A New Movement Taking Shape

I’m sharing yet another post about politics/social issues. I promise I’ll do something on writing again soon. 

Anyone that has been paying attention to the news lately has probably heard about the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Over the last two weeks or so, protestors have come to NYC’s financial district to protest the growing income disparity in the U.S.  What intrigues me about this movement is that it considers itself “leaderless,” and so far, it hasn’t designated a spokesperson, unlike the Civil Rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, or even the more recent Tea Party Movement. According to the movement’s website, what the protestors have in common is that they are “the 99 % that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 %.”

Coverage of the movement was slow at first, but after a NYC police officer pepper sprayed some of the protestors, the video was seen all over the web and gained national media attention. “The Daily Show” even spoofed the incident. You can see that video here.  

Now, the movement is spreading to other parts of the country. It’s already started in Boston, according to a recent blog post at Forbes, and it also spread to San Francisco, according to a Huffington Post article.  

Furthermore, the protestors in NYC may soon have a powerful ally. According to another article, some NYC-based unions are considering teaming up with the grassroots movement. If this happens, the numbers on the streets could swell, especially in NYC.

What surprises me about this movement is that it didn’t happen a few years ago when the economy nearly crashed, and then Congress bailed out the banks and Wall Street, yet the same problems still persist. But maybe all of the union busting in Wisconsin, Ohio, and other states finally sparked this, as well as the daunting 9.1 percent unemployment number, which is even higher for young people and the black community.

There are still a lot of questions surrounding the movement, including its general list of demands. But the fact this movement is so organic and grassroots is exciting. It hasn’t been co-opted by either political party or  a single politican, at least not yet.

I will be in Boston next weekend visiting friends, and we plan to stop by one of the protests to check it out. I’ll probably blog something about that when I get back.

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About Brian Fanelli

I'm a poet, teacher, music junkie and much more. My first chapbook of poems, Front Man, was published in 2010 by Big Table Publishing. My full-length book of poems, All That Remains, was published in 2013 by Unbound Content. My latest book, Waiting for the Dead to Speak, was published in the fall of 2016 by NYQ Books. My work has also been published by The Los Angeles Times, World Literature Today, Harpur Palate, Boston Literary Magazine, Kentucky Review, Verse Daily, Spillway, Portland Review, and several other publications. My poetry has also been featured on "The Writer's Almanac" with Garrison Keillor. Currently, I teach English full-time at Lackawanna College.
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