Protests Spread After 700 Occupy Wall Street Protesters Arrested

Monday, October 03, 2011

Over 700 protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement were arrested on Saturday while attempting to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Police said the arrests were made because protesters were obstructing the roadway, though many protesters have charged that the NYPD tricked them by allowing them onto the bridge. The movement, now in its third week, has spread from a handful of protesters in New York's Zuccotti Park to demonstrations in Boston, Washington, Denver, Los Angeles, and other cities.

Natasha Lennard, a freelance reporter for The New York Times, was among those arrested on Saturday. J.A. Myerson, independent journalist and media coordinator for Occupy Wall Street, talks about what he witnessed. Philip Martin, reporter for WGBH Boston, is covering the protests there, where 2,000 demonstrators are expected today.

Guests:

J.A. Myerson

Comments [37]

anna22 from new york

When I see a clearly overfed expensively dressed white female caring a sign "Abolish IRS" and ... a Palestinian scarf on her shoulder ... I know that you won't see me there.
I didn't spend decades studying several subjects, including history, to become an imbecile.
dr anna

Oct. 05 2011 07:50 AM
Eli from New Jersey

These demonstrations are an unwelcome attempt to shift attention away from the failure of both the President and congress to address the jobs issue for the first three years following the financial crises. We should be demonstrating against our governments inability and lack of interest in addressing the problems of middle class Americans rather than seeking vendettas for actions committed by banks more than four years ago.

Oct. 04 2011 08:10 PM
anna22 from new york

Vrodder,
Frankly, the answer to your question was found (a forced answer) after European collapse of the last century.
Americans (the best and the brightest) just didn't notice it.They seem to be eager to repeat European experience - good luck, good luck. Nothing is as tasty as fascism or communism or whatever naturally follows unfettered capitalism.

Oct. 04 2011 12:42 PM
anna22 from new york

Vrodder,
First thing - stop distracting.
Second thing - focus on work, work, work. Unionize, unionize, unionize.
Focus on Social Democratic agenda - work (the whole package - normal hours and wages, vacations, sick days, dignity- see, for example, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, health care, education etc.

Oct. 04 2011 12:25 PM

Point taken and understood but the question remains; what do you propose?

Oct. 04 2011 12:17 PM
anna22 from new york

OK, this is reality.
People who lost their jobs say: "We don't have jobs (lost to outsourcing), we can't afford housing, education, food." Demagogues say "helpfully": "It's the banks."
What's wrong with this picture? Everything?

Oct. 04 2011 12:08 PM

Unfettered anything does not work. I am curious, what would you propose?

Oct. 04 2011 12:06 PM
anna22 from new york

"Follow the money and you will discover the truth" Vrodder
Wrong. The truth is well known. Unfettered capitalism doesn't work, never worked and will never work.

Oct. 04 2011 11:56 AM

Politicism of our current economic situation is obfuscation; both parties and the legistive branch are in collusion with big money interests. Pointing fingers at specific politicians or an administration is a distraction that leads us down a nonproductive status quo path. Follow the money and you will discover the truth.

Oct. 04 2011 11:51 AM
anna22 from new york

Caryn,
Are you a manager? You seem to be so good is using so many corporate platitutes (all of them) in a short segment.
Did you have a hour of history in your life?

Oct. 04 2011 11:34 AM
anna22 from new york

OK, I'll be try brief.
DH57,
I am not going to look for your questions, because communication isn't possible.
Stop using so many words - they won't cover the lack of understanding or manipulation.

Imagine, for example, a patient who complains about cough. He gets some prescription for medication which supposed to help him. He returns to his doctor a month later, says he takes his medication often and feels then better. They both are happy. A year later the patient, a victim of cancer of esophagus, dies.
Continue bubbling about Wall Street and banksters.
My attitude toward protests. I didn't like what I saw, I don't follow them closely, but what I hear (and see in comments above, for example) doesn't encourage me to support. I'll never support proto-fascism (alone or proto-fascism meets prostitutional left) movement. Nothing so far indicates that a Social-Democratic transformation is in the making.
The level of ignorance is terrifying.

