The protesters don’t like that the U.S. government helped save banks and companies on Wall Street in 2008. They say that banks got big profits but average Americans suffer from high unemployment and job insecurity with little help from the federal government. They say the richest 1% of people tell the government what to do. The other 99% have no say.
Georgetown University history Professor Michael Kazin, says the protests are like those in the Great Depression. "This is like some of the protests in the 1930s, which started ... with protests about joblessness …" He said, that students, intellectuals and union workers share the same basic goal - a good job.
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Here is what some of our politicians say about the protest:
1. “I for one am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country.” Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader
2. “I think it expresses the frustration the American people feel.” President Obama
3. “They blame, with some justification, the problems in the financial sector for getting us into this mess, and they’re dissatisfied with the policy response here in Washington. And at some level, I can’t blame them.” Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank
4. “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!” Herman Cain, Republican presidential candidate
5. “God bless them for their spontaneity. It’s young, it’s spontaneous, it’s focused and it’s going to be effective.” Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader
6. “I think it’s dangerous, this class warfare.” Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate
7. “What they’re trying to do is take away the jobs of people working in the city, take away the tax base that we have.” Mayor Bloomberg
8. “I’m very, very understanding of where they’re coming from.” Senator John Kerry
Add a comment or a question about this protest. If you are not sure what to write, you can answer ONE of the following questions:
1. Do you think the protestors will make a difference? Explain.
2. Do you agree or disagree with the protestors? Explain.
3. Do you agree or disagree with any of our politicians who made comments? Explain.
4. Would you want to join the protestors? Why or why not?
5. How is today's economy similar or different from the economy during the Great Depression?
6. What questions do you have about the protest?