Its 2011 and Americans are protesting. Protesting in the streets of New York, D.C., Chicago and many more big cities across the country. They are protesting because of the current economic climate. Big banks are getting big breaks and the average middle-class American isn’t happy.
There has been an uprising in the city of New York called Occupy Wall Street, in which an ongoing series of demonstrations are taking place in Liberty Square. According to the Occupy Wall Street page on Wikipedia, protesters are mainly protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government among other concerns.
By October 9, similar demonstrations had been held or were ongoing in over 70 cities, including D.C. In D.C. two groups are protesting in McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza, both locations in the downtown business areas of the city. 8 of the 13 councilmember’s support the movement that’s taking place around the city.
Constitutionally, Americans are protected by the First Amendment Right, which protects a person’s “right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.” Also included in this right is the freedom of speech.
Political pundits are comparing the protests with those of the recent uprisings in the Middle East, most notably Tahir Square in Egypt, where protesting citizens overthrew the long-standing dictatorial government.
According to Occupydc.org website, the group states that it is a “peaceful grassroots movement that are fed up with the current political and economical system in this nation. They say they are independent of Occupy Wall Street, but share the same philosophy and that they focus “on spreading the idea of Occupy Together and Occupy Wall Street in our nations capital Washington DC.”
Bank Transfer Day
The Occupy Wall Street movement has stated that it is supporting the “Bank Transfer Day,” a day dubbed on November 5th where it is calling for all Americans to withdraw their money from big banks.
This movement encourages bank customers to take their cash out of big banks and put it in smaller banks and credit unions instead. The Facebook page for Bank Transfer Day sates:
“Together we can ensure that these banking institutions will ALWAYS remember the 5th of November!! If the 99% removes our funds from the major banking institutions on or by this date, we will send a clear message and give the 1% a taste of the fear that we experience every day when we aren’t able to pay for our rent, food, medication, utilities, student loans, etc.”
Aggressive monthly fees instituted by banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo are examples of why this event is taking place. Backers of the movement believe these big banks are instituting these fees to make up for the profits lost from new financial regulations.