1. News & Issues
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Guide to the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Also Known as the 99 Percent Movement


Guide to the Occupy Wall Street Movement
Scott Olson/Getty Images
The Occupy Wall Street Movement, also known as the 99 Percent Movement has rapidly swelled from a grassroots band of several hundred protesters marching in New York City on September 17, 2011 to, by October 1, 2011, energized protest demonstrations in ten major U.S. cities, as well as a powerful internet presence.

As of October 6, 2011, the fledgling movement had been directly endorsed by more than 50 organizations and labor unions, and supported by Democratic political leaders, celebrity-activists, and local officials across the nation. Protester ranks were joined by four labor unions. Said Fed Chairman Paul Bernanke on October 4th about the Occupy Wall Street Movement, "I Don't Blame Them For Protesting."

See Some claim that the movement sprang to life in response to MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan's late September 2011 call for Americans to sign a petition that It's Time to GET MONEY OUT of politics.

Brief Background

The original Occupy Wall Street Movement started as a series of nonviolent demonstrations by under-30-years-old denizens of New York dissatisfied with rampant U.S. corporate greed in the face of economic struggles for most Americans in 2011, and angry about the influential role of corporate money on the U.S. political process and government.

Disallowed by law to erect tents on Manhattan public property, thousands of protesters soon began occupying Zuccotti Park, sleeping at night in cardboard boxes. Zuccotti Park is located amidst Manhattan's financial district.

On September 24, a number of protesters marching from Zuccotti Park to Union Square were doused with pepper spray by New York police officers.

On Saturday, October 1, the New York Police arrested 700 protesterss they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, allegedly for blocking the street. "By October 2, all but 20 of the arrestees had been released with citations for disorderly conduct and a criminal court summons," per Wikipedia.

Per the New York Times, "The police said it was the marchers’ choice that led to the enforcement action, but protesters said they believed the police had tricked them, allowing them onto the bridge, and even escorting them partway across, only to trap them in orange netting after hundreds had entered."

Description of the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Per the OccupyWallStreet.org website, "Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants."

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

On September 30, 2011, the General Assembly of the Occupy Wall Street Movement published its formal declaration. The main, context-setting paragraph is below. The impassioned full-text text of the Declaration can be found at Declaration and Manifesto of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

"As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality:
  • that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members;
  • that our system must protect our rights, and
  • upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors;
  • that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth.
"We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known."
Endorsements and Support

As of October 5, 2011, four labor unions... American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, Communications Workers of America, the Amalgamated Transit Union, National Nurses United... representing more than 3.5 million American workers, are set to join protesters in marches in New York and across the nation.

See Endorsements, Support for Occupy Wall Street Movement for statements of support and encouragement by some of the more than 50 organizations and labor unions, and dozens of Democratic political leaders, celebrity-activists and local officials.

Related - Also read Occupy Wall Street Movement Could Influence 2012 Elections

  1. About.com
  2. News & Issues
  3. Liberal Politics
  4. Activist 101
  5. Occupy Wall Street Movement, 99 Percent Movement - Guide to Occupy Wall Street Movement - Guide to 99 Percent Movement

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.