Should We Be Listening To Occupy Wall Street?
Maybe Zuni Tikka (aka: the half-naked lady) wasn’t the most effective ambassador at first. When the Occupy Wall Street protest began a couple of weeks ago, it was dismissed by the main stream media as a leaderless and powerless collection of hippies engaging in street theater.
That view has definitely changed in recent days, however. Regardless of how you characterize the protestors, it’s clear that they are reaching a wider audience, and the movement is gaining in momentum. At the beginning, one of the organizers said to a new recruit, “It doesn’t matter what you’re protesting. Just protest.” More recently, however, the movement began putting together a list of possible demands.
So far, some of the demands seem surprisingly reasonable (where was Ms. Tikka when they were putting the list together?). The first demand calls for the reinstatement of parts of the Glass-Steagall Act, a move that many reasonable commentators would agree with.
The second demand urges that we prosecute Wall Street criminals, which also seems fair enough. Additional demands include support for the Buffett rule, and the need to bolster the SEC. All in all – other than the occasional “it’ll blow your mind…” – this seems to be a fairly tame document.
So far, that is. It’ll be interesting to see if the movement gains even more momentum, and if it will become more radicalized as a result. Regardless of what one feels about the protest, the truth is that Wall Street banks did cause an enormous amount of harm to the economy, and many of their leaders emerged with their jobs and immense wealth intact. The same cannot be said for a lot of other Americans. The biggest surprise to me is that something like this didn’t happen earlier.
Lots of great stuff available on the protest:
Occupy Wall Street Spreads
Occupy Wall Street FAQ
What Do They Want?