The Occupy Wall Street Thread (Politics, Issues, and General Discussion)

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Drew Wilson, Oct 7, 2011.

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  1. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I've had a discussion with Pooter about how to manage the Occupy Wall Street Thread. I originally started the one thread because I realized this story was just going to keep growing with new developments happening pretty much every day. Since that could cause clutter, I started a main thread to house all of the news stories.

    As a lot of people know by now, there are lots of aspects to this story. There's the politics part of it and technically, the political portion of that doesn't really belong in the main lounge area, but rather, in the politics section. Meanwhile, there are other aspects of this story that really don't deserve to be relegated to the politics and discussion section (i.e. the developments of the protest itself, grievances about the economy, student debt, the environment, business, etc.)

    To make matters worse, there are some parts of the story people are interested in, but not all of it. It would be unfair to have people wade through an incredibly long thread which might make some parts of the story lost to a lot of people.

    So... we have a dillema. How do we avoid clutter on the forums, but at the same time, allow everyone to be aware of what is happening with these protests in a reasonable manner? Well, Pooter suggested we chop up the discussion into a few categories and I, well, just named them. It seemed like a reasonable compromise so we don't really have one long 3,000+ post thread (as much as I wanted to break a record there, lol)

    We now have TWO threads:

    The Occupy Wall Street Thread (Politics, Issues, and General Discussion) - which discusses the political aspects of the protest (i.e. political reaction and backlash, politicians weighing in on the protests, etc.) along with everything else like why are people protesting, etc.

    The Occupy Wall Street Thread (New Protests) - where the protests are developing, if they are growing, clashes with police, general documentation like video's and pictures aimed documenting the size of protest, where it's moving to, where it's starting up, etc.

    Hope this will work for everyone. The threads can have just general comments about the news stories being posted or any updates that might occur. Everyone is welcome to contribute in any way they feel like.


    NEW YORK (AP) — Although their main concern is Wall Street practices and economic inequality, some demonstrators in New York and across the U.S. say politicians from both major parties are to blame for policies they say protect corporate America at the expense of the country’s middle class.


    Slideshow. Put it on pic 25, but a lot of interesting pics.
  2. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Is Occupy Wall Street a first-world problem?

    Liberty Plaza, NY — It might be too easy to dismiss the Occupy Wall Street movement as a first-world problem.

    I listen to a man complain about the challenges of getting a job in the maritime industry. He is skilled. He is jobless. He is pessimistic.

    Then he whips out his iPhone.

    Just because you have a liberal arts degree doesn’t entitle you to a job, some people grumble. Why are you protesting? Why aren’t you job-hunting? What are you doing here? Next you’ll surge into the streets to complain about the decline in the quality of organic kale!

    But that would be unfair.

    I’ve seen some of these people before – at Jon Stewart’s Rally for Sanity, or the vast upswelling of Hope after the election of ’08, when we poured into the streets and cheered.

  3. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    The Occupy Wall Street Thread (Politics)

    Santorum on ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protests: ‘I Understand the Frustration’

    Former Sen. Rick Santorum departed a bit from the rest of Republican presidential field Friday when he said he was sympathetic to the frustration of “Occupy Wall Street” protesters.

    ”I certainly understand the frustration,” he told reporters after his speech at the Values Voter Summit on Friday. “I think the answers they have with respect to solve that problem, I would go in a different direction.”

    That’s not quite the same tone as the one by struck other Republican leaders, including Mitt Romney (“It’s dangerous, this class warfare”), Herman Cain (“If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!”) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.), who described the protests as “growing mobs” Friday morning.

    GOP candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry has not spoken personally on the issue, but his communications director said in an email, “We understand the frustration with the Obama economy, but the protests don’t make sense or help create jobs.”As The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, Democrats are divided about how to deal with the protests. But Republicans have been much more hesitant to embrace the anti-corporate activists. Mr. Santorum likened the protests to the tea-party movement in that both groups are opposed to a federal bailout of the financial sector. But he said the similarities end there.

