FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Wall Street as Gated Community

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.    

More articles by:

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

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
September 18, 2019
Kenneth Surin
An Excellent Study Of The Manufactured Labour “Antisemitism Crisis”
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Crown Prince Plans to Make Us Forget About the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi Before the US Election
W. T. Whitney
Political Struggle and Fixing Cuba’s Economy
Ron Jacobs
Support the Climate Strike, Not a Military Strike
John Kendall Hawkins
Slouching Toward “Bethlehem”
Ted Rall
Once Again in Afghanistan, the U.S. Proves It Can’t Be Trusted
William Astore
The Ultra-Costly, Underwhelming F-35 Fighter
Dave Lindorff
Why on Earth Would the US Go to War with Iran over an Attack on Saudi Oil Refineries?
Binoy Kampmark
Doctored Admissions: the University Admissions Scandal as a Global Problem
Jeremy Corbyn
Creating a Society of Hope and Inclusion: Speech to the TUC
Zhivko Illeieff
Why You Should Care About #ShutDownDC and the Global Climate Strike  
Catherine Tumber
Land Without Bread: the Green New Deal Forsakes America’s Countryside
Liam Kennedy
Boris Johnson: Elitist Defender of Britain’s Big Banks
September 17, 2019
Mario Barrera
The Southern Strategy and Donald Trump
Robert Jensen
The Danger of Inspiration in a Time of Ecological Crisis
Dean Baker
Health Care: Premiums and Taxes
Dave Lindorff
Recalling the Hundreds of Thousands of Civilian Victims of America’s Endless ‘War on Terror’
Binoy Kampmark
Oiling for War: The Houthi Attack on Abqaiq
Susie Day
You Say You Want a Revolution: a Prison Letter to Yoko Ono
Rich Gibson
Seize Solidarity House
Laura Flanders
From Voice of America to NPR: New CEO Lansing’s Glass House
Don Fitz
What is Energy Denial?
Dan Bacher
Governor Newsom Says He Will Veto Bill Blocking Trump Rollback of Endangered Fish Species Protections
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: Time to Stop Pretending and Start Over
W. Alejandro Sanchez
Inside the Syrian Peace Talks
Elliot Sperber
Mickey Mouse Networks
September 16, 2019
Sam Husseini
Biden Taking Iraq Lies to the Max
Paul Street
Joe Biden’s Answer to Slavery’s Legacy: Phonographs for the Poor
Paul Atwood
Why Mattis is No Hero
Jonathan Cook
Brexit Reveals Jeremy Corbyn to be the True Moderate
Jeff Mackler
Trump, Trade and China
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima’s Radioactive Water Crisis
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Democrats and the Climate Crisis
Michael Doliner
Hot Stuff on the Afghan Peace Deal Snafu
Nyla Ali Khan
Spectacles of the Demolition of the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh and the Revocation of the Autonomous Status of Kashmir
Stansfield Smith
Celebrating 50 Years of Venceremos Brigade solidarity with the Cuban Revolution
Tim Butterworth
Socialism Made America Great
Nick Licata
Profiles in Courage: the Tories Have It, the Republicans Don’t
Abel Prieto
Cubanness and Cuban Identity: the Importance of Fernando Ortiz
Robert Koehler
Altruists of the World Unite!
Mel Gurtov
Farewell, John Bolton
Weekend Edition
September 13, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
The Age of Constitutional Coups
Rob Urie
Bernie Sanders and the Realignment of the American Left
Anthony DiMaggio
Teaching the “War on Terror”: Lessons for Contemporary Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: They Are the Walrus
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail