Monday, October 3, 2011

"Wall Street": Rome is burning? Part 1

This months cover featuring
a photo(K.K.W) from "Loft in the red-zone",
On display for this last week @
23 Wall street.
Photo by Robert Stonak.
Photo by Frances M Roberts
The situation: "Occupy Wall street", is a movement centered around the idea of social change, and economic equality, with huge amounts of supporters in various parts of the world it would seem. The protests are aimed at disrupting the activities centered in and around Wall street. And bringing attention to economic problems caused by the banks and corporations in league with the machine called "Wall street", and the general economic inequalities that are getting worse. After a rally was held in Zuccotti park(headquarters for the pass 2 weeks of the protest), lower Manhattan, 1,500 protesters headed for the Brooklyn bridge. Some went over the walk-way, others chose the roadway, disrupting traffic. Over 700 hundred of them were arrested.  Many of the protesters say that they believed the police had tricked them, allowing them onto the bridge only to trap them in orange netting. However by most accounts the police only took action when the protesters started going onto the roadway(breaking the law). The question is why didn't the protesters know such action would get them arrested, despite the police making it seem otherwise? It was said by a trusted source that mid-level police officers told the crowd, with a bullhorns, that they would be arrested for diverting traffic. The police are playing hard ball, because it is widely believed that NY Times reporter Natasha lennard has been arrested. From what I read many of the protesters were singing "this little light of mine"(I would have been singing "payback" by James Brown). They would have been better off out of jail and getting people interested in their cause.  This is their first big mistake, and sure sign of poor leadership. Around 1am the first of the protesters held at the midtown north precinct on west 54th street were released, with only about a dozen "fans" waiting outside. Errors aside in battle tactics, they did manage to get large amounts of press and even more people to start backing their play. With the "Occupy Wall street" protest heading into its 3rd week, its now poised to get bigger, potentially even exceeding the original goal of 20,000, thanks to recent pledges of support from some of NYC's largest labor unions and community groups. "While Wall street and the banks and the corporations are the ones that caused the mess thats flowed down into the states and cities, it seems there's no shared sacrifice. Its the workers having to sacrifice while the wealthy get away-scot-free".(TWU local 100's spokesman, Jim Gannon, taken from TPM). There are 8 groups expected to lend their weight to a rally on Oct 5th, United NY,  Strong economy for all Coalition,  Working families Party,  Vocal-NY, Community voices Heard,  Alliance for Quality education,  New York communities for Change,  and the Coalition for the Homeless. They all have a collective membership of one million. There are many citizens as well coming on board, like John Collins, 52, of Morningside Heights. He said he joined the movement Friday after watching cops pepper-spraying female protesters. He pledged to continue protesting through the spring. "If it shifts the center of political discourse in this country, that in itself will be a victory"(AM New York, Marc Beja). At one small protest going along William street(I was there)the protesters were followed, inches all the way, by police officers just waiting for them to make a mistake. So far there have been claims of police brutality, and most are quite true, I saw some of it myself. As the economic situation worsens, unemployment rises, wages either go down, or go away, the people see that the "Bailout" went quite well for the few(JPM[Chase]took Bear Sterns in a "rescue" and earned 55 billion dollars in the process. Tax-payer money financed the deal, and the CEO of JPM James Dimon sits on the board of New York Federal Reserve), while the many suffer. The protests have begun and word is spreading, through mass media and tourists taking pic's and sending info across the world wide web(i-phone). But with all the attention the protesters still don't have a clear-cut plan, nor the resources needed to fight "Wall street", whose pockets are oh so deep. And what do they really hope to gain, aside from seemingly lofty goals of a utopian nature? They seem to have many goals, but have not specified what action(s) would satisfy their demands.  One way or another there has to be some legal grounds to make a case against the banks and Wall street companies responsible for some, if not all of the economic woes of the nation. Along with grassroots protesting, there should be a push to get a case(however difficult it might be)made against the guilty. A crime was committed. Get as many politicians as possible on the movements side, draft proposals for changes to the current tax codes(reasonable changes that would be accepted). In addition to this get the art world involved, and start a nation wide boycott of items for sale by companies in league with the banks/corporations  in question, businesses in the Wall Street area, and the banks themselves. "In a column now running on Bloomberg. I reviewed the recent statements of Robert Benmosche(AIG)and Bob Dimond(Barclays), their views are not encouraging. They want to run bigger, more global and extremely complex financial institutions. They also want a great deal of leverage(high debt relative to equity)whenever possible". Simon Johnson: The baseline Scenario. "Word on the street" is that the "suits" are laughing at the protesters. I've overheard some conversation in the "Wall street" sector, and the "suits" are not worried. The next big rally is going to be on October 5th, and Naomi Klein is set to speak Thursday Oct 6th at the south east corner of Liberty plaza. lets see what happens next. The "Plebs" are getting angry, and soldiers of the "state", and its financial backers,  circle them like wolves. "Rome",  is Burning. If you would like to know more go to "Occupy Wall street's" facebook page. And as always lend your support if you think its needed. Article by K.K.W, "Art is the reason, art is the way".


Anonymous said...

Real good post. looks like things are about to start popping. looking forward to reading more.

Alexsander Ares.

Anonymous said...

Wow! this thing is really starting to go somewhere.
I can't believe the cops are pepper-spraying female protesters. Fucking assholes. Keep me posted K.

Dimeska, Skopje