In a move echoing that on New York City’s Wall Street, a small yet international group of people stood their ground outside the Bank of America Building in San Francisco today. It was the sixth day of their financial district ‘occupation,’ a movement that is happening in concert with groups in New York, Madrid, London, Sydney, Tokyo, and other international finance centers.
The demands of the San Francisco group are simple: end corporate control of government.
It is the belief of this group that corporations in the United States are circumventing the democratic process by literally buying their way to political candidates, laws, congress members votes, and even entire elections. Of the protest so far, we have seen that:
1.) Politicians, the corporations, and many members of the general public already know all or part of the above statement to be true.
2.) Corporations, in support of their interests, remain active on the issue.
3.) The public remains largely inactive.
Judging from the reception on the streets of San Francisco where police, bankers, lawyers, and the like were all showing support, it’s plausible that the efforts of these Occupy Financial District groups could reach a critical mass.
And therein lies both the problem and the solution.
Coverage from the mainstream media in the U.S. is – perhaps not curiously – absent, even after a group of 9,000 reportedly attempted to storm Wall Street last weekend, and even while thousands continue to camp out in or near financial districts throughout the world.
Unfortunately, these groups of protestors are finding that a movement which seeks to diminish control of large corporations can’t so easily rely on the social networking tools of large corporations to further their message.
Corporate giants such as Yahoo! came under fire this week after blocking emails that mention “Occupy Wall Street”.
Yahoo! apologized for the erroneous filtering, but the damage had already been done, as the company effectively blocked 100% of Yahoo-based email communication during the movement’s most critical first days.
It’s obvious and even understandable, that large corporations would rather not see this movement gain strength, much less see it happen by way of their own devices.
For now, the coming months will see this rag tag assembly of citizens and others like it occupy the world’s financial districts, hoping to slowly build larger and larger groups of concerned citizens.
But is the general public ready to bring this nonviolent-yet-radical war to the doorsteps of banks and corporations?
The coming months should give us that answer.
As long as our Tweets aren’t blocked.
Starts Friday, 9/23/11, 7pm
Union Square, San Francisco
The group is hosting a Family Friendly sit-in and protest. This protest is ongoing through December and members will be continually occupying / camping in Union Square until then.
Occupy SF Homepage http://occupysf.com/
Occupy Wall Street (New York City) https://occupywallst.org/
AdBusters (organizer) http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/occupywallstreet