As a child of the 60's and student of the 70's I've seen my share of protest movements.Â I remember marches during the Civil Rights movement as if they were yesterday.Â Forms of protest and civil disobedience included boycotts such as the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955â€“1956) in Alabama; "sit-ins" such as the influential Greensboro sit-ins (1960) in North Carolina; marches, such as the Selma to Montgomery marches (1965) in Alabama; and a wide range of other nonviolent activities.
I remember the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in China.Â The movement lasted seven weeks.Â Premier Li Peng, a hardline conservative, declared martial law and tanks and troops of the People's Liberation Army moved into the streets of Beijing, using live fire while proceeding to Tiananmen Square to clear the area of protestors.Â And just this year we've seen the rise of the Arab Spring with the protests throughout the Middle East and Norther Africa.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Entering year 2011 nothing could have prepared me for what was going to happen not only in the United States but across the globe.Â Disdain against those responsible for the plight billions of people was brewing and the smell wasn't palatable.Â The financial institutions had collapsed under their own weight, corruption and greed.Â Millions of people became unemployed for the first time in their adult lives.Â Home foreclosures were at record levels.Â Millions now depended on food banks and thrift stores for basic necessities.Â Â Â
President Obama did everything in his power to prevent a worldwide depression, bailing out financial institutions, saving the American auto industry and extending benefits for the newly unemployed.Â But it wasn't enough as the opposition party did everything in their power to undermine and weaken the President and the American standard of living.Â Who'll ever forget the opposition holding unemployed Americans hostage over extending unemployment benefits until America's top percent got another tax cut?Â Americans were told that extending Bush era tax breaks for the richest of people and wealthiest of corporations would eventually stimulate the economy.Â It didn't work.Â Trickle down economics never worked.Â Where were the jobs?Â Â
Now to the Occupy Wall Street protests, demonstrations in New York City based in Zuccotti Park, formerly "Liberty Plaza Park".Â The participants of the event, who have called themselves the "99 percenters", are protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government.
Today the "Occupy Wall Street" movement went global, crossing the Atlantic to many European cities, where protesters turned out by the thousands for largely peaceful demonstrations.Â In Spain more than 10,000 demonstrators gathered in Madrid's Plaza de Cibeles.Â In Britain an appearance by Julian Assange highlighted Saturday's "Occupy London" protest, when the WikiLeaks co-founder led the crowd in protest chants from the steps in front of St. Paul's Cathedral on the edge of London's financial district. Thousands marched through the streets protesting austerity cuts and criticizing bankers.
In Belgium about 7,000 people marched through the European Union capital of Brussels.Â In Germany thousands took to the streets in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt as well as in other major cities, including the country's capital Berlin, where protesters marched to the Office of the Chancellor.Â In Sweden a small crowd gathered in Stockholm to join the "Occupy" protests.Â Rallies were held in more than 900 cities in Europe, Africa and Asia.
There is fundamental change occurring throughout the world.Â It's almost like the populace woke up and said "I'M MAD A HELL AND I'M NOT TAKING IT ANYMORE." As people throughout the world see their wages decline, their standard of living decrease and the rich getting richer, they've decided to say, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."
What is your opinion?Â Is the Occupy Movement a passing fad?Â Will there be change?Â Will the movement turn violent?Â Do you support this movement?
Â©2011 by Lloyd Cope for Gather.com. All rights reserved.
Barack Obama's Presidential Appointments, Bills and Policies has 181 members.Â 41 posts and 3 photos were shared this past week.Â There have been 648 new comments in the past week.
Republican Hypocrisy and Foot and Mouth Disease. Let's Hold Them Accountable has 54 members.Â 14 posts and 1 photos were shared in the past week.
There have been 286 new comments in the past week.