by Kaitlin Atmore, editor-in-chief
The Occupy Wall Street movement entered its second month of protests on Oct. 18.
Demonstrations over the nation’s wealthiest one percent began on Sept. 17 in Liberty Square, New York City. According to the IRS, this one percent of the population includes anyone who earns at least $380,354 annually. Protestors began the grass-roots movement to demand government regulation of financial institutions, whose corporate greed, they say, leads to more political sway.
According to Occupy Wall Street’s website, “Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% (sic) that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.”
They further claim that they are “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.”
President Barack Obama mentioned the protests in his speech at the dedication of the new Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 16. “If [King] were alive today, I believe he would remind us that the unemployed worker can rightly challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing all who work there,” he said. “He would call on us to assume the best in each other rather than the worst, and challenge one another in ways that ultimately heal rather than wound.”
Responding to Occupy Wall Street, Haley Holik, senior communications major, said, “This so-called movement is asinine and reeks of the desire for distribution of wealth—also known as socialism.”
Predominantly based on Wall Street in New York City, CNN reported that demonstrators have gathered to protest corporate greed and power throughout the country in cities including Atlanta, Ga., Austin, Texas, and Minneapolis, Minn. Chicago has also had a share of protestors gathering near W. Jackson and N. LaSalle Blvds. The website http://occupychi.org/ apprises demonstrators of all that is happening downtown. It says, “We [the protestors] are Chicagoans, and most importantly, Americans, gathered together in solidarity to exercise our Constitution-guaranteed rights of free speech and to peacefully assemble”
Occupy Naperville held its first event on Oct. 22, and plans to meet every Saturday in downtown Naperville until “corporate dominance over our government has ended,” said Steve Alesch, lead organizer and Warrenville Park District Board Commissioner.
Occupy Wall Street protestors have set up their base in Zuccotti Park in New York City. They are accepting money-order donations and non-perishable food items for their Occupy Kitchen.