October 17th marked the one month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. For over 30 days, thousands of people have occupied the renamed Liberty Square just blocks from Wall Street and the gilded doors of the New York Stock Exchange.
In the last month, the message of “the 99%” has won the hearts and minds of over half of Americans (according to a recent Time survey) and is gaining ground globally, with 1500 protests in 82 countries during the “Global Day of Change” this past weekend.
On Saturday, over 6,000 protesters from all five of New York’s boroughs flooded the subways to converge on Times Square in the largest single showing since the beginning of the movement.
Twitpic via @glomag
As occupiers flocked toward Times Square, two dozen participants were arrested at a nearby Citibank while attempting to withdraw their accounts from the global banking giant.
While #OWS protests rippled through New York City, people all over the United States and the world were participating in their own Occupations as a show of solidarity with the Times Square demonstrators.
- Four hundred Iowans marched in Des Moines, Iowa Saturday as part of the international day of action.
- In the UK over 3,000 people attempted to occupy the London Stock Exchange.
- In South Africa, about 80 people gathered at the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, Talk Radio 702 reported.
- In Australia, about 800 people gathered in Sydney’s central business district, carrying cardboard banners and chanting “Human need, not corporate greed.”
- In Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, 3,000 people chanted and banged drums.
- In Sydney, about 2,000 people, including representatives of Aboriginal groups, communists and trade unionists, protested outside the central Reserve Bank of Australia.
- 5,000 people took to the streets in Chicago with chants of “People over Profits! Occupy Chicago!”
Despite police brutality in the days leading up to October 15th, Occupiers in Boston have started their own Kickstarter campaign to publish the Occupied Boston Globe, an internal newspaper for participants.
While much of the mainstream media still depicts the movement as scattered and aimless, there’s already evidence that the Occupy Wall Street protests are having a real impact on middle-class voters.
Although the Mayor attempted to evict Liberty Square residents just days ago, Bloomberg.com reports that 67 percent of New York City voters agree with OWS protesters’ views, according to a Quinnipiac University survey.
And the push for a higher tax on New Yorkers making more than $1 million a year is getting fresh life with a new poll showing overwhelming support. The Siena College poll found 72 percent of New York voters support the tax to avoid further budget cuts. Just 26 percent oppose the proposal by powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
So what’s next?
Rumor has it that the Occupy Wall Street protesters have outgrown Liberty Square and are thinking about overtaking a second location, the completely public Washington Square Park. Because Washington Square is managed by the City of New York, it has a strict “no overnight” rule. Ignoring this regulation would inevitably lead to clashes with NYPD–who showed up in riot gear to clear out the small group that tried to occupy Washington Square Park after the Times Square march after dark.
Image Credit: Flickr – getdarwin