Monday, October 10, 2011

Occupy Wall Street protesters don't have answers but, for the moment at least, that's not the point

It’s day 20 for some of those who have made Manhattan’s Zuccotti Square home. The smallish site near the southern tip of the island has become the centre of Occupy Wall Street, a protest group that has issues with America’s banks.

This week they got a sympathetic ear of sorts from the man responsible for regulating the country’s financial system. Asked by a Congressman about the protests, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday that, given the economy’s slow emergence from recession, some public anger at the financial institutions that helped cause the crisis is justifiable.

It may be just minutes from Wall Street but a visit to Zuccotti Square quickly reveals that the grievances and concerns clustered there stretch well beyond how much Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein takes home each year. There was, though, the almost compulsory banner accusing him of greed.

Drawn broadly from the left of the political spectrum, there were those decrying the development of oil sands in Canada, alleging exploitation by mining companies in South Africa and lambasting Washington for spending billions of dollars on the Iraq War. more