear about it change. He says he's delivering tents to send a message that his organization is with these good people, who are sleeping in a park, who have been employed, are students, and have the best of intentions. We could use more people here today, he adds.
A retired NYC teacher is there to support the movement. He says teachers have been working without a contract for the last two years. They need a new contract with smaller classes, better working conditions and less harrassment. Santo from the Lower East Side says he's being evicted from his apartment. He's been here since the 50s and asks "Will capitalism destroy itself?" Ethan from Massachusetts says he believes in democracy and we currently have a government that does not respond to the will of the people. He wants ranks choice voting and campaign finance reform. Do what you can, he adds. Paul, from COAC, in Massachusetts, is looking for a new system to unplug from the one controlled by corporations and the Fed. The system benefits only a few and extracts the wealth from Main Street.
Laura's tired of big money from Wall Street taking away everything she holds dear. Laura says the 1 percent should know that greed is our enemy and the 99 percent will not be moved. She then leads the group in the song, "We Shall Not Be Moved." Raquel, from the UN, says she's here because during the 3 years she's been at the UN, she's realized how much housing policies have destroyed people's lives around the world. And finally, one speaker says CNBC should be removed from television. He also believes markets are fraudulent, that we should get rid of ETFs and derivatives, and that CNBC is the moderator of a big craps game.