FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Wall Street as Gated Community

by MISSY BEATTIE

My sister Laura and I took the train to Manhattan on Wednesday to participate in the occupation of Wall Street.  But Wall Street is barricaded.  Yes, pedestrians move on the sidewalks, but police and metal prevent anyone from walking or entering the street.

The protestors are several blocks away at Zuccotti Park.

Again, let me say it:  Wall Street is barricaded, a gated community with security.

Wall Street is walled in, closed to all but the financial giants whose personhood has assaulted the middle class and working poor through breaking and entering, seizing homes, the present and the future, while influencing politicians to bankroll the uber-wealthy by systematically extorting taxpayer dollars.  More simply stated, we are being BP’d and Fukushima-ed as THEY yell, “Deeper, harder.”  And we the people have had no safe word.

As Laura and I walked to Zuccotti Park, I approached a police officer who guarded a barrier and asked, “What’s going on here?”

“There’s a demonstration?”

I said, “Do you know what the protestors hope to accomplish?”

“No, ma’am, you’ll have to ask them.”

I said, “They’re protesting for you, to protect your pension. So, don’t be one of those policemen that uses mace against these demonstrators.”

“No, ma’am.”  And he smiled.

At the park, I talked with a woman who told me she’d been listening to live streaming that suddenly was lost.  So, she decided to participate.

A young man named Casey said he’s been there since day one.  And will stay as long as people continue to gather.  I asked his assessment.  He told me that he sees more and more people arriving each day and he expects this to be huge.

Twenty-one year-old Micah said he decided to come when he learned that so many people in America live below the poverty line.  That they are unable to lobby politicians and that this is “silencing their voice in a supposed democracy.” I asked if he’d taken part in peace rallies.  He said no.  I challenged him and asked if he knew anyone who’d been killed in the wars of terror.  He said, “My uncle.”  Also, he said he became concerned about the apathy, even his own, and felt the need to do something.

This protest is inchoate but building as participants talk strategies and goals.  They’re excited, energized, and determined to inveigh against the financial tapeworms whose predatory migrations drain our lives of even the basics of what’s needed to survive.

And it’s a good start.

We can state unequivocally that the oligarchy cares nothing for “The Other” in the countries we invade and occupy for resources.   But here’s another distillate:   They, also, care NOTHING for “The Other” here at home, the middle class and working poor.

So, here I am, reporting from the uprising.  And I reiterate–it’s not on Wall Street. It’s shunted, for less impact.  Of course.  This is the United States of America.  Where dreams have devolved into a reality of near hopelessness.  But it’s a start.  And it is catching the imagination of more and more people inspired by this group of mostly twenty somethings, and veterans who know the truth of war, and other ordinary men and women who are demanding justice, like a man behind a shocking prop, a table whose surface is covered by medications he must take to treat sarcoidosis of the lungs.  The sign he holds says that he volunteered at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11.

Signs are held high and also carpet the ground.  Here are examples:

“Send Seal Team 6 To The Cayman Islands Audit America’s Financial Criminals.”

“The 99% Includes the Cops.”

“Wall Street’s Santa” (with a photo of Ben Bernanke).

“UNITE!  You Have Nothing to Lose  but Your Chains.”  “

As of March 2011 Congress Has APPVD $1.283 TRILLION For Military Operations END WAR NOW.”

“Capitalism A Love Story They Love Their Money and They Love Yours $.”

“I Drove 1768 Mi. To # OCCUPY Wall ST.”

“COMPASSION DOES NOT EXIST IN A PROFIT DRIVEN ECONOMY.”

“PLEASE CONSIDER JOINNG US  WE LOVE YOU.”

My son just called to tell me that the New York Transit Workers voted to support the Wall Street protestors, joining other unions like the Teamsters and the United Pilots Union.
This demonstration is more than a start.  It may become a formidable movement.  Perhaps, it already is.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland.  She’s pumped.  And, oh, how she’d love to move back to NYC.  Reach her at missybeat@gmail.com.    

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Russell Mokhiber
Save the Patients, Cut Off the Dick!
Steven M. Druker
The Deceptions of the GE Food Venture
Elliot Sperber
Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change’
Binoy Kampmark
Claims of Exoneration: The Case of Slobodan Milošević
Walter Brasch
The Contradictions of Donald Trump
Michael Donnelly
Body Shaming Trump: Statue of Limitations
Weekend Edition
August 19, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Hillary and the War Party
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green
Andrew Levine
Hillary Goes With the Flow
Dave Lindorff
New York Times Shames Itself by Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange
Gary Leupp
Could a Russian-Led Coalition Defeat Hillary’s War Plans?
Conn Hallinan
Dangerous Seas: China and the USA
Joshua Frank
Richard Holbrooke and the Obama Doctrine
Margaret Kimberley
Liberal Hate for the Green Party
John Davis
Lost Peoples of the Lake
Alex Richardson-Price
The Fight for a Six Hour Workday
John Wight
Why Palestine Matters, Even on the Pitch
Brian Cloughley
Hillary Clinton’s War Policy
Patrick Cockburn
A Battle to the Death in Syria
David Rosen
The Great Fear: Miscegenation, Race “Pollution” and the 2016 Election
Ben Debney
Worthy and Unworthy Victims of Child Abuse
David Barouh
Liberal Myths: Would Al Gore Have Invaded Iraq?
Graham Peebles
Democratic Revolution Sweeps Ethiopia
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
How Parasitic Finance Capital Has Turned Iran’s Economy Into a Case of Casino Capitalism
David Swanson
The Unbearable Awesomeness of the U.S. Military
Robert Fantina
The Olympics: Nationalism at its Worst
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail