Occupy Wall Street

The Wall Street protests continue and are spreading. It is both gratifying and surprising. Here are some recent developments.

Protests and action meetings are occurring throughout the country in such cities as Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc. For a complete list of both national and international support sites see the Occupy Together website.

There is a very active community forum on the protest movements on Facebook.

The media is paying increasing attention. The Times has published a number of articles about the Wall Street Occupiers and has shown video interviews with some of the participants on its website. An older woman said she had been there every day but one, and wanted to help “these kids do what my generation never did.”

Professor Cornell West has spoken to the group, as has Michael Moore. Noam Chomsky sent a strong message of support to the activists.

A food station has been established in the park where the protestors have gathered. Information stations, recycling and media centers, as well as a power generator have been set up. There is even a library at one end of the park with boxes of donated books. The Times reports there are also therapists on location.

The group is now publishing a, free weekly newspaper, The Occupied Wall Street Journal.

Up until recently it has relatively peaceful protest. However, last weekend there was one ugly incident in which an officer pepper sprayed a number of female protesters. The episode is currently under investigation by the police department and Manhattan district attorney.

And during the past weekend 700 demonstrators were arrested as they tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on the roadway, blocking traffic, while those who used the walkway were not.

The New York Police Department continues to deploy hundreds of officers on the edge of the park. To date, there is no sign they will attempt to put an end to the protest.

The movement seems to be leaderless, without structure, an end-point and or concrete goal, other than voicing discontent at the varieties of economic injustices in this country.

The development of similar protests throughout the major metropolitan centers of this country is truly remarkable. No doubt it reflects a widespread and perhaps growing support of the movement’s protest against the nation’s economic inequalities.