  4. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Occupy Wall Street: Stronger Without One Specific Demand

    Much of the media attention on Occupy Wall Street has centered on the lack of singular demands and unification amongst the hundreds of protesters camped out in Zuccotti Park.

    There was a New York Post story on the "fart smeller" of Occupy Wall Street, multiple stories on the "crazies" of the movement, as well as detractors pointing out that the movement will never accomplish anything because it doesn't know what it wants.

    But Beka Economopoulous, an unofficial media spokeswoman for Occupy Wall Street, told IBTimes that she feels the lack of one specific demand actually gives the movement more strength.

    "The longer the occupiers don't have demands, the stronger they are," said Economopoulous, a vice president at Fission Strategy, a social media company specializing in strategies for nonprofits and foundations. "I don't believe there will be a stand on one particular reform that we want to see happen. We believe the system is fundamentally broken."

  5. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Why Occupy Wall Street Should Scare Republicans: Jonathan Alter

    Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- In Florida this week, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was asked about the growing Occupy Wall Street movement. “I think it’s dangerous, this class warfare,” he said.

    Romney’s right. It may be dangerous -- to his chances of being elected.

    Occupy Wall Street, now almost three weeks old, isn’t like the anti-globalization demonstrations that disrupted summits in the 1990s or even the street actions at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, though some of the same characters are probably in attendance. With unemployed young protesters planning to camp out all winter in Zuccotti Park (with bathrooms available only at a nearby McDonald’s), it’s more like a cross between a Hooverville and Woodstock -- the middle-class jobless of the 1930s and the hippie protesters of the 1960s.

    With the help of unions and social networking, the movement has at least some chance of re-energizing Democrats in 2012 and pushing back against the phenomenal progress Republicans have made in suppressing voter turnout in several states.

  6. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Bloomberg Says Occupy Wall Street Protesters Are 'Trying to Destroy Jobs'

    MANHATTAN — Mayor Michael Bloomberg slammed the Wall Street protesters Friday for “trying to destroy the jobs of working people” and scaring tourists away in his strongest words yet about the nearly three-week-long demonstration.
    “What they're trying to do is to take the jobs away from people working in this city,” the mayor said during his weekly radio sit-down with WOR’s John Gambling, in response to caller complaints about the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, who’ve been camping out in Zuccotti Park near the World Trade Center since Sept. 17.
    “They're trying to take away the tax base...none of this is good for tourism.”
    While Bloomberg said that he was “sympathetic” to some protesters' frustrations over the economy, political gridlock in Washington and the high unemployment rate, he maintained that the targets of their scorn are misguided.
    “If you want jobs, then you’ve got to assist companies and give them confidence to go and hire people,” he said earlier in the program, arguing that if high corporate salaries were to disappear, the city wouldn’t have the cash to pay municipal workers or fund public services like parks.

  7. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Some Say Occupy Wall Street Protesters Aimless; Facts Say Otherwise

    There has been a lot said about the lack of vision, lack of specific demands, and a disparity of beliefs and goals among the Occupy Wall Street protesters in the media in the past several weeks. A survey of the protestors shows that none of these criticisms are true.

    In an effort to find out what, if any, unifying ideas the Occupy Wall Street participants have, I conducted a survey of protesters to see what they believe and what they want from the protest – something that perhaps has not yet been done by either the mainstream media reporting on the protesters or even the Occupy Wall Street organizers themselves.

    On Tuesday, we spent a good part of the day doing just that – taking a poll of more than 50 of the protesters – or a little over 5% of the estimated thousand people who were in the park at the time. While not designed to be a representative sample, we believe it is a good first step in helping to get one’s arms around what the group’s goals are. We met a fair share of colorful people, including a self-proclaimed member of a famous hacker group who believes Julian Assange is paid to be against him and a fair number of anarchists.

    But I was quite surprised by two things: One, there are as many tourists, journalists, and photographers as there are protesters. And Second, the protesters, knowingly or not, are fairly unified a few basic beliefs.

