BY STEPHANIE COSBY, News Editor
What began one month ago as a New York based protest against corporate greed has exploded and spread across the world.
According to occupywallstreet.org, as of Saturday, October 15, there are “Occupy Together” protests in over 100 U.S. cities and 1,500 cities globally, including protests in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
“United in one voice, we will let politicians, and the financial elites they serve, know it is up to us, the people, to decide our future,” said a statement on the Occupy Wall Street website.London, Athens, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Mumbai, Auckland, Tokyo, Ottawa, Toronto, Sydney, Madrid, and many other international cities saw protests unfold on Saturday, October 15.
The growing demonstrations coincided with the G-20 meeting in Paris where “finance ministers and central bankers … met to discuss solutions to the debt crisis engulfing Europe,” the Washington Post said.
While most demonstrations have remained peaceful, the protest in Rome, Italy erupted in violence when a “minority of violent demonstrators” infiltrated what would have been a peaceful protest, according to MSNBC. According to CBS News, police officers in Rome used tear gas and water cannons to stop protesters from starting fires, breaking windows, and looting stores.
While the movement does not yet have a list of specific demands, the uniting drive is to protest corporate greed and corruption. According to the Washington Post, protests in London center around “anger at the global financial system, corporate greed, and government cutbacks.” The Occupy Wall Street website, however, offers an “Occupy the Boardroom” section where followers can join virtual meetings and message boards to brainstorm solutions.
According to the latest Occupy Wall Street press release, “Occupy Wall Street is a people powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally.
#OWS is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations.The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Spain, Greece, Italy and the UK, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people who are writing the rules of the global economy are imposing an agenda of neoliberalism and economic inequality that is foreclosing our future.”
Despite setbacks such as arrests in many cites and evictions from parks and orders to move from other public spaces, the Occupy demonstrations are still going strong.