The Occupy Wall Street website reports that the We are the 99% movement has spread to 1,500 cities around the world. Today is Day 41 since the protest began with a relatively small crowd in Lower Manhattan’s Zucotti Park.
The biggest headline this week came from Oakland, California, where on Tuesday Scott Olsen was admitted to hospital under critical condition. The Iraq War Veteran took a blow to the head resulting in a fractured skull and brain swelling when riot law enforcement officers and protestors collided. The Oakland internal police review board is conducting an investigation to establish if police officers used excessive force.
Last night, simultaneous marches took place in New York and Oakland. Five hundred marchers in Manhattan wanted to show solidarity with Oakland where allegedly 100 protesters were arrested, tear gas was used and Olsen was injured the night before.
By Wednesday, Atlanta’s protest site was also cleared. In the wee hours of the morning, 50 protesters were arrested from Woodruff Park by riot police in the Georgia capital.
Across the Atlantic in London, protesters have been camping out outside St. Paul’s Cathedral since October 15. Canon Chancellor Giles Fraser had welcomed protestors and asked police to stay away. Fraser resigned from his position as senior priest at the Cathedral, possibly because the church’s governing body is attempting to evict protestors through legal means.
All over the United States, public officials are worried about the health effects of the Occupy Protests. In Denver, some demonstrators developed hyperthermia due to being outside during a snowstorm. Waste related issues, such as human waste found out in the open, garbage and lack of proper food storage also cause concern.
Recently a new movement has sprung up in the United States dubbed We are the 53%. Those expressing this view via social media are stating they are the 53% of Americans that pay federal income taxes. They are calling Occupy protestors the 47% who are asking for government services that will be funded by the 53%’s tax dollars.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported yesterday that the U.S. military’s National Security Agency (NSA) has started sharing intelligence with Wall Street Banks and other financial institutions. Specifically the assistance is serving to help banks identify and fend off cyber security threats. Some envisioned worse-case-scenarios are hackers “[disabling] trading systems for stocks, bonds and currencies, [triggering] flash crashes, [initiating] large transfers of funds or [turning] off all ATM machines,” reports Reuter’s Andrea Shalal-Esa and Jim Finkle. In light of the global Occupy phenomenon, this support from the NSA comes at no surprise.