FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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

Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Stewart
Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece
Elizabeth Lennard
Alan Chadwick in the Budding Grove: Story Summary for a Documentary Film
August 16, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
“Don’t Be Stupid, Be a Smarty”: Why Anti-Authoritarian Doctors Are So Rare
W. T. Whitney
New Facebook Alliance Endangers Access to News about Latin America
Sam Husseini
The Trump-Media Logrolling
Ramzy Baroud
Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats to Gaza Succeed Despite Failing to Break the Siege
Larry Atkins
Why Parkland Students, Not Trump, Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize
William Hartung
Donald Trump, Gunrunner for Hire
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Morality Tales in US Public Life?
Yves Engler
Will Trudeau Stand Up to Mohammad bin Salman?
Vijay Prashad
Samir Amin: Death of a Marxist
Binoy Kampmark
Boris Johnson and the Exploding Burka
Eric Toussaint
Nicaragua: The Evolution of the Government of President Daniel Ortega Since 2007 
Adolf Alzuphar
Days of Sagebrush, Nights of Jasmine in LA
Robert J. Burrowes
A Last Ditch Strategy to Fight for Human Survival
August 15, 2018
Jason Hirthler
Russiagate and the Men with Glass Eyes
Paul Street
Omarosa’s Book Tour vs. Forty More Murdered Yemeni Children
Charles Pierson
Is Bankruptcy in Your Future?
George Ochenski
The Absolute Futility of ‘Global Dominance’ in the 21st Century
Gary Olson
Are We Governed by Secondary Psychopaths
Fred Guerin
On News, Fake News and Donald Trump
Arshad Khan
A Rip Van Winkle President Sleeps as Proof of Man’s Hand in Climate Change Multiplies and Disasters Strike
P. Sainath
The Unsung Heroism of Hausabai
Georgina Downs
Landmark Glyphosate Cancer Ruling Sets a Precedent for All Those Affected by Crop Poisons
Rev. William Alberts
United We Kneel, Divided We Stand
Chris Gilbert
How to Reactivate Chavismo
Kim C. Domenico
A Coffeehouse Hallucination: The Anti-American Dream Dream
August 14, 2018
Daniel Falcone
On Taking on the Mobilized Capitalist Class in Elections: an Interview With Noam Chomsky
Karl Grossman
Turning Space Into a War Zone
Jonah Raskin
“Fuck Wine Grapes, Fuck Wines”: the Coming Napafication of the World
Manuel García, Jr.
Climate Change Bites Big Business
Alberto Zuppi - Cesar Chelala
Argentina at a Crossroads
Chris Wright
On “Bullshit Jobs”
Rosita A. Sweetman
Dear Jorge: On the Pope’s Visit to Ireland
Binoy Kampmark
Authoritarian Revocations: Australia, Terrorism and Citizenship
Sara Johnson
The Incredible Benefits of Sagebrush and Juniper in the West
Martin Billheimer
White & Red Aunts, Capital Gains and Anarchy
Walter Clemens
Enough Already! Donald J. Trump Resignation Speech
August 13, 2018
Michael Colby
Migrant Injustice: Ben & Jerry’s Farmworker Exploitation
John Davis
California: Waging War on Wildfire
Alex Strauss
Chasing Shadows: Socialism Won’t Go Away Because It is Capitalism’s Antithesis 
Kathy Kelly
U.S. is Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen
Fran Shor
The Distemper of White Spite
Chad Hanson
We Know How to Protect Homes From Wildfires. Logging Isn’t the Way to Do It
Faisal Khan
Nawaz Sharif: Has Pakistan’s Houdini Finally Met his End?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail