Occupy Movements Intensify Across America
Over the last six weeks, an original group of 1,500 protestors in Manhattan, New York has sparked a worldwide movement against economic and social inequality known as the “Occupy Movement”.
These protests have spread from Wall Street to over 95 cities across 82 countries, with 600 US communities taking part in the movement. While many people know of the protests, close to half of all Americans are not aware of the cause of them, according to a recent CNN poll.
In case you are one of those who does not know why the Occupy people are protesting, economic inequality is the issue called by many. They are calling for higher taxes for the “rich”, and that it is unfair for people who can afford their taxes to get out of it through the loopholes in the system.
Also, the protestors are blaming the people on Wall Street and their bad money practices as the cause of the recent recession, which has brought a financial crisis on millions
of Americans. Some of the main people of the movement are college students, who have
to borrow huge sums of money for their education. But, since there are few jobs out there, they are unable to pay off their loans. In general, there are many motives for the protests, and many people across America feel for the people involved in the movements.
In the United States, the “Occupy” movement has taken to several large cities, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Tampa Bay, Houston and Oakland. There have been several key events that have surrounded the Occupy Movement. On September 24, the NYPD
arrested 80 protestors in Liberty Square after they disturbed traffic and caused the closing of many streets in downtown Manhattan.
One week later, protests took to the Brooklyn Bridge and forced the area to be closed to oncoming traffic, causing 700 more arrests. Movements then took to other large cities, such as Oakland, California, where students of both University of California Davis and University of California Berkeley were sprayed with tear gas and pepper spray after refusing to move from the middle of a street. This caused great uproar among the chancellors at both universities, and the policemen responsible were fired. Not only have there been protests in these areas, but “Occupy Philly” has been one of the largest movements across the United States.
Since the beginning of October, people of the Occupy Movement have moved their personal belongings into Dilworth Plaza, adjacent to Philadelphia’s City Hall. At this site, protestors have gathered to express their feelings. They have taken their marches outside of the downtown area of the city, most recently blocking up the Market Street Bridge during the rush hour traffic.
At the bridge, protestors were sitting in the middle of the road arm in arm, showing their solidarity and inability to give in. However, in mid-November, the city of Philadelphia announced that the Occupy Philly protestors have to move, as construction on Dilworth Plaza was set to begin soon. Once the protestors moved across the street to Centre Square, they were told by Police Chief Charles Ramsey to move back to Dilworth Plaza, contradicting the original orders.
Factions in the Occupy Philly movement resulted from this, with some people saying they should not move from Dilworth Plaza and continue to maintain the area for 24 hours a day, and others saying that the people should only protest from 9 a.m. -7 p.m., and leave the Plaza after that. On November 30, after costing the city over $1 million, the protestors were evicted from Dilworth Plaza and were disbanded. Since then, the Occupy people have been holding rallies at different places throughout the city, such as the Independence Mall area.