  8. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    'Occupy Wall Street' Protests Attract Environmentalists

    The “Occupy Wall Street” protests have gained national momentum, attracting the support of unions, religious groups, and now – environmentalists.

    Hundreds of climate activists affiliated with, a grassroots group globally committed to climate and global warming control, joined over 30 unions in the “Occupy Wall Street” March which took place Wednesday in Lower Manhattan, according to Forbes.

    “For too long, Wall Street has been occupying the offices of our government, and the cloakrooms of our legislatures,” Bill McKibben, co-founder of, wrote to protestors in support of Wednesday’s march.

    Now that the protest has gained such dynamic support and created a national following, spreading to cities throughout America, the media has started to question how protesters plan to actually achieve their goal of ending U.S. corporate greed.

  9. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Occupy Wall Street movement: Obama acknowledges protests as a sign of frustrations of US public

    NEW YORK: Concerns over Wall Street practices and economic inequality that have led to rallies across the United States reverberated up to the White House on Thursday, with President Barack Obama saying the protesters are expressing the frustrations of the American public.

    Thousands of protesters, including many in union T-shirts, marched the day before in Manhattan. Protests continued Thursday in several cities, with about 500 union members, students, activists and others marching through Los Angeles. Police arrested about a dozen people who sat down in a Bank of America during that demonstration and refused to leave.

  10. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Celebrities Join Occupy Wall Street Protest

    The Occupy Wall Street protest is in its third week and continues to attract famous actors, who have taken up the cause of wanting the fat cats on wall Street and the bankers to be held accountable for their actions. Actors Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and Penn Badgley recently joined the Occupy Wall Street protests while many more have given their support through social media and donations to keep the Occupy protestors on Wall Street in New York.
    According to CBS News, actors Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and Penn Badgley are the latest celebrities to support the Occupy Wall Street protest, which began three weeks ago in New York. Ruffalo continues to back the protestors through Twitter by posting news about rallies. Yoko Ono and Alec Baldwin have also joined in support of the protest through Twitter, while others like rapper Lupe Fiasco donated tents and supplies to the movement. Talib Kweli sang with the protestors while mogul Russell Simmons donated bottled water to the people at the site.

    Actress Rosanne Barr also gave a speech at the Occupy Wall Streeet protest which has gone viral on YouTube. Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore also paid the protestors a visit on September 27.

  11. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Occupy Wall Street Is No Band Aid

    HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 7 — Occupy Wall Street (OWS) could be the first real activist movement to enact significant change in the U.S. since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

    With the young movement’s spotty media coverage, most of which is condescending and bordering willful ignorance, it is easy to imagine how this very real and dynamic protest had been initially overlooked.

    This is especially the case considering how the mainstream media has mainly focused its gaze on the demographic of the protesters and their lack of narrowly defined demands.

    Defining the group as a bunch of violent hippies, a label soaked in paradox, and forcing their message into one of the many conveniently stagnant political lenses in U.S. politics, is clearly an attempt at de-legitimizing the movement.

  12. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    The Occupy Wall Street Thread (Politics)

    Occupy Wall Street Gains Support From Politicians Even As Protesters Face Arrests

    Occupy Wall Street, a cause that began as a small band of protesters in Zuccotti Park, has gained endorsements from major unions and progressive leaders as well as prominent politicians. It has survived police crackdowns in Seattle and mass arrests in New York. Within a few short weeks, it has come to resemble a movement, with more than 900 meetups in 900 cities across the country. 'Occupiers' have erected tent cities in town squares and held rallies in front of city halls.


    It's unclear just where all these general assembly meetings, Twitter updates and teach-ins are heading. But Democratic leaders including Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi expressed support for the protesters this week and officials such as U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have said they sympathize with the protestors' feelings of anger towards big banks' role in the financial crisis.

    Organized labor has also backed the protests including during a march this past Wednesday that brought 10,000 protesters to lower Manhattan. Though the demonstration was peaceful, some protesters ended up in confrontations with police and 28 participants were arrested. At least one baton-wielding incident produced mass outrage. These incidents will either become minor distractions or defining moments.

