The “Occupy Wall Street” protests, which started in New York on Sept 17th, have gained ground and spread to other cities, including, Los Angeles, Boston, Kansas City, and Portland, Maine. The group that started it all, Occupy Wall Street, campaigns and protests against the greed and corruption that they state, “plagues those in Wall Street.”
While the movement has spread across the nation, the original protesters in New York continue to receive the most publicity. Those in NY started protesting at the New York Stock Exchange with a few dozen, however, the number is now estimated to be easily in the thousands. The protesters are said to come from many different backgrounds. While most are young adults and college students, some are recently laid-off middle-aged workers.
One of Roanoke College’s and the Brackety-Ack’sÂ very own, Cara Cooper ’12, went to New York over fall break and saw the protests firsthand.
“I was only in New York for the weekend, but it was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve been to New York a couple times and Times Square is always really busy, but even the people working in the stores there said they had never seen it that crowded,” said Cooper.
“The cops were on horses and had all of the side streets going into Times Square blocked off, so no one could drive past. My mom and I were on a bus tour and the driver had to take us around like three blocks to get us back, and he eventually told us to get off and walk the rest of the way because there was no way to get a car through the area,” Cooper said
While Cooper did say the protests, were, to say the least, a bit chaotic, she did mention that they were nonviolent,
“On every street corner,… there were groups of like 15-20 cops.Â But for the most part what I heard is that the protestors were really peaceful. I never saw any violence out of any of them, mostly just chanting and holding their signs. I think they know they have to be peaceful or the whole thing will be shut down and worth nothing in the end.”
Cooper also stated that although she does not mind that the protesters stood up for what they believe in, she did not like the fact that many of the protesters she saw were protesting for the sake of protesting.
“I felt like a lot of the people … just joined to protest anything they wanted to. It didn’t feel like they were protesting corruption or anything like that, but rather they were protesting for the heck of protesting,” said Cooper.
For more information about the protests go to http://occupywallst.org/