Oct. 04 2011 11:27 AM

I am truly amazed with how the big banks are scrambling to cast themselves as victims. In all the noise it is easy to forget that our current economic situation is the end result of a decades long campaign propagated by big business to insinuate themselves and their needs over the common needs and good of the American people. Money buys influence, influence manifests to power. After years of pursuing national politicians through the façade of lobbyists to deregulate the banking industrial complex (BIC), the opportunity to generate shady and unstable investment vehicles was realized. BIC needed mortgages, massive amounts of mortgages, to perpetuate the great ponzi scheme that ultimately imploded yielding the current economic crisis. BIC set the terms and conditions for the mortgages, they decided the requirements to loan the money. Yes, there was fraud at all levels, but BIC turned a blind eye because it’s need was so great; they knew exactly what they were doing. Doesn’t it strike anyone as odd that after all this time not a single banking entity has been brought to task? Government wasted no time putting down Madoff . . . . It seems our system has evolved from We The People to We The Wealthy.

Oct. 04 2011 10:57 AM
DH57

Caryn,
Well said. Some bankers are doubtless caught in the "rat race' and would welcome a change in the system. Others, however, likely would not; they see it as a position of privilege by which they get ahead and/or maintain their economic superiority. This, of course, is the capitalist ethic, based on selfishness, the ethic of a system I would like to see ended or at least fundamentally changed.

Oct. 04 2011 10:06 AM
Caryn from New York City

Occupy Wall Street provides a place to start from, where people are face-face, not just using social media, and showing their commitment to have societies provide resources for everyone, regardless of any identity or income. Opportunities at Liberty Park for large scale conversations, and in other venues connected to the Occupy Cities, could examine" "How Can We End a Global and Capitalist Economic System Together Today?" Bring the bankers, protestors, and everyone else together to think freshly in this direction. Harness intelligence and creativity, instead of one group against another. It's the rigid worldwide system that is mowing over the 99%, not bankers.

Oct. 04 2011 09:01 AM
DH57

"It looks like you're saying that the REASON/CAUSE? doesn't matter and that because a focus on the cause is unclear we'll focus on something which isn't the cause, but the light it there. Hmmm.There is some logic there. Sorry, I meant to say that this is beyond comical/or tragical/or whatever."
Apparently the REASON/CAUSE, however you define it, matters to you, anna22, though I did not say that cause doesn't matter. Certainly cause influences strategies for change. Remember that this demonstration/movement is relatively new, and spontaneous; it is early to finalize strategy under these circumstances, but that doesn't mean that people can't continue to work together in the ways that they agree to. An aggressive persistence in misunderstanding and antagonism (if it is deliberate) will get you nowhere. Please explain; what is this "comical/or tragical/or whatever?" I also note that you didn't answer my earlier question. I can't decide if you are OK about a huge inequality of wealth under certain circumstances, or if you are playing word games, or if you are trying to belittle the demonstrations.

Oct. 03 2011 10:04 PM
anna22 from new york

DH57
"An imbalance on our current scale is both unsustainable and unethical, whatever the reason for it"
It looks like you're saying that the REASON/CAUSE? doesn't matter
and that because a focus on the cause is unclear we'll focus on something which isn't the cause, but the light it there. Hmmm.
There is some logic there. Sorry, I meant to say that this is beyond comical/or tragical/or whatever.
Navva, you see the difference between demanding housing when housing is uneffordable and "Occupying Wall Street" because ... ?

Oct. 03 2011 04:04 PM
DH57

anna22,
Wall Street EPITOMIZES the inequality. An imbalance on our current scale is both unsustainable and unethical, whatever the reason for it. I find demonstrations on Wall Street to be an appropriate venue for this expression; it doesn't mean that demonstrations in other places are necessarily inappropriate. You could organize one if front of Wall-Mart of GE, if you like, but in terms of public outreach, the focus might be less clear. (If outreach is a concern for you.) Go for it.
Most activist movements are not entirely homogeneous groups. People unite on a concern and try to do something about it. Is the imbalance of wealth a concern for you?

