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"from Zero to 20,000 on Wall Street" by Lou Dubose

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"From Zero to 20,000 On Wall Street" by Lou Dubose

Article Summary

On September 17, a protest (Occupy Wall Street) began as a result of an ad in Adbusters, a Vancouver, British Columbia, magazine. The first day a hundred and fifty people arrived at the Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, and many more after that. Students, recent graduates, unemployed individuals, among others gathered to protest about social and economic inequality, corruption, and the financial influence over government.

A general assembly was held by the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters on October 4, where they shared thoughts and ideas on the issue. The following afternoon a march was held from Zuccotti Park to Foley Square, 20,000 people where estimated in this march, composed mainly by the United Federation of Teachers, the Transport Workers Union, the Communication Workers of America, the Service Employees and Restaurant Employees union, among others who have found their way in the OWS movement.

Larry Goodwyn, a retired professor of history and author of The Populist Movement believes that "television can make a crowd look like a mob." That is exactly what the television coverage of OWS movement was doing, casting the OWS movement as a threat to civil society. The principal why 20,000 people gathered in a park on the streets of Lower Manhattan is because of the difference in wealth between the wealthiest 1% and the 99% rest of the population.

On October 2, Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz compared the OWS protestors to Los Indignados, the popular movement that brought thousands of unemployed young people into the streets of Spain to protest an economic system that foreclosed on their futures after graduating from Universities. Stiglitz was not part of the OWS movement but her wrote about the grievances that the rest of the population (99 Percenters) took to the streets of New York.

On October 3, 2008 the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was passed by Congress, but three days after, the program was rejected by a vote of 228-205. This sent the Dow Jones Industrial average into a 700-point decline which was considered the biggest loss in one day. Since then, the value of homes were dropped by 30 percent, trillions were wiped off the value of American stocks, resulting in the reduction of Americans retirement accounts by a third or more.

On February 11, 2009 Americans most wanted C.E.O.s whose banks had pushed the world into recession, gathered at a House Financial Services Committee hearing to discuss the great economic downfall. New York Democrat Gary Ackerman demanded an explanation from the bank executives for the reason why his constituents could not get loans despite their assurance that they were making loans. These issues among many others are what made thousands of people gather on the streets of Lower



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