Occupy Wall Street: The 10th Anniversary

 

To be honest, I nearly fell over when I saw an announcement for a program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York:

Occupy Wall Street: Its Impact 10 Years Later

Occupy was an unforgettable experience for us. We went to every event in NYC in those heady months from 2011-2012.

Very different groups…across a wide spectrum…from artists and musicians to medical personnel and educators…all kinds of workers…had come to the same conclusion: The economic system that we live under is just not fair.

Issues from reproductive rights to 1st Amendment rights, from “too big to fail” to reminders as to how wars sap so much from so many…were clear and present in so much of the signage.

It was so exciting…coming together, marching, chanting, singing…but mostly really believing that we could bring change by bringing these related issues to the forefront. 

The point was that fundamentally, the system that we thought was constructed to be a fair one at some point in our history… we are supposed to be a democracy”Life, Liberty, the pursuit of happiness, etc., is contaminated by greed, incompetence, selfishness, and is astonishingly unfair.

Whether it is economic, political, issues of privacy, of voting rights, etc., all of these concerns flow one to the other, and those of us gathering, sounding the alarm, had figured this out: 

There is a small but exceedingly powerful minority who essentially hoard the vast majority of the wealth in this country, and the 99% has whatever crumbs remain. Money gives one power, and so many have felt marginalized. They want to better their lives… and those of their family. It’s so reasonable.

The Fight for Fifteen was one rallying cry of those days. That is covered brilliantly by Heather McGhee in The Sum of Us, a book that explains so many of these intertwined issues in great detail and with great clarity.

The images are a trip through the various events of that heady time. It was such an eye-opening experience that the fact that ten years have passed seems impossible.

To us, it was yesterday.

I hope that you enjoy the images.

You can click to enlarge to read the signs…or view all of them in a slide show.  You can also pause the slideshow effect by simply hovering your mouse pointer over the active image.

Phyllis Wrynn September 2021