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Just a brick in the Wall … Street

Obviously, many of you will be aware of the #OccupyWallStreet protest by now.

If you’re not, it may be that you were at #SIBOS when it all started, so here’s the low down.

My friend who lives on Wall Street told me that a bunch of around 200 protestors set up camp in the park by Wall Street just over two weeks ago, and they started taking it in shifts to block access into and out of Wall Street holding up placards and shouting with drums.


It’s very annoying he says.  In fact, it’s very, very annoying.


And that may be how it started, but it’s gradually getting more and more serious.

For example, the police didn’t know how to handle a ‘peaceful protest’, so they started to deal with it by manhandling people with force …

Unfortunately, in this age of never ending streaming smartphones and tweets, you can’t get away with anything.  The result is that the mood is now also anti-police, with chanters shouting: “racist, sexist, anti-gay! NYPD go away!”

This is due to the mass arrests that have been taking place since the protests became so belligerent and irritating to everyone in downtown New York, with 700 arrested on Saturday alone.

Mind you, it's not irritating everyone as celebrities from Susan Sarandon (particularly vocal) to Mark Ruffalo (who?) are  getting involved.

To keep up with what's happening, I suggest you follow #OccupyWallStreet on twitter, as it is a great source of news and views about what’s going on.

It's also interesting to see that the US protesters are using Vibe to avoid the UK tactics where, , after the UK rioting, the police forced Blackberry's hand to share instant messaging details about the riotous organisers.

Vibe allows users to send any-to-many messages, similar to twitter, but the message are always anonymous and can be set to self-destruct after a set period of time.

Another difference is to note that, due to the viral nature of such social networking, the protest is now spreading.

It’s no longer Occupy Wall Street, but also Occupy Any Business District from LA to Seattle to Chicago to Boston.

What do they want?

No-one knows, except to protest.

Protest about what?

The economy, banking, unemployment, welfare, prices, life … the government.

The message is mixed because there is a core group who offer a manifesto with a list of demands and a declaration that is being refined …  but they have been joined by so many other protest groups that there appears to be no big message, except that people are angry about the world and want change (something I thought Barack Obama had promised).

This has been critiqued by many but, as one tweeter puts it, it “is more than just a protest. It's the start of a new government. A government free from greed and corruption.”

And how do the banking fraternity feel about this annoying development?

Watch this (one minute in) …

I'm sure the musical version will be here soon, with a slightly different theme tune:

We don't need no occupation 
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm from the government
Police leave them kids alone
Hey! Police! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just a brick in the Wall … Street.
All in all you're just a brick in the Wall … Street.


About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here…

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