Oct. 03 2011 03:01 PM
anna22 from new york

" is the injustice of the massive accumulation of wealth in our society by a few people, as epitomized by the Wall Street system, which is now (if it ever was much else) mostly a gambling casino for wealthy so-called investors."
DH27,
Maybe I ask a couple of simple questions:
Do you think there might be a problem with the wealthy individuals whether or not they come to Wall Street (become investors)? Do you think it matters where their wealth comes from?

Oct. 03 2011 01:24 PM
DH57

It seems clear that the theme of the demonstrations is the injustice of the massive accumulation of wealth in our society by a few people, as epitomized by the Wall Street system, which is now (if it ever was much else) mostly a gambling casino for wealthy so-called investors. As is stated by Philip Martin "the overarching concern is economic inequity, the gap between the rich and the poor." Implicit in this theme is a criticism of capitalism, perhaps in its current form, perhaps in a larger sense. There are doubtless different views on the solution, as can be seen by the different opinions here, but I expect that most people would agree that they want to see a fundamentally different economy that doesn't include this feature.
What we need is an economic bill of rights.

Oct. 03 2011 12:50 PM
DH57

It seems clear that the theme of the demonstrations is the injustice of the massive accumulation of wealth in our society by a few people, as epitomized by the Wall Street system, which is now (if it ever was much else) mostly a gambling casino for wealthy so-called investors. As is stated by Philip Martin "the overarching concern is economic inequity, the gap between the rich and the poor." Implicit in this theme is a criticism of capitalism, perhaps in its current form, perhaps in a larger sense. There are doubtless different views on the solution, as can be seen by the different opinions here, but I expect that most people would agree that they want to see a fundamentally different economy that doesn't include this feature.
What we need is an economic bill of rights.

Oct. 03 2011 12:48 PM
Charles

I'd like to know what the protestors need: laptop computers, smartphones, outdoor and camping gear, sandals, submarine sandwiches...

And then, presuming that there will be a growth in the number of "protest consumers," I'd invest in the corporations that sell the goods and services that protestors are buying.

If, that is, the protestors had any income.

Oct. 03 2011 10:58 AM
anna22 from new york

"Have a real, public hearing and trial into the roots of the financial meltdown, which has NOT happened yet"
I can assure you, Catherine, you wan't find "the roots" where you are looking for. The fact that the light it there doesn't mean that the roots are there.

Oct. 03 2011 10:39 AM
Catherine from Brooklyn NY

I am in the New York area and I may join the protest at some point... my demand would be to prosecute the malefactors of great wealth who precipitated this financial crisis with their loan practices (tricking people into bad loan deals for ex), their malfeasance in rating the investment vehicles for these loans, their promotion of credit default swaps and other dangerous investment products. Have a real, public hearing and trial into the roots of the financial meltdown, which has NOT happened yet. Put some of the bad guys in jail! Pass laws and regulations that prevent this from happening again. Break up these too-large-to-fail institutions. Take the glamor out of investment banking that is distorting our society, so that the best and brightest take jobs in productive endeavors rather than helping bankers fleece us better.

That's what I want!!!

Oct. 03 2011 10:14 AM
jake from Detroit

Imagine how our economy would shine if there were no income taxes and the funding of wars abroad. The protest is a few blocks off target.

Oct. 03 2011 09:53 AM
anna22 from new york

Julian, your list, of course, is uneven in importance. Corporate personhood nonsense has nothing to do with neo-liberalism - it's some 100 years old and should go. Universal health care is a must.
And yes, your list doesn't include a SINGLE item regarding rights of employees (absolutely a central issue) - well, I was right - you are not the left. It's not surprising that we view the protests differently.
James's comment is actually interesting, but to vague to judge. Various forces are often against "crony capitalism" but for "free market capitalism."

Oct. 03 2011 09:52 AM
anna22 from new york

James,
You seem to be wrong. It looks like Occupiers are not against "crony capitalism" - they are against "banksters" - crony or not. They don't have any problem with crony corporations.

