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‘Re-occupy Wall Street’ protest rekindled in New York

‘Re-occupy Wall Street’ protest rekindled in New York

Posted February. 02, 2021 07:32,   

Updated February. 02, 2021 07:32


Scores of protesters gathered at Zuccotti Park in the southern part of Manhattan, New York, despite the freezing cold on Sunday afternoon. Zuccotti Park was the epicenter of the “Occupy Wall Street Protest” in 2011. Back then, protesters camped out for months up in arms against the greed of financial companies in Wall Street and income disparity.

On Sunday, Zuccotti Park was once again “occupied” by protesters amid the explosive anger of individual investors sparked by the shady practices and institutions in Wall Street. Recently, there was a case where individual investors purchased in bulk a company stock that has been targeted by short-sellers.

One of the protesters, a white woman named Beth, said she took part in the same protests back in 2011. “Wall Street robbed us of our money, and I’ve lost my job for the pandemic. Now it’s time to fight again,” she claimed. An African-American female protester, who kept a distance from the crowd, was holding a picket reading “It’s almost as cold as banker’s heart,” saying the competition between individual investors and Wall Street was not fair.

This was a “Re-occupy Wall Street” demonstration organized by the members of a civic club named the New York Young Republicans. The original Occupy Wall Street demonstrations were primarily led by leftists. But in the Sunday protest, participants stressed that the demonstration was not to cater to any particular political affiliation. In fact, many of the protesters said they didn’t support the Republican Party.

The individual investors who are buying up the stocks of “GameStop” against the institutional short-selling in Wall Street are garnering support from Washington across all political spectrum.

Even in Reddit, an online agora for individual investors in America, it is hard to find anyone clearly expressing their political view. Stories about lives ruined by the 2008 financial crisis or anger towards the “too big to fail” institution in Wall Street typically fill up the bulletin board. “This week’s events should alert lawmakers to the need to tighten financial regulations and increase transparency and equity,” said Ro Khanna, a Democrat Representative from California, adding this has been “bubbling up since the Wall Street crash of 2008, and it is coming to a boiling point.”

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com