Dozens Arrested at Wall Street Protest
By Valerie Carmel
HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 25 — Some 80 persons were arrested on Saturday at the on-going Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City as the police appear to be stepping up violence to intimidate the non-violent protesters.
Several movements and individuals have united under the banner of occupying Wall St. to demonstrate against the influence of American corporations on the US political system.
During the first days of the occupation, which began on Sept. 17, one occupier claimed to hear an officer explain to the media that he was frustrated with the protesters’ overly legal conduct. He was frustrated because the occupiers were giving them no excuses to evacuate Liberty Plaza.
However, this weekend has witnessed a rise in police confrontation and violence against the protesters. One occupier claimed that she has always tried to reach out to blue-collar policemen, but to no avail.
On Thursday, after the execution of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia a group of about 200 hundred marched on Broadway—not on the sidewalks, but on the streets—towards Liberty Plaza.
After meeting the occupiers and chanting “We are all Troy Davis,” and “The system is racist, it lynched Troy Davis” they successfully entered Wall St. and surrounded the barricades meant to “protect” the area from the protester’s disturbances (that is to say, their drums and chants).
That night the police were ready with mace guns; ready to cause harm in case they thought it necessary. While the police claim that all arrests have been justified, all the arrests I have witnessed were random, violent, and unnecessary.
According to a police spokesperson the 80 arrests on Saturday were made “for disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic.” The spokesperson did not mention the use of tasers and mace. The video made by one of the occupiers, shows how police, after pushing some female protesters onto the sidewalk and nearly cornering them, proceed to mace them with no warning.
The violence has been met with renewed strength on the part of the occupiers. They have realized that their collective voice is no longer being ignored, that the attention has made the powerful weary (that is why they have sent the police to silence those who want to manifest their grievances), and that being recognized is reason enough to commit to the occupation.
To those taking part in the protest, occupying has become more than just mere protesting. Their day to day interactions are providing an honest example of how a society can be more inclusive, open to dialogue, and empathetic.
See: Day Five at Occupy Wall Street.
2 thoughts on “Dozens Arrested at Wall Street Protest”
The credit crunch initiated in 2007 in the subprime mortgage market in the US had devastating spill-over effects for China’s exports. The scarcity of USD, due to the repatriation and deleveraging flows into the American financial system caused a sudden plunge in the external demand for goods manufactured by China and triggered the consequent lay-off of several millions of workers in China. This experience encouraged China to use its own currency in trade.
The US may have averted a debt default by compromising on how to cut the US budget deficit, but underlying problems remain and those economic woes are driving a global search for an alternative reserve currency. The US now needs a net inflow of several billions USD a day to cover its deficit.
US economy is in a deep hole and US shouldn’t dig any more. Reckless money printing known as “Quantitative Easing” and economical stimulus packages introduced in the aftermath of the Credit Crunch, has made very little impact on the growth of US economy. Current US economical growth is not adequate enough to create jobs and to get an economy back on track. USA is living beyond its means and cannot cut expenditures or increase taxes to narrow the deficit. Now the banks are under enormous pressure to lend more money but reckless lending by banks got US into this mess in the first place.
Also the US banks are borrowing money at near zero interest from the US government, then lending it to the US government at even mere fractions higher interest than they are paying. The net interest margin made by the US banks by lending the money back to the US government in the first 6 months of 2011 is $211 Billion.The US banks also been collecting interest on money they are not lending—the “excess reserves” they have at the US Federal Reserve. President Barack Obama launched his primary anti-foreclosure plan, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) in 2009 to encourage banks to rewrite mortgages of about 4 million homeowners at risk of losing their homes. But the fight against foreclosures continues to muddle and underwhelm. Only 300,000 homeowners received a mortgage modification in the first six months of 2011, while 600,000 houses fell into foreclosure.
The economical problems in Greece, Spain and Italy are very precarious. The bailout phenomenon is not working in Greece which is on the brink of defaulting on its debt. It is impossible for the EU to bailout Italy which is the third largest economy in Europe.
India, 4th largest GDP and populous democracy in the world has joined with China and Russia questioning USD as reserve currency. India’s famed white marble monument to love “Taj Mahal” had charged USD15 or 750 Indian rupees as entry fee for each tourist, has been not accepting USD anymore. Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC)are buying each other’s bonds and swapping currencies to lessen dependence on the USD. These four countries are among the biggest holders of US Treasuries and have combined reserves of almost 3 trillion USD.
US manufacturers who can’t compete with low priced Chinese goods must either lower their costs or go bankrupt. To lower their costs, many US manufacturers are outsourcing to India and China, adding more unemployment in USA. Manufacturing jobs in USA declined 35% between 1998 and 2010. Since manufacturing industries declined in USA the US competitiveness in the global marketplace is also declined.
The governance in every country is now in advance state of decay. The failure of governance to address the current critical issues have already produced catastrophic consequences. People in every country are incredibly anxious, insecure even of their immediate tomorrows. Now we are experiencing a major global paradigm shift and it is still unfolding. Will it redefine us psychologically and socially?
– Nalliah Thayabharan
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