I read somewhere that World War II newsreels often began with a Morse Code sound effect, and as BPI’s newly-designated Class War Correspondent I thought I should follow the tradition. So I powered up my Blewberry and found a Morse Code translator and typed in my text and clicked translate and saved the mp3 file and moved it to … oh just click that link already, before I get grumpy.
Yesterday was a big day here. M-Day. No, that’s not their name. I chose it because a very nice young lady gave me some macadamias. M-Day sounds war correspondent-ish, like the Morse Code, and it could also stand for Movement Day. They sure looked like a movement yesterday.
From a few hundred at dawn, Occupy Wall Street swelled to an estimated 15,000 for rally at on Foley Square. Young people. Middle aged people. Old people. Students. Union members. Community groups. There were so many they were still arriving as the rally was ending.
They may seem leaderless and disorganized, but as Yahoo! Finance reporter Daniel Gross notes:
Occupy Wall Street is no more incoherent or leaderless than the global financial system it is critiquing. From Wall Street in 2008 to Europe in 2011, the global elite has been much more of a clown show – and a much more damaging one – than this scraggly bunch of protesters in a public park. In many ways, Occupy Wall Street reminds me of another event I’ve attended several times, one that people take much more seriously: the World Economic Forum at Davos.
I probably shouldn’t mention that. Next the faculty senate will send me to Switzerland. But Gross makes a good point. He notes some differences and similarities, and concludes with this:
At Davos, amid all the globaloney, there is discussion of serious issues that merit consideration and resonate in the outside world. The same can be said here. Among the most common slogans seen on buttons and stickers in lower Manhattan are “We are the 99 percent” and “the 99 percent serves the one percent.” Establishment Democrats and administration officials may not trek to lower Manhattan to demonstrate solidarity with the protesters. But they are pitching proposals – the Buffett Rule, a millionaire’s surtax – and preparing to run a campaign that highlights the huge and rampant disparities in wealth, access and government.
Not bad for a “scraggly bunch.” Nor were they all scraggly yesterday. The march was very peaceful and well-organized. The marchers were careful to stay on the sidewalks, and there were no incidents until a handful tried to cross a police line after the rally. The other marchers calmly returned to Zuccotti Park, where many plan to stay for the long term.
They’re growing day by day. Yesterday Teamsters Union president James Hoffa endorsed the movement:
No one should be surprised that Occupy Wall Street is gaining support and spreading quickly around the country. The American Dream has disappeared for students, whose reality is debt and unemployment. The dream disappeared for workers forced to take wage cuts by employers sitting on billions of dollars in profits. The dream disappeared for working families who paid too steep a price for Wall Street’s greed, stupidity and fraud.
It’s clear what this movement is all about. It’s about taking America back from the CEOs and billionaires on Wall Street who have destroyed our nation’s economy. It’s about creating good jobs. It’s about corporate America treating its workers and customers with honesty and fairness and paying its fair share to stimulate the economy.
Teamsters all over the country are participating in Occupy Wall Street events, and I support and encourage them. We stand in solidarity with Americans who want better lives for themselves and for future generations.
Call it Movement Day, indeed.
Good day and good nuts.