Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Occupy Movement - Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street took the template of the Spanish Indignados, gave it a new name, gained widespread media attention and influenced and inspired thousands of similar protests throughout the world. Indeed, Occupiers and the media alike are still often under the impression that Occupy Wall Street was the original.

In July 2011,  Kalle Lasn, co-founder of  the Adbusters Media Foundation, based in Vancouver, Canada called for a march through the streets of Lower Manhattan, culminating in an occupation outside the New York Stock Exchange - a similar move to protests in Tunisia and Egypt. In his own words "When we started this, it was just a hash-tag. We knew something big was going to happen in the US. But when it spread across the world, it was a big surprise".

The internet hacktivist group Anonymous took this idea and ran with with it, calling for its members to join in with this movement, releasing a video and statement on their website "On the 17th of September, we want to see 20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up beds, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months". The actual figure was approximately 5000, with about 300 people staying over in Zuccotti Park on the first night, but this was only the start.

Zucotti Park was a wise move. As it is privately-owned land, the Occupiers could not be moved. The landowners eventually attempted to get them to move so that they could clean the park, but thousands of union members descending on the park and the litter-picking was undertaken by the Occupiers themselves. Occupy Wall Street wasn't going anywhere.

Next: The Occupy Movement - Occupy the World
Also: Occupy Wall Street - 6 Month Anniversary

Further reading:


  1. Excellent article: clear, concise and well-researched. Thank you for sharing, Marcus