Oct. 03 2011 09:27 AM
Julian from Teaneck, NJ

The Takewaway asks about people's demands. My several demands: ban any bail-out, make the companies "too big to fail-too big to jail” slimmer, ban casino capitalism (especially when public and retirement money are played), make a public health option to compete with private health companies, fund better the federal agencies dealing with regulation of banks and big business, eliminate the status of personhood for corporations (corporations are not people), stop the tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, block the tax heavens for companies and rich people. Personally I have a long list. I have an idea coming from Europe: fund election campaigns with public money after having put a ceiling of campaign money. The election process should not be longer than 6 months and sponsored with public money with a superior ceiling of expenditure for any political agent. I know, some would say that this is expensive for the public money, but I think it is much more expensive to have almost every politician bought by big business by election contributions. Sooner or later, the politicians up there in Washington or locally will pay back the favors to their money contributors…and the favors are pretty expensive in effects for the plain citizens. The politicians will look all the time to big business contributors not to $50 from small, plain citizens.

Oct. 03 2011 09:23 AM
anna22 from new york

Julian,
What is or isn't the left is different in different eyes. What is left in the eyes of most Americans is at best libertarianism (at worse pro-fascism) in my eyes.
American unfettered capitalism never went away. Why bubble about neo-liberalism when there was never universal health care or a genuine protection of workers. Without awareness of this fact, all this multi-word bubbling is just that - bubbling. Sorry, but I have good reason to be suspicious of those who bubble about neo--liberalism and Wall Street and don't address the central problem and I do believe that unions should stay away from them.

Oct. 03 2011 09:14 AM
James

I'm a full time student and worker. I support free-market capitalism. We - OccupyWallstreeters and I - have the same enemy: crony-capitalism. Those that claim to be speaking on behalf of the people yet support the demise of capitalism are speaking on behalf of a minority.

Oct. 03 2011 09:08 AM
Ariadne from New York

Howard Beale echos it all (before corporate exploitation takes him down): http://youtu.be/dib2-HBsF08

Oct. 03 2011 09:04 AM
Julian from Teaneck, NJ

I consider the protest more than useful, even if many of the protesters cannot focus the attention of protest. It is a great event and worth supporting. There is a great amount anger and frustration against neo-liberal economics: layouts followed by even bigger bonuses for executives, bailout welfare, huge unemployment, education and health as business, outsourcing, coddling the rich, economic polarization, permanent jobs transformed in part-times etc.

I do not agree that this is a Libertarian movement (see Anna 22 comments). It is rather a Leftist protest trying to turn attention to middle and working classes deep problems in USA. It is not their fail not to have too many trade unions supporters. Still the biggest trade unions stay apart and waiting for I do not know what. The protesters try to coagulate an articulated movement. There is too much frustration and too many issues to be addressed. Yes, neo-liberal unchecked capitalism is the problem. People need time to see how to attack casino and exploitative capitalism. Protesters already articulated a tentative political program (go to their internet page http://occupywallst.org/ ). They formed an assembly to discuss the road to take. Their marches and protests is a big event taking into account American general rightist spirit. As an European-born American I can say that the general American spirit is most at the right comparing with all developed nations. Perhaps “American Dream” and Protestant Ethic with a cascade of rightist neo-liberal mass media propaganda explain why Americans are very reluctant to protests against unfettered capitalism. The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has to be supported as the first clear movement against unfettered capitalism. This is a big event.

Why Wall Street? Because Wall Street cultivated casino capitalism, played with our money and when they failed the bankers forced the nation to offer them bail-out welfare. Big Banks –symbolized by Wall Street – just months after bail-out came back to huge greedy bonuses making the middle class loans harder to take. Finally, the 2008 crisis was provoked by banks and current slump that risks even a bigger fall is due to banks speculatory, casino-style capitalism. It is more than obvious why people choose the symbol of “Wall Street”.