    Occupy Wall Street has been largely receptive to the support they've received from union leaders and politicians, even if the protesters are wary of their hierarchical structures.

  13. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Why the Washington Establishment is Heeding Occupy Wall Street

    The running critique of the Occupy Wall Street protests is that they have too many bongo drums and not enough message coherence. But that hasn’t stopped Washington’s elite–Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and President Barack Obama–from all hearing the same, singular message loud and clear.

    “I think people are quite unhappy with the state of the economy and what’s happening,” Bernanke said at a Wednesday hearing on Capitol Hill. “They blame, with some justification, the problems in the financial sector for getting us into this mess, and they’re dissatisfied with the policy response here in Washington. And at some level, I can’t blame them.”

    On Wednesday, the Atlantic‘s James Bennet asked Geithner if he sympathized with the protests. “I feel a lot of sympathy,” Geithner responded, “for what you might describe as a general sense among Americans [of] whether, you know, we’ve lost a sense of possibility. And whether after a pretty bad lost decade of interest income growth or fiscal responsibility or other things that like, followed by, you know, a devastating crisis, huge loss of public institutions, people do wonder whether we have the ability to do things that can help the average sense of opportunity in the country.”

    On Thursday at the White House, President Obama was asked a similar question. “I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across Main Street, and yet you’re still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place,” Obama said.

  14. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Occupy Wall Street Movement Could Influence 2012 Elections

    The Occupy Wall Street Movement is different than recent progressive protests in one crucial respect: the original protesters... the heart of the movement... are those living with pain and poverty caused by Wall Street greed and irresponsibility. The heart of the movement is not the usual liberal protest groups and traditional, well-funded media mouthpieces.
    As House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi observed, "God bless them for their spontaneity. It's young, it's spontaneous, it's focused, and it's going to be effective."

    Problem is, the downsized mainstream media has grown lazily dependent on fact sheets, clever copy, and neatly-drawn lists of demands disseminated at press conferences and online by formal progressive coalitions as, Emily's List, Democracy for America, Progressive Democrats of America and so on.

    The result? This condescending gem today, for example, from a Sacramento Bee reporter who huffed, "... beyond the general message, what do the Occupy participants want, and how do they intend to accomplish their goals?" Rather than listening, observing, earnestly interviewing, researching, and objectively reporting the event, the reporter fumes because her immediate info needs were not neatly met by impassioned protesters.

  15. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Democrats Wonder What to Do About Occupy Wall Street

    The Occupy Wall Street movement is growing, and with it a national fervor increasingly backed by progressive base groups.

    Regardless of where it shakes out in the end, the left—right now—is pretty darn fired up. So what's a Democrat to do? Publicly, Democratic leaders have offered degrees of cautious interest in the movement, but mostly steered clear of getting too close.

    "Obviously I've heard of it," President Obama said in his Thursday press conference. "I've seen it on television."

  16. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor


    Say Obama blew his chance

    (NATIONAL) -- Part of what is going on with the Occupy Wall Street movements is a general disgust with both the Republican and Democratic party to take on corporations and powerful Washington interests to make lives better for millions of Americans.

    A new report in Forbes located here says some of the demonstrators in New York and elsewhere say leaders of both major parties are to blame for polices they say protest corporate America at the expense of the country's middle class.

    Some see little difference between George Bush and Barack Obama. Others in the movement that some see as a sort of a flip side to the Tea Party movement also think President Obama blew a big opportunity and failed to crack down on the big banks after the 2008 mortgage meltdown and financial crisis.

    The report quotes Michael Kazin, author and Georgetown University history professor saying that President Obama could have taken a much more populist, aggressive stance at the beginning against Wall Street bonuses “and exacting certain change from bailing out the banks…but ultimately, the economy has not gotten much better, and that's underscored the frustration on both the right and the left."

