U.S. anti-corporate movement expands
U.S. anti-corporate movement expandsThe Occupy Wall Street protest movement spreads to other cities and gains big-name supporters.
In the two weeks since activists with Occupy Wall Street began protesting in New York, the movement has gained traction nationwide with events in almost every major U.S. city. Meanwhile, more mainstream allies are joining the cause, including unions, members of Congress, celebrities, pundits, and academics.
Demonstrators and sympathisers oppose "corporate greed and corrupt politics," the "gangsterism of Wall Street," and the disproportionate effect the global economic downturn has had on "the other 99 percent."
On Oct 2, the protests took a chaotic turn when New York police arrested over 700 protesters after they swarmed onto Brooklyn Bridge and shut down a lane of traffic for several hours.
In a sign that the movement is gaining traction, some of New York’s biggest labour unions have now joined protestors (or are planning to join later this week). The city’s 38,000-member transit union pledged its support and is planning to encourage members to join the street demonstrations early next week. Unions representing teachers, doormen, security guards, maintenance workers, postal workers, healthcare workers, and other labour sectors have also pledged support and hinted at future involvement.
Organisers hope that union involvement will swell the ranks of protestors from a few hundred to a few thousand, though it remains unclear whether organisers will be able to reach their initial goal of 20,000 on-the-ground activists in New York City.
Congressman Bernie Sanders also expressed support for the movement. Actors and filmmakers, musicians, academics, and other famous faces have shown their support for the movement, either by appearing in person or speaking to the media.
The protests, which began Sept 17, were inspired by a Vancouver-based group that opposes consumerism. The hacktivist group Anonymous helped promote the first organised protest event.
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