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The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

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  • The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

    Support for Occupy Wall Street is popping up all around the country, just thought I'd mention some local stories here. Protesters are preparing to start occupying New Havens upper Green this weekend. Also, in the shoreline town of Branford, CT, an OCW rally (note: not an "occupation", just a one-day rally) was held yesterday. I thought this was particularly noteworthy because these weren't just young college students, this was a small gathering of mostly older folks, and not just your run-of-the-mill aging hippies. And there's plenty of anger at politicians and government, not just corporations.

    --------------------

    Occupy Wall Street: Branford Edition
    by Sally E. Bahner | Oct 11, 2011 7:52 am

    bfdwallstrally-550x275.jpg

    Power to the people.

    It sounds like something out of a gathering of folks in 1970, chanting John Lennons song.

    More and more, however, its a rallying cry for the growing Occupy Wall Street movement, which began in mid-September with a gathering on Zuccotti Park near Wall Street and has blossomed into a nationwide call for financial reform.

    Its also the rallying cry for Dr. Marc Schwartz (in green cap), organizer of the Occupy Wall Street rally that took place late Monday afternoon on the Branford green. Approximately 60 people gathered to listen and to express their opinions about todays economy, politics and corporations.

    They came from all walks of life in what organizers believe is the first shoreline town in the state to hold its own Occupy Wall Street rally. These protestors will not hold a daily occupation of a portion of the Green as will soon happen in New Haven. This was a rally. There may be more in the future.

    Many on the green Monday grew up in a world where protests were the norm.

    e1767-550x321.jpg

    Many were also seniors who live on pensions. Branfords population is aging. By 2030, over 40 percent of the town will be seniors, First Selectman Unk DaRos says. Now they represent 25 percent of the towns population. Others on the green were jobless.

    Schwartz was quick to assure the crowd that a permit was not needed for the rally and that organizers had the blessing of both Town Hall and the police department.

    Schwartzs inspiration is Jacob Hackers book, Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. Hacker, a political science professor at Yale University, spoke at the Blackstone Library in September. Schwartz said Hacker described a scenario from 1928 thats not unlike today in which the top 1 percent holds all the countrys wealth. That ended with Great Depression and it took the likes of Roosevelts Works Progress Administration to get the country back on its feet.

    Schwartz believes that central problems are not being addressed: government and large corporations are in collusion with candidates running for office with money from special interest groups. Theres more money in fewer pockets, he says, And central problems are not being addressed.

    Later at the rally he said, Weve lost our sense of accountability. We elect officials, then let them do their thing.

    He said that about 100 people had attended Hackers talk at the library and he had tapped into that list in organizing Mondays event. If you think that protest movements are for young upstarts, think again. The majority of those attending could have been those aforementioned folks in the 60s and 70s!

    People who spoke at the Branford green rally were articulate and echoed the sentiments expressed by the original Occupy Wall Street Organizers. Some, including residents of Guilford and Madison joined Branford townspeople.

    e1786-260x390.jpg

    Mary Johnson Photo.
    John Alfone told his story. He holds a doctorate and cant find a job.

    Were frustrated about the lack of progress in Washington and with the economy the lack of accountability, Alfone (pictured) said. I lost my job in June. I hold a doctorate. Im collecting unemployment and tapping into my pension, but Im getting taxed on both. There are 50 million people without health care. Thats unacceptable. It sent me over the edge and sent me here.

    Other voices at the rally:

    Im appalled that our Congressmen accept health benefits without Americans having those same benefits. We should have the same rights as those voted into office.

    Im a Vietnam veteran whos been unemployed for three years. I worked in a call center for Pfizer in charge of 150 people. They outsourced those jobs. I was a contract employee. They hired contract employees so they dont have to pay benefits.

    What about the 99ers? Those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits?

    From a representative of the Guilford Peace Alliance, citing from Les Misrables: Charging for the lice and extra for the mice!

    We have to dispel the notion that theres not enough to go around.

    We have to reduce the value of politicians to corporations and reduce the complexity of passing legislation.

    Occupy Wall Street: Branford Edition

  • #2
    Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

    I'm finding it harder and harder to get a handle on just what these people represent and I get the idea they don't quite get it, either. The Tea Party hung around because the movement coalesced around the ideas of lower taxes and smaller government. If the Occupiers don't similarly come up with a message, or, if they are merely a reaction to the Tea Party, they will run out of gas.

    ?


    • #3
      Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

      From what I gather, there is no single thing that they represent. It's more of a general dislike (and anger) at corporations, banks, and government. I'm not sure why that's so hard to understand. Did you actually read what I posted? I don't think it's a reaction to the Tea Party; in fact, I see many similarities between OWS and the Tea Party.

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      • #4
        Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

        [ATTACH]12177[/ATTACH]

        roflmao!!!!

        ?


        • #5
          Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

          Look at the people in the pictures I posted, Matt. They look exactly like the people in your joke. Laugh all you want, but people are pissed, young and old alike.

          ?


          • #6
            Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

            So, everyone who vaguely looks alike must think alike?

            I thought the pic was funny. Sorry you didn't.

            ?


            • #7
              Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

              Well, apparently, anyone who supports OWS must be a hippy college-aged pot smoker. *shrug*

              ?


              • #8
                Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

                Originally posted by Jefe View Post
                Well, apparently, anyone who supports OWS must be a hippy college-aged pot smoker. *shrug*
                Neither I nor the person who made that image (no idea whose it is, it's circulating via email / FB) made any such claim.

                ?


                • #9
                  Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

                  Jefe,

                  Simply being pissed off is useless. Having a protest because you're pissed off is even more useless. In fact, years ago we came up with a term for a protest just because you're pissed off...it's called a "tantrum".