Oct. 03 2011 08:48 AM
anna22 from new york

Of course, Bridges, the main problem Americans are facing is in the workplace (or lack of it). By that I mean - outsourcing and exploitation, but these manipulated bozos don't know that.
Protest should be not only in front or department stores, but in front of corporations (all of them - Apple, Microsoft, General Electric, etc., etc.), but of course these manipulated bozos don't know that.

Oct. 03 2011 08:40 AM
K.BRIDGES

WHY ARE THE PROTESTERS DOWN @WALL STREET,,,WHAT ABOUT PROTESTING IN FRONT OF THE BIG DEPARTMENT STORES, WHO HAVE THEIR PRODUCTS MADE OVERSEAS . WALL STREET IS NOT PAYING ATTENTION..I STILL DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE PROTESTING..IF ALL THE PROTESTERS ARE OUT OF WORK, WHY NOT PROTEST THE FACT THAT WE NEED TO KEEP JOBS IN THE UNITED STATES. I QUESS NO ONE CARES ABOUT THIS.

Oct. 03 2011 08:16 AM
anna22 from new york

Clarification.
"By chance, I was there in the first hour or so"
I "was there" on the first day of the protest.

Oct. 03 2011 07:55 AM
anna22 from new york

Navva,
You are only partly right. Any comparison with Arab protests is absurd, but your comparison with Israeli protest is also wrong. Israeli protest seems to be a genuine left style response to economic problems, unlike "Occupy Wall Street" which smells more like a version of tea party light (more libertarian than left) - a heavily manipulated distraction.

Oct. 03 2011 07:14 AM
anna22 from new york

By chance, I was there in the first hour or so.
Impressions:
- I didn't see anyone who looked like someone with a working experience or union membership. I didn't see anyone with any grasp of American problems or understanding of societal structure.
- I did see a lanky fellow in all white Muslim garb (a cleric? I have no idea) among a small group of leaders (?) in front of small group of participants and police officers.
In my eyes, it wasn't a left protest, more like Ron Paul/La Rouche crowd.
Now, general evaluation.
Problems, problems, problems.
- The theme itself is problematic. Why "Occupy Wall Street and not occupy General Electric, Exxon, Wal-Mart, United Health Care or Columbia U.?) . Sorry, but personally see a distracting manipulation right here. An electrician in Gdansk knew what to occupy, this crowd of muppets/puppets doesn't know.
- the movement and comments demonstrate how illiterate and brain washed Americans are. There is no understanding of real American problem (unfettered capitalism), no sensitivity to demagoguery and manipulation.
In the land of 70 hour work week (without sick days and vacations, but with constant terror) in the land of more and more unemployed, in the land of 50 millions without medical care, the exploited, abused and sick Americans babble about "banksters."
Their own CEOs with their insane "salaries," the military-industrial complex, the insurance sector, the oil sector don't exist, just ... Wall Street. Wall Street is only part of the problem, but people who didn't have an hour of history in their lives don't know that.
The outrage about $5 charge by BofA is tragi-comical. People who are robbed by hundreds of thousands by their employers complain about these $5 which may be actually sensible.
My advice - send Americans to school.

Oct. 03 2011 06:59 AM
navva

Your reporting repeatedly draws connections between protests in Egypt, Libya, and other North African/Middle Eastern countries, and the present demonstrations in NYC. However, in light of the fact that the protests in the Middle East aimed to overthrow dictatorial regimes in their respective countries, while the NYC protests emerged from growing dissatisfaction with certain economic realities, I would suggest that this movement is a direct descendent of the tent city revolution that swept the entire country of Israel this summer. To deny this relationship is to delegitimize the power of the Israeli movement -- which galvanized the country and culminated in a demonstration that brought 6% of the entire population to the streets, while inspiring similar protests simultaneously in NYC. Furthermore, the media's deliberate blackballing of the Israeli movement seems to indicate a lack of interest in Israeli-related issues that not only do not concern "the conflict," but actually unite Israel's disparate populations, a revolutionary -- and yes, newsworthy -- accomplishment in itself.

Oct. 03 2011 06:35 AM

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