Anti-Wall Street protesters arrested in New York
Posted by Xeno on September 26, 2011
At least 80 people have been arrested during an anti-Wall Street march in New York’s financial district.
Several hundred people took part in Saturday’s march, which was intended to draw attention to “corporate greed and corrupt politics” in the US.
Participants carried banners supporting a range of other issues, including healthcare reform, an end to US wars and the scrapping of the death penalty.
The march came after a week of protests by the Occupy Wall Street campaign.
The loosely organised group says it is defending 99% of the US population against the wealthiest 1%, and had called for 20,000 people to “flood into lower Manhattan” on 17 September and remain there for “a few months”.
Protesters, who are mostly young, initially numbered some 1,500 but their numbers had fallen to about 200 by Saturday’s march.
There was a heavy security presence in the district, with police deploying nets to block off major roads including Fifth Avenue and to protect the New York Stock Exchange.
One protester, 21-year-old Ryan Reed, said he joined in “because what I see – and what I feel most people in this country see – is an economy and a system that’s collapsing”.
“The enemy is the big business leaders of Wall Street, the big oil company leaders, the coal company leaders, the big military industrial leaders.”
A number of placards also called for “justice for Troy Davies”, the US man executed in Georgia last week amid widespread criticism.
Police said most of Saturday’s arrests were for disorderly conduct and blocking traffic, but one person was charged with assaulting a police officer. One officer also suffered a shoulder injury, said police.
They have not commented on protest organisers’ comments that there had been an “unprecedented level of police aggression” on display.
A statement on the Occupy Wall Street website said the protesters have “an interest in returning the US back into the hands of its individual citizens”.
“Our nation, our species and our world are in crisis. The US has an important role to play in the solution, but we can no longer afford to let corporate greed and corrupt politics set the policies if our nation.” …
Historically, when the rift between the rich and the poor becomes wide enough, there is revolution. That’s what I think, but here is a (libertarian site?) that says the current gap is a good thing:
“The number of poor people who can’t afford food for their children is a lot smaller than it used to be — thanks to capitalism. Capitalism didn’t create malnutrition, it reduced it. The globalization of capitalism from 1950 to the present has increased annual average income in the world to $7,000 from $2,000. Contrary to popular legend, poor countries grew at about the same rate as the rich ones. This growth gave us the greatest mass exit from poverty in world history.
“The parts of the world that are still poor are suffering from too little capitalism. Foreign direct investment in Africa today, although rising, amounts to only 1% of global flows. That’s because the environment for private business in Africa is still hostile. There are some industry and country success stories in Africa, but not enough.” – WILLIAM R. EASTERLY