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Occupy Wall Street

OccupyWallStreetWhether you’re in the 99 percent, the 1 percent or attempting to ignore the issue altogether, the Occupy Wall Street movement is a pretty enormous. And now it is an international movement. It is still making the news daily as protesters block traffic, raise voices and make themselves heard.

Just look at how the protests got started, how they’ve evolved, what their mission is. Then see how the public and government perceive them.

July 13, 2011
Adbusters publishes a blog post asking for people to rally on Wall Street.

The point they make is that there is no official leadership at the protests, and what the group hopes to achieve can only be decided when the entire group agrees. This is because the movement was spearheaded collectively and was meant to be continued collectively. Here is a brief timeline of events:

July 26
A website, Facebook page and Twitter profile were created for the movement.

Adbusters asks for global involvement after less than two weeks of domestic protests.

August 23
The so-called “hacktivists” at Anonymous debut a video to show their support for Occupy Wall Street.

They also promote OWS on Twitter.

Sept. 17
Protesters rally and march on this day. Occupy Wall Street sets up a temporary city in Zuccotti Park, New York City.

Their tent city has its own newspaper, food and Wi-Fi.

Police and protesters begin to clash as the living conditions in the tent city violate numerous city codes.

Sept. 24
More than 80 people are arrested during an NYC march to Union Square.

Accusations fly against the New Your City Police Department (NYPD) when claims of excessive force are brought for their use of pepper spray.

Oct. 1
More than 700 people are arrested while marching across the Brooklyn Bridge.

NYPD says the large group of protesters were blocking traffic.

Oct. 5
Nearly three months after the movement’s inception, major unions across the United States begin to support the protests.

Occupy Wall Street’s approval rating climbed 19 points higher than the approval rating of Congress on that day;33% approval compared to Congress’ 14 percent.

Oct. 6
As more people approved, the movement began to spread much faster across the United States.

In Washington, D.C., protestors vowed that they will occupy the city for weeks.

Oct. 11
A counter movement develops.

“The 53 percent,” a play on the 99 percent that Occupy protestors identifies with, claims to be the percentage of the working class that pays to support the protestors.

“The 53 percent” feel the protestors are complaining publicly to avoid working, thereby missing out on attaining a higher financial class or being able to support themselves.

Oct. 12
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg tells the protestors that they must vacate their tent city so that Zuccotti Park can be cleaned.

The protestors began cleaning the park themselves.

Oct. 14
Zuccotti Park’s property management company, Brookfield Properties, decided that the protestors do not need to vacate the park for cleaning.

Oct. 15
Occupy Wall Street spread to 951 cities in 82 countries and held protests there.

Oct. 17
Adbusters side with Robin Hood, asking for a Global Robin Hood March at G-20 conference held Oct. 29.

The march would promote a Robin Hood tax on the 1 percent, to be redistributed to the poor.

Oct. 19
The NYPD announces plans to discipline an officer who pepper-sprayed women during the Sept. 24 march.

Oct. 25
500 protesters in Oakland refuse orders to move.

The police respond with tear gas to clear them out.

Oct. 26
The number of shooting victims in NYC during the first week of October was 154 percent higher than the same time in 2010.NYPD blames Occupy Wall Street for this rise in gun crime.

The number was up 28 percent for the entire month.

Digital Takeover
Occupy Wall Street was in 82 countries, 951 cities worldwide.

Its Facebook page had more than 100,000 fans.

There are more than 14,000 followers on Twitter.

Meet-Up has formed 2,340 groups worldwide for local protests.

On Oct. 27, 2011, #occupywallstreet was tweeted 918.4 times per hour.

Beliefs
80 percent of surveyed protestors believe the very rich should pay higher taxes.

88 percent believe the government should limit the salaries of CEOs.

98 percent think health care should be free, and the same amount believes insurance companies have too much profit.

95 percent believe the government should regulate and limit prescription drug prices.

32.5 percent think the government would manage health care poorly.

93 percent feel student loans should be forgiven, and that Internet and cell phones should be free.

How Much of the National Wealth is Consumed by the 1 percent?
In the United States, the top 1 percent earns 20 percent of national wealth.

In the United Kingdom, they earn 16 percent.

In Canada, 14 percent of national wealth is earned by the top earners.

In Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Australia and Japan, the top 1 percent earns about 10 percent of the national wealth.

Poverty
5 percent of United States citizens live below poverty.

That number is 9 percent in Canada.

10 percent of Australians are below the poverty line.

14 percent of United Kingdom residents live in poverty.

In Belgium, this number is 15 percent.

In Germany and Japan it is 16 percent.

Portugal has 18 percent of its citizens living below poverty.

As a side note, some protesters in “the 99 percent” make about half a million dollars annually.

Slogans
“We Are the 99 percent” is the slogan that Occupy Wall Street is known for. Some other popular slogans seen on signs globally include:

“We Are Too Big to Fail,” “Will Work for Money,” “Human Need Not Corporate Greed,” “OUT$OURCED,” and “People Over Profits.”

Final Note
Keep an eye on Occupy Wall Street – it seems to be far from over.

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