                  The thing about the OWS protest is that it offers absolutely no solutions to the problems it has identified. It hasn't offered any solutions because for what they want to do the solutions actually end up being less desirable than the problem ever was. They want the top 1% of the wealthy to give that wealth up. They don't want to earn their own wealth or offer any kind of compensation for that "redistribution". They just want it.

                  Look at that other thread about the sanitation issue. Read the comments in the linked article. These kids (and adults) have absolutely no clue about how an economy - much less a society - really operates. They're living in some fantasy utopia where everyone does what's best for the community (as determined by "those who know what's best") willingly and without seeking to profit from their actions. It's lunacy. Things just plain don't work that way.

                  Tell me, has there ever been a society that tried to function on such a platform and survived?

                  ?


                  • #10
                    Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

                    I just don't see this being all that big of a deal.

                    Branford has a population of about 29,000.

                    I could sacrifice rabbits to Satan in the town square and I'd likely get 60 people to come out for the day.

                    When you do the math you're looking at two tenths of one percent of the population.

                    Proportionally the original OWS protest in NYC is drawing a similar crowd. 20,000 "occupiers" in a city of 8+ million is about a quarter of one percent.

                    At this point I wouldn't say that the movement is growing so much as I'd say it's spreading.

                    Spreading from the radically inclined in one geographic area to the same number of radically inclined in many areas.

                    But, again proportionally, it's still far less than one percent of the population participating regardless of where it's traveled.

                    And it's going to take a HELL of a lot more than a few tenths of a percent of the population getting worked up about something to effect any real change.

                    ?


                    • #11
                      Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

                      Originally posted by lutherf View Post
                      Jefe,

                      Simply being pissed off is useless. Having a protest because you're pissed off is even more useless. In fact, years ago we came up with a term for a protest just because you're pissed off...it's called a "tantrum".
                      Fair enough. I just find it interesting that people are getting pissed enough to actually start gathering and talking. It's getting other people to start thinking as well. This will hopefully lead to a greater awareness and dialogue, maybe even with *gasp* the Tea Party, who seems equally disatisfied with the way things are going. Or mabye it will just lead to more animosity between the left and the right in this country.

                      ?


                      • #12
                        Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

                        Originally posted by soot View Post
                        I just don't see this being all that big of a deal.

                        Branford has a population of about 29,000.

                        I could sacrifice rabbits to Satan in the town square and I'd likely get 60 people to come out for the day.

                        When you do the math you're looking at two tenths of one percent of the population.

                        Proportionally the original OWS protest in NYC is drawing a similar crowd. 20,000 "occupiers" in a city of 8+ million is about a quarter of one percent.

                        At this point I wouldn't say that the movement is growing so much as I'd say it's spreading.

                        Spreading from the radically inclined in one geographic area to the same number of radically inclined in many areas.

                        But, again proportionally, it's still far less than one percent of the population participating regardless of where it's traveled.

                        And it's going to take a HELL of a lot more than a few tenths of a percent of the population getting worked up about something to effect any real change.
                        By itself, no, of course this isn't a big deal. My point is that the movement is spreading, even to small towns. Also, as I mentioned in the OP, they're preparing to occupy the New Haven green this weekend. Again, I just found it interesting that it's growing (or spreading, whatever you prefer to call it) and apparently not just amoung the radically inclined. The people in the pics I posted don't exactly look radical, lol.

                        ?


                        • #13
                          Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

                          Originally posted by Jefe View Post
                          By itself, no, of course this isn't a big deal. My point is that the movement is spreading, even to small towns. Also, as I mentioned in the OP, they're preparing to occupy the New Haven green this weekend. Again, I just found it interesting that it's growing (or spreading, whatever you prefer to call it) and apparently not just amoung the radically inclined. The people in the pics I posted don't exactly look radical, lol.
                          I think it's interesting too.

                          Alex Bennett has been discussing the spread of these occupations/protests/rallies for the last couple days.

                          His take is that these people are just idiots who are jumping on the bandwaggon.

                          Kinda like how everyone "supports the troops" while we're at war even though you know damn well 99% of them haven't done a damn thing to support any troops and that they'd probably push a troop in front of a moving train in order to get to a double-mocha-jism-latte (and I mean this of the Left and Right).

                          Anyhow, Bennett also thinks that 90% of the occupiers will head back indoors as soon as we get our first real good frost.

                          And I tend to agree with him.

                          And by radical I didn't mean wild eyed dirty hippy radical but rather "favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions". You can have radical ideas, or be radical, without looking radical.

                          ?


                          • #14
                            Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

                            Originally posted by soot View Post
                            I just don't see this being all that big of a deal.

                            Branford has a population of about 29,000.

                            I could sacrifice rabbits to Satan in the town square and I'd likely get 60 people to come out for the day.

                            When you do the math you're looking at two tenths of one percent of the population.

                            Proportionally the original OWS protest in NYC is drawing a similar crowd. 20,000 "occupiers" in a city of 8+ million is about a quarter of one percent.

                            At this point I wouldn't say that the movement is growing so much as I'd say it's spreading.

                            Spreading from the radically inclined in one geographic area to the same number of radically inclined in many areas.

                            But, again proportionally, it's still far less than one percent of the population participating regardless of where it's traveled.

                            And it's going to take a HELL of a lot more than a few tenths of a percent of the population getting worked up about something to effect any real change.
                            This isn't similar to some of the protests in the past (except most likely chanology) or by the Tea Party. The OWS movement is a SAC "Stand Alone Complex".

                            ?


                            • #15
                              Re: The growing movement: Occupy Wall Street - Branford Edition

                              I'm seeing a fraction of the crowds that turned out in anti-war rallies that were really little more than Anti-Bush rallies and we see how much they did to change the system.

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