Occupy Wall Street: The History and the Survival

2012, Society  -   52 Comments
Ratings: 7.50/10 from 18 users.

Occupy Wall Street: History and SurvivalFault Lines tells the definitive history of Occupy Wall Street from its early days through the movement’s rapid spread up to the brutal crackdown by state authorities.

In the fall of 2011, New York's Zuccotti Park grabbed the world's attention as the hub of Occupy Wall Street, a movement that set off a chain of rage against the country’s financial and political elite.

Even in the face of police repression and media ridicule, the movement mobilised thousands of people fed up with the deep economic divide in the US. And within two months hundreds of Occupy Wall Street camps swept across the country changing the political discourse in the US.

Fault Lines also follows key Occupy organisers through the winter as they continue to build a movement even after violent evictions across the country.

When Occupy Wall Street faced violent police crackdowns around the country, most people thought it had come to an end.

But the protesters had no intention of abandoning a movement that had already brought out thousands of Americans to demand attention to the country’s economic inequalities. Hundreds of protests and actions have continued around the country.

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52 Comments / User Reviews

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  1. Lana

    Yea, what a successful movement. It did what? And changed what? And accomplished what? Nothing. Complaining is not an effective strategy.

  2. Lana

    @PavolvsBitch Amen.

  3. bluetortilla

    I don't know who the low life's are giving this a low rating, but I gave it ten stars to try to up the balance. Excellent concise piece on hope, people power, and a vision of a new future of the world not dominated by people who would have us all under the heel.

    1. Bob Wallis

      Ditto brother!

  4. ropativ

    one of the main reasons why the police have every right to perform their duties the way they did...had the police understood the main purpose of the protest, they could have left them alone to exercise their constitutional rights....

    the bits and pieces being said by those who preached said it all for the protest....poorly prepared, poorly organised and message poorly delivered to the mob....

    from the police's perspectives, the crowd was disrupting the peace and creating public disorder....nothing else....

    can't say the police aren't doing their job in maintaining law and order, albeit heavy-handedly...

    1. bluetortilla

      The duty of the police is foremost to protect the people, not assault them. Your arguments that these protests were somehow out of hand, becoming riots if we are to judge by the actions of the police, do not seem to me to hold any water at all. Moreover, why do you call them a 'mob' rather than an assembly? What is 'mobbish' about these protests?

      One of the implications of a democracy is its demand for the people's participation in the making and execution of the law. Otherwise it is not a democracy by definition. I don't what to make of this corrupt scheme of 'representative' democracy the U.S. has, but those politicians sure are not representing me. Demonstrating against injustice is not only a right, but a duty required by law in a true democracy. That's what I want- a government by the people. What do you want?

    2. WTC7

      I wish I could give you more than just one vote up for this post

  5. ropativ

    with clear goals, objectives and practical ideal alternatives for the common good, this movement could have gathered momentum and ultimately shaped the corruption within the system...the manipulation of policies by the few to benefit the few could have been the main focus...this could weed out the manipulated lawmakers whose interests lie elsewhere other than the 99% of workers they represent.....

  6. Thomas Moore

    Class warfare...always an effective strategy. Why has Obama stopped supporting the Occupiers? Is it because the murders and rapes in the Occupier camps are several dozen? Why is Biden shouting about his parent's dream to become a 1%-er? Why is it okay to be a 1%-er if you work in Hollywood.

    Pseudo-intellectual liberal sheep.....

    1. Ronnie Neuhauser

      Occupy has nothing to do with Obama, or Biden. It's not ok to be a one percenter if you gain your wealth unfairly and think that is fine, and then work to get even more and use your wealth to usurp others rights. Your comment about murders and rapes in the encampments shows your lack of understanding. When groups are in a public space for a long period of time drug dealers, homeless, some of them unsavory will make victims of the Occupiers. These events were not Occupy doctrine, they do not represent Occupy in any way. In fact, those crimes happen anyway, if not at the camp, around the corner. And we can't forget the police kettling and bringing unsavory elements into the area of Occupy's. I think you need to get a little more educated before making judgements. You make incredibly vacuous statements.

    2. beepath

      No rapes or murders, not one! Where do you get your information? Oh yeah, sounds like Fuk Noise....

  7. Jo McKay

    Well Done Aljazeera (Fault Lines team) and thanks Vlatko for a well presented update. As Spring grows fertile- around the globe everyday since North Africa (Egypt- perhaps, ALL our birth place) rose up in a mass student and human rights movement that became a peoples movement 1 year ago- consider the peoples landscape in that same world today-millions are rising to a new kind of connection. At OWS it has been coined "the 99%". It doesn't matter who 'co-opts' it; those who "borrow your words, are spreading your WORDS" ... understanding and support will continue to follow ... Sure the debates flourish, however, WHAT exactly we are all becoming more clear about 'is' the process... We are the 99% and while we were sleeping (or distracted) we allowed the 1% to take ownership of many of our most important rights and freedoms and responsibilities ... we are waking up now; we aim to correct that error.
    (Perennial seeds planted in the Spring, and well cared for can feed/sustain a planet) - Viva the peaceful revolution!

