On September 17, 2011 thousands of women and men gathered in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City’s Wall Street financial district. It was a day when Occupy Wall Street (#OccupyWallStreet) movement was publicly born, garadually receiving global attention and spawning the grassroots protests against social and economic inequality all over the US. But how did this historic event actually start?
The original protest was initiated by Kalle Lasn and Micah White, editors of Adbusters, a Canadian anti-consumerist and pro-environment magazine. The idea was to have a peaceful occupation of Wall Street to protest against corporate influence on democracy, a growing disparity in wealth as a result of neoliberalism, and the absence of legal repercussions behind the recent global financial crisis. They sought to combine the symbolic location of the 2011 protests in Tahrir Square with the consensus decision-making of the 2011 Spanish protests (Movimiento 15-M). Adbusters‘ senior editor Micah White said they floated the idea via their email list and it was spontaneously taken up and it quickly spread online with help from the hacker group Anonymous. The rest is the history.
See, and feel, here the full text of this (short) inspiring message – the original email that launched Occupy Wall Street movement.
“Are you ready for a Tahrir moment?”- Occupy protesters have been defying the world. Yes, Zuccotti Park encampment was dismantled and demonstrators were dispersed. But I am certain that Occupy Wall Street was not just a moment in history; rather it is the movement of history, it is the history in the making.