OccupyWallStreet has come out of nowhere (well, out of Vancouver's Adbusters) to become a strange new event. Via The New York Times: On Wall Street, a Protest Matures. Excerpt:
“Is this Occupy Wall Street thing a big deal?” the C.E.O. asked me. I didn’t have an answer. “We’re trying to figure out how much we should be worried about all of this,” he continued, clearly concerned. “Is this going to turn into a personal safety problem?”
As I wandered around the park, it was clear to me that most bankers probably don’t have to worry about being in imminent personal danger. This didn’t seem like a brutal group — at least not yet.
But the underlying message of Occupy Wall Street — which spread to Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles on Monday — is something the big banks and corporate America may finally have to grapple with before it actually does become dangerous.
What’s the message?
At times it can be hard to discern, but, at least to me, the message was clear: the demonstrators are seeking accountability for Wall Street and corporate America for the financial crisis and the growing economic inequality gap.
And that message is a warning shot about the kind of civil unrest that may emerge — as we’ve seen in some European countries — if our economy continues to struggle.
“Ultimately this is about power and greed, unchecked,” said Jodie Evans, the co-founder of Code Pink. She, too, said she wanted to see Wall Street executives go to jail.
Consider the protests a delayed reaction to the financial crisis that has now reached a fever pitch as the public’s lust for scalp has gone unfulfilled. In Chicago on Monday, one sign read: “If corporations are people, why can’t we put them in jail?”