Monday, November 21, 2011

Occupy Los Angeles

No, no, the title here does not refer to our return to LA.  I am talking about the very interesting Occupy Wall Street movement that is going on at the moment all over the United States.  It is a movement that started in mid-September in New York and has rapidly spread all across the country.  These protests are against high unemployment and corporate greed especially within the financial sector.  The movement has no leader and has not outlined a specific agenda as yet but it is continuing to grow as we speak.  Neither bad weather or strict law enforcement has slowed the spread.

Last week, I experienced the spread of this movement to Los Angeles.  A group of Occupy protesters gathered outside the Bank of America building in downtown Los Angeles (just a couple of blocks from my office).  Morning traffic was completely disrupted as the group marched through downtown.  

Occupy Wall Street highlights the frustrations that Americans are feeling in the aftermath of the biggest financial crisis that the country has faced since the Great Depression.  Joblessness is still hovering around 10% and there is no sign of a strong recovery.  Corporations meanwhile are continuing to post profits and the administration has not prosecuted any Wall Street executives as a result of the financial meltdown.  All of this reminds me of the Anna Hazare movement that we experienced in India just a few months ago.

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