Daily Video

October 7, 2011

A Day With ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protesters

Protests against corporate greed and a lack of jobs, dubbed “Occupy Wall Street,” are taking off in cities across the country. Protesters are calling themselves “the other 99 percent” – a reference to the richest 1% of Americans who hold an increasing amount of the country’s wealth.

NewsHour Economics Correspondent Paul Solman went to the protest’s rally site in lower Manhattan to talk to protesters about why they were there and what they were seeking. Although their issues varied from corporate greed to airport security to Medicare, protesters said they didn’t need a central point to their campaign – they simply want to “provoke discussions about financial injustice,” as one marcher put it.

Although it’s unclear how long the protests will continue, many believe they could go on as long as the unemployment rate is high and as long as people feel they lack the opportunity to find their “American Dream.”

Quotes

“Six thousand and 7,000 (protesters) is very common in the afternoons. And the big number is on that white board behind you. That 147 different occupation protests across the United States, that was 136 last night. And the night before, it was 117, and before that, the night before, it was 71. It’s accelerating.” – Robert Segal, protester

“This is only going to spread. And it’s all kinds of people. It’s the 99 percent who have had a boot on their neck by the 1 percent that occupy these buildings that are surrounding this plaza.” – Michael Moore, documentary filmmaker

Warm Up Questions

1. What is Wall Street? What does it represent to you?

2. Why do people protest?

3. What is your definition of the “American Dream?”

Discussion Questions

1. Would you join this protest movement if you could? Why or why not?

2. Do you think protesters should have a clearer message? Why or why not?

3. How do you think wealth is distributed in American society? (you can compare it to other countries here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/businessdesk/2011/09/world-inequality-trot-the-glob.html)

4.) What are the effects of the way wealth is spread?

Additional Resources

Video Transcript

Occupy Wall Street Protests Spread

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