Forces of nonviolent protestors have been occupying Wall Street since September 17th, but the mainstream media was largely incognizant — or just plain negligent — until this week.
The turnout is less than the 20,000 anticipated, and their efforts are focused in an unclear direction. (Are they mad about financial corruption and corporate greed? The execution of Troy Davis? The lack of jobs? Present-day Jim Crow or the bankruptcy of the U.S. Postal Service?)
But the protestors are combating issues that are very real to overeducated, underemployed twentysomethings around the country. And their cries, although a bit melodramatic, are not a far departure from the topics in break rooms, backyard barbecues and cocktail parties. They are just trying to figure things out.
The occupiers are sleeping on sidewalks at Liberty Plaza, aka Zuccotti Park, camping out until further notice. Or until President Obama fulfills their "one demand" (which is of yet undecided, but you can vote for your favorite issue here).
We've been tracking their progress from afar, and the movement seems, for the most part, peaceful and pizza-centric.
The New York City police response to the protest, though, is intolerant at best, brutal at worst—seemingly attempting to control the crowd with aggression and outright violence. Videos on the Occupy Wall Street website show a police deputy inspector spraying women in the face with Mace and officers forcefully pushing protestors and dragging them across the cement. Eighty protestors were arrested on Saturday alone.
Now, more than 50 cities around the United States have similar occupations in different stages of progress and with varying levels of success. Would you ever join on these protests?