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Occupy Movement Too Big to Ignore

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As the "Occupy Wall Street" movement turned one-month old, the celebration seemed to be spreading across the globe. Many of the largest demonstrations were in Europe, and protestors gathered in Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia, according to Associated Press reports.

The whole movement began last month as an occupation of Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, very near the World Trade Center, and now appears to be gathering momentum in numbers, as well as in supporters.

The Huffington Post reported that nearly $300,000.00 has been donated through the movement's website, as well as by visitors to the park itself. The movement has an account with Amalgamated Bank, which prides itself with being "the only 100 percent union-owned bank in the United States."

Donated goods have also been coming in, in the form of canned food, medical supplies, blankets and sleeping bags, as well as other necessities. Many of the donations are reportedly coming from those individuals who have lost their jobs and their homes to foreclosure, according to the Associated Press.

The underlying anger that is growing across the country is directed at the out of control corporate greed that is ultimately destroying the American middle class. The banks and financial institutions took government bailouts, and then proceeded to foreclose on millions of homeowners across the nation. To add insult to injury the Supreme Court in its infinite wisdom, gave corporations the same rights afforded to individual Americans in their "Citizens United" decision.

Demonstrators are particularly angered by the greed of banking institutions. Increasing bank fees and home foreclosures have customers outraged, as reports that these institutions are making billions of dollars in profits, while the average American, whose tax dollars bailed them out, just a short time ago, are struggling to make ends meet.

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The average protestor runs the gamut from young to old: young college students, retired teachers, union workers, mothers pushing babies in strollers, and the elderly in wheelchairs. Demonstrations are taking place in large cities and small towns. Some gatherings are only a few dozen people, while others include thousands of individuals.

But what is obviously clear to most observers is that this movement has much more enthusiasm behind it than the once reported on Tea Party movement ever had. The Tea Party, which was backed by big corporate money, and had to bus in its protestors in air conditioned coaches, was much less successful, as well as less inclusive than the Occupy Wall Street movement, which continues to grow and spread, even far beyond the borders of the United States.

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I am a retired college English instructor, and retired weekly Op-Ed columnist for my local paper. I now spend my time as a political activist, occasionally writing for online progressive publications and working for candidates and causes that I (more...)
 

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