The Wall Street Movement

Americans always believed that the core promise of opportunity would allow anyone committed to improving their station in life, would at least receive the chance to do so. It is a system that intertwines the representatives of our government with corporate interests, and in the process denies the ordinary man and women the opportunity to air their concerns. The economic crisis of 2008 perfectly illustrated this lopsided level of influence when the American government bailed out failed financial institutions to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars but provided little or no aid for struggling homeowners, who were the ones to suffer most from the housing crisis. This failure to protect the interests of the American people touched off the wall street occupy movement, which protested the gross abuse of trust by those who hold the reins of power in this country. At their core, this movement is protesting against the concentration of power in the hands of the few, but at their core, they represent a serious challenge to the current political order, and they may very well change the way politics is conducted in America. The Occupy Wall Street movement’s origin can be traced back to the Canadian magazine called Adbusters. On July 13, 2011, taking note of the lack of accountability for the heads of the large financial institutions for their involvement in the recent global financial crisis, and the growing disparity in wealth between the rich and the poor, they called for a peaceful occupation of Wall Street. They sought to harness the energy that had manifested worldwide in the form of the Arab Spring and the anti-austerity protests in Europe, and channel it toward acknowledging, challenging, and reforming a deeply corrupt system at home (Chappell, 2011). By September of 2011 fledgling protests started to take shape in lower Manhattan, and videos of these demonstrations appeared on the internet.