The Occupy Wall Street protests that have taken over New York and other major U.S. cities are spreading further across the country and the world. Demonstrators from Germany to Tokyo are calling for less corporate greed and more opportunities for "the 99 percent" of people who are experiencing tough economic times.
In many places, including Chicago and Denver, police arrested protesters who refused to leave public spaces like parks when it was time for them to close. Activists claim there were protests in more than 1,000 cities around the world, and many world leaders directly or indirectly addressed what was taking place on their city streets.
" When you hear what's going on out in the country, when you take the time to listen, you understand that a lot of folks are hurting out there," President Obama told a crowd at a rally for his jobs bill in North Carolina.
"The poor can't do anything but go and talk about their views. They don't have any money. The banks are taking the money from them. Somebody is taking it from them." - Hector Santana, protester
"Things can get to a situation that we are now seeing in certain countries with developed economies, when hundreds of thousands of people are taking to the streets, not a marginal group, but hundreds of thousands and are demanding things that the governments of these countries cannot actually carry out." - Vladimir Putin, Russian prime minister
1. What is a protest?
2. Name some famous protests in history. What did they achieve?
3. What is the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement about?
1. Why do you think the Occupy Wall Street protests have become a global phenomenon? Can you think of other protests that have spread across the globe that quickly?
2. Do you think the protests will achieve anything concrete in terms of policy or changes to the distribution of wealth? Why or why not?
3. What does the term 'populist' mean? Why do you think some people are calling these protests a populist movement?