See validity of ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests
Despite the fact that the “Occupy Wall Street” protest has been growing and finally getting the media attention it deserves, the author of last Tuesday’s column, “Protestors, please use logic,” seems to think that the protesters have nothing to say and are only a bunch of unwashed hippies who deserve the scorn that our establishment media has heaped upon them.
The message is clear, if the author took even five minutes to pay attention to the crux of the protests. People are finally upset enough to “seek accountability for Wall Street and corporate America for the financial crisis and the growing economic inequality gap,” as The New York Times DealBook editor Andrew Ross Sorkin put it. This was obvious enough to The New York Times Wall Street servant or “reporter,” Sorkin, who has been reporting on this very matter with the same smug and dismissive attitude as the author. Corporate America is rife with corruption, criminality and unrestrained political power. The financial elite has essentially co-opted the political process and has gotten richer while financial security has become more elusive for everyone else. With 45 percent of the income going to 1 percent of the population, ordinary Americans have started to get angry.
The political process is broken and the Democrats are just as much the party of Wall Street as the Republicans. They favored President Barack Obama in 2008, who has a Wall Street chief of staff, a Wall Street servant of a treasury secretary and an administration packed with Goldman Sachs officials. The author, then, should be able to see why some people might be fed up and demand to be heard. As for their disorganized protests, who cares? Protests are by nature disorganized, organic and chaotic. Just because they don’t have a public-relations firm and PowerPoint presentations doesn’t mean their grievances are any less legitimate.
This protest isn’t about punishing workers who are employed by these companies. It’s about the fact that these corporations are corrupt and have committed illegal acts while a weak administration let it happen, and the American people got screwed, plain and simple. The author’s comment on snapping pictures with iPhones was also amusing. Apparently, according to him, it’s against the law to protest widespread illegal activity and the corporate hijacking of America’s political parties unless you use a landline phone and a 35mm camera. Instead of putting them down, applaud the people who are trying to draw attention to the corporate takeover of our political institutions, which is threatening to undo the financial success that millions of Americans have been enjoying for so long.
Timothy de Valroger is a Rutgers Business School graduate student majoring in business administration.