Occupy SF: Power to the ’99 Percent’

“Protest because the 99% can’t afford lobbyists” — These were the words one Occupy SF protester displayed on her sign as she stood in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Directly behind the woman, tents and sleeping bags displayed where some protesters have been occupying since September 17th to show their disapproval of the current financial system. On Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered to support the occupiers and took to the streets of San Francisco’s Financial District.

People of all ages marched, expressing frustration towards big banks and financial inequality. “They were bailed out, we were sold out,” they chanted, referring to the string of bailouts the U.S. government issued after the recent financial crisis, including $280 billion to Citigroup and $142.2 billion to Bank of America. “Wake up Wall Street,” was another message shouted in the streets. The overall theme was that the current financial system primarily serves one percent and exploits the other 99 percent.

The protesters marched in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, the movement that began in New York and has sprouted to cities throughout the nation.

While the movement has done a great job picking up speed and momentum thanks to social media, some have criticized that they have no concrete demands.  New York Times contributor Nicholas D. Kristof offers some suggestions:

Impose a financial transactions tax. This would be a modest tax on financial trades, modeled on the suggestions of James Tobin, an American economist who won a Nobel Prize. The aim is in part to dampen speculative trading that creates dangerous volatility. Europe is moving toward a financial transactions tax, but the Obama administration is resisting — a reflection of its deference to Wall Street.

Close the “carried interest” and “founders’ stock” loopholes, which may be the most unconscionable tax breaks in America. They allow our wealthiest citizens to pay very low tax rates by pretending that their labor compensation is a capital gain.

Protect big banks from themselves. This means moving ahead with Basel III capital requirements and adopting the Volcker Rule to limit banks’ ability to engage in risky and speculative investments. Another sensible proposal, embraced by President Obama and a number of international experts, is the bank tax. This could be based on an institution’s size and leverage, so that bankers could pay for their cleanups — the finance equivalent of a pollution tax.

Whether or not these specific demands or others will be adopted by the movement has yet to be seen, but the Occupiers are no doubt growing in size and attention, and that may have enough impact to change actions among the “one percent.”  

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19 comments

Faith Billingham
Faith Billingham4 years ago

I wish I could be there to protest, wish I could be there!

Jennifer C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thank you.

Bonnie S.
Bonnie Sweitzer4 years ago

No need to implement a "bank tax" as the FDIC should be able to repair the bank problems. The FDIC should be completely funded by bank contribution (a type of tax) on a scale in accordance with their size. This entity is already in place and precludes starting up yet another redundant government agency.

Bonnie S.
Bonnie Sweitzer4 years ago

No need to implement a "bank tax" as the FDIC should be able to repair the bank problems. The FDIC should be completely funded by bank contribution (a type of tax) on a scale in accordance with their size. This entity is already in place and precludes starting up yet another redundant government agency.

Bonnie S.
Bonnie Sweitzer4 years ago

No need to implement a "bank tax" as the FDIC should be able to repair the bank problems. The FDIC should be completely funded by bank contribution (a type of tax) on a scale in accordance with their size. This entity is already in place and precludes starting up yet another redundant government agency.

joe lee C.
Joseph L c.4 years ago

Who created the uppermost 1% and preserved it that way??-----Republican politicians.
Let's be mindful of this in 2012.

Tim G.
Tim G.4 years ago

The DENIAL of an ENCAMPMENT is a Blatant rights violation.
As long as the encampment wasn't blocking the sidewalk and if the protesters can EASE OFF a bit on every day STIFFS.
The Apathy is Waning and they will come around BY ATTRACTION not Bullying.
The Protest movement is as virtuous as it gets so be patient as apathy wanes more every day and the "HOLD OUTS" realize that THEY TOO are part of that 99 percent club and are either a corporate SLAVE ,CRONY or LAP DOG.
The Boom of the 50s was a result of a Keynesian policy that worked and the policy insisted on HIGHER TAXES for the wealthy and lower taxes for the MIDDLE CLASS who SPEND IT.
Then the US Empire went on a BUILDING SPREE.

.The NEW DEAL endures and needs TWEAKING not A systematic elimination like the middle class.
The Social security fund was treated as a SLUSH FUND for way too many years.
Time to REPLENISH the fund and have a MARGIN CALL on the IOUs instead of lies..
PERRY GETS IT THOUGH !
He is RIGHT the Social Security fund has become a PONZI SCHEME but he is placing blame on the wrong PERPETRATORS or should I say PERPETRAITORS because they are not seeing the WHOLE PICTURE and just want political brownie points for being right about the PONZI SCHEME.
IT'S MARGIN CALL YOU WEALTHY BASTARDS
YOU HAVE BEEN BEEN MANIPULATING MAKING BETS against your own clients and PROFITING on GRIEF LONG ENOUGH.Wall Street is DESPICABLE.
Be assured the new ticking time bomb with Worthless IPOs in the DERIVATIVES TRANCHE

Deborah Wasko
Past Member 4 years ago

Still looking for leadership, Mission Statement, and code of conduct ... before "the movement" becomes fragmented, ineffective and dries up like so many before it.

Vivianne Mosca-Clark

sit ins and voting...go hand and hand.

Ernie Miller
william Miller4 years ago

thanks