By Hope Putman, Staff Writer
“We are the 99 percent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent” said a statement by Wall Street protestors who call themselves Occupy Wall Street.
Occupy Wall Street started on Sept. 17, 2011 and has grown from Liberty Square in Manhattan to over 100 cities in the U.S. and more than 1,500 cities around the world.
“Occupy Wall Street is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations,” the statement continued.
According to the Occupy Wall Street website, the group is using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic of nonviolent protest to encourage change.
There are many factors that play a part in why the “99 percent” are angry. According to Henry Blodget, a writer for Business Insider, there are four main reasons for the Occupy Wall Street protests. Unemployment is at the highest level since the Great Depression and corporate profits are at an all time high. Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all time low and income and wealth inequality is near an all time high.
Many different ages, races and economic classes are represented at the protests, but some are not able to be physically present because of their jobs. These people can post their life stories and struggles with debt and job loss on a blog.
“I think that if we walked around on the streets of New York City or wherever, we would have a multitude of different kinds of people giving even more various explanations of why there are there and what their hopes and dreams are,” said Dr. Roman Williams, professor of sociology. “But what it comes back to is the desire for change, that there is this inherent, shared understanding that something is not right.”