  17. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    'Occupy Wall Street' growing more organized

    The three-week-old camp out in a lower Manhattan plaza looks like a jumble of tattered sleeping bags. But volunteers working on food, sanitation, health care and other needs keep the Occupy Wall Street protest functioning. (Oct. 7) (The Associated Press)


    Link contains video.
  18. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Occupy Wall Street An 'Effective' Movement, Thomas Friedman Says

    Your mother probably once told you to finish everything on your dinner plate because in some third-world country, there's someone who doesn't have enough food to eat. But Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Thomas L. Friedman predicted a whole new type of motivation: Finish your dinner and go do your homework because one day you'd probably be competing with those people for a job.

    Years after the author wrote about globalization, today's young Americans are seeing the residuals of the shift in labor coupled with economic downturn. As of last month, they're making no effort to stay passive as thousands — referred to as Occupy Wall Street — have participated in protests in New York's financial district, amounting to arrests and frustration over corporate greed and staggering unemployment, and sprouting more gatherings across the country.

    Friedman recently stopped by MTV News to discuss his new book, "That Used to Be Us," and weigh in on the protests.

    "Movements are effective when they have a clear message, a clear agenda, leadership, and then translate that into political action," the New York Times columnist said. "There's still not a clear message yet, but there's a deep sense of injustice."

  19. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    The discombobulated protest known as Occupy Wall Street inspires more curiosity than solidarity, but it captures a frustration with America’s financial industry that is broad and deep.

    Conversations in communities and households across the country simmer with anger over the stunning lack of accountability to come out of the collapse of the economy.

    The ‘Great Recession’ was grounded in the abuse of lending and accounting practices from Wall Street to Main Street. Such behaviour enriched securities and mortgage brokers and bank executives. It sustained the politicians who rewrote laws and fended off government oversight, if and when compliant regulators mustered any curiosity.

    The mostly young people who rallied to Manhattan’s financial district will suffer the consequences of the past decade for the rest of their adult lives, as employees and consumers. Homebuyers, credit- and debit-card users, and all forms of consumers are paying bloated fees to help fatten banks already bailed out by taxpayers. Across the U.S., the complaints are the same: Too little has been done to protect against the behaviours that tanked the economy.

  20. mfgbypooter

    mfgbypooter Super Pooper Staff Member Moderator

    Why the Politicians, Media, and Experts Are All Wrong About the “Occupy Wall Street Protests”

    by Wayne Allyn Root on Oct 10, 2011

    "Occupy Wall Street" is becoming the big news story. But the irony is that nobody understands what is truly going on. The media, both political parties, the experts, even the protestors themselves- they've all got it wrong.

    Nancy Pelosi thinks these protests are like the Tea Party protests. She couldn’t be more wrong. The Tea Parties are filled with people who have jobs and pay taxes. They want government to stop wasting taxpayer dollars and be fiscally responsible. They are against all bailouts. The “Occupy Wall Street” protests are filled with leftist malcontents and rabble rousers. Since the government is bailing out banks and big corporations, they say it’s only fair they be bailed out too. They want more money to be stolen from those that earn it, to be redistributed to themselves. They are screaming for their own personal bailout. Big difference, wouldn’t you say?

    <snipped for brevity>

    But as much as I hate to admit this, part of the protestors' message is striking deep in the gut of middle class Americans. It's resonating with small business owners like me. We all feel it- our country is slipping away; special interests are looting the taxpayers; big corporations are gaming the system; the little guy is getting hit from all sides. Small business creates all the jobs, yet big business is making all the rules and stealing all the money.

    The protestors are mostly jobless bongo-playing fools…for the moment. But, they are merely the canary in the coal mine for the serious unrest on the streets of America soon to come. Soon I fear the mobs will include rioting taxpayers, respected small business owners, grandmothers from Ohio, and veterans from Iowa. Add to the mix millions of formerly gainfully-employed, middle class Americans, now jobless for months, or years on end.

    The D.C. politicians had better be afraid…very afraid. If the Tea Party…who also hates the Fed…and despises the bailouts…and wants to stop the looting of America by special interests…joins forces with the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd, all bets are off.



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