Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing demonstration protesting against socio-economic inequality and corporate greed in America. The movement was started by the organization Adbusters and has now spread to over 80 cities across the country. This week on "What's Trending Live," I chatted with Micah White, senior editor at Adbusters, about mobilizing the community in Manhattan for the first protest back on Sept. 17, and what the main long-term goals are for the participants.
Micah explained that Adbusters has been advocating for a citizen movement against corporations for 20 years and that in July of this year they began considering doing a protest on Wall Street. He continued that Adbusters call to action was, "responded to so enthusiastically that... they organized themselves."
He insisted that despite the growth of the movement and criticism around lack of focus, the message remains the same as when the movement began. "The idea of Occupy Wall Street is to revive people's democracy," he said. "We are sick of the corporate political parties deciding the agenda of America."
What does he think of some calling this America's Arab spring? While he was quick to note the protest are peaceful, he did say what compares the two is the mobilization efforts. "The basic ideas was to combine the tactic of the Egyptian uprising which was that they went to a place of symbolic importance, and combine that with the Spanish intifada. In Spain, in May, people formed together in general assemblies... open meetings that they vote on everything together using consensus based decision making.
So what does he say to those criticizing the lack of focus or leadership to the movement?
"Anyone who tries to co-opt it will be laughed at and heckled. There's no one person who can speak of the occupation movement, it's a movement of people's democracy in the square."
As for the practical outcome of the demonstrations, Micah hopes that there will be, "economic justice." Specifically, he would like to see a "transaction tax" on international financial speculation, the reinstatement of the Glass-Stegall Act and the revocation of corporate personhood.
The demonstration and protests show no signs of slowing down, and if Micah White's passion is any indication, the Occupy Wall Street movement is far from over.
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