  8. Marco Schaapherder

    soon or later there is a huge collapse of bankings , my predictions wil be 2013, its already starting the rate of depth is enormus and growing fast, last 10 years the global money is growed by 267% 140% in jsut the last 2 years!! how can this be right?? housingbubble wil never be restored as in 2000 the entire economic has to be rebuild, and in order to do that we must face a huge collapse that finaly shows the coverments/banks that this aint the way how this world supose to work!! stop this nonsence and start thinking smart
    this is how it works you borrow 50.000 euro with a contract of 10 year + rent of 5% wich means the bank win 5.000 for each contract they made, and with worldwide nearly 2 billion contracts you can see how bad this actualy is, my point is those banks only care of making money, and now that they have the power to make money they are OUT OF CONTROLL and no goverment can actualy touch them curently

    how is this world guna solve this??
    what effects would it have in our future??
    is this the world i want my kids grow in? in corruption and greedy bastards??

    no thank you say no to this piece of silly crappy goverment/banking strategy

    this may be abit over rated but sadly the truth we have to face at some point.

  9. Alexander Nielsen

    @ CapnCanard
    Whoa bud, let's get this clear - this was by Al Jazeera. RT is good at giving a fresh perspective on the f--kedupedness of US politics, but it is Al Jazeera that has provided the firmest reporting on all the social movements going on right now. That said, this doc was unusually poor by Al Jazeera's standards in my opinion. Still an important piece though.

  10. CapnCanard

    The thing that really bugs me is that this little doc had to made by RT as our fat and lazy media: CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX are too busy sucking up to the powers that be and that is shocking. But despite that I've come to expect this incompetence from the Media since 9-11-2001.

  11. docoman

    Throughout our recorded history there's always some greedy selfish people that gain power and control, with the decent majority paying the price. Whether it's a pharaoh, king, emperor, dictator, pope, CEO, president or prime minister it's all the same thing in a different wrapper.
    People pushing for change will, if they push hard enough, eventually get some kind of change. But whatever that change is, it will inevitably turn into just one more version of the same thing our species always does.

    I agree with most of the thoughts of the movement, I just don't see them having any real or lasting effect. They may change this or that in the short term, but all those protestors will still have to go and buy food (the one's not locked up that is). They'll all still use money. Even though they protest, they're still part of the system. Like it or not they'll still help the 1% get richer, they're still in 'the matrix'.

    1. cancelyourcablenow

      nicely said

  12. inquiry

    It really is amazing how big Occupy has become and how little the mainstream media reports on it. However, one of OWS's greatest tools, social media networking, is now being threatened by covert propaganda. The recent Kony 2012 viral video is an example of what is to become of social media propaganda. Anyone wishing to learn more about how we can try to stop social media propaganda, please visit our site Stop Social Media Propaganda (dot org). We feel that social media can be a great tool for social change, but Big Brother is now beginning to infiltrate with swift force and that is one of the greatest threats to our democracy right now.

  13. Julie

    My apologies to the moderators! I absolutely love this site, I will watch my language.

    1. Jeremy

      Vlad doesn't mind the low lvl cursing, I believe, personal attacks and troll behavior is the real no-no. : )

  14. GodmanEnki

    Where is that dude referred to as "Jesus Christ" now, huh?

  15. Joe

    It would be nice to tell my future kids, I was there fighting for my country, my rights, your rights, the rights of the 1% and those cops rights, Shame on them for not joining the movement.

    1. Julie

      Hey Im all about standing up for our rights, do you ever think whos really "behind" the movement? For all I know its the CIA starting **** like they have before..so they can implement laws to restrict our rights even more. Who knows, just my thoughts on that...lol

  16. Julie

    I dont think we are getting anywhere standing in the streets, those days are over. That doesnt mean I dont agree with everyones frustration, I just think its too late...sad to say...now its time to learn how to live independent of the federal government. We must learn how to become responsible for our own lives and learn to sustain ourselves on a local level.

    1. Earthwinger

      I'm inclined to agree with you. Personally, I'm a big advocate of the Transition Towns movement, and if I'm honest, I'd much rather work with people setting up sustainable local food networks and transport alternatives, than square up to baton rounds and pepper spray. :D

      But I take my hat off to them (well I would if I were wearing one), because the main thing is, it shows that people are waking up and getting involved, and that's gotta be a good thing. :)

  17. Earthwinger

    @ Julie, i like you already.....well said! :)

    @ dewflirt, great quote, wonderfully apt.

    I just realised, I didn't comment on the actual doc in my earlier post. I tend to be a bit wary of Al Jazeera these days, as they've become a lot more mainstream, which always sets my spidey sense a-tingling. Having said though, I like this doc for precisely that reason. I doubt many other mainstream channels would present this side of the story so fairly. So yeah.... props to them for producing a valuable and insightful doc.

    Well worth watching!

    1. dewflirt

      Hello Wings :) the whole poem is apt. It's called The Mask of Anarchy, it's about nonviolent resistance and the Peterloo Massacre. Easy enough to find online, very well known.

  18. Pysmythe

    There's this one:

    Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are forging a new road.

    And this one:

    History can be truthfully written only in a free country.

    What pertinence there might be within these two well-known quotes in connection with how the Occupy movement is generally portrayed, and what it's actually trying to achieve, I'll leave to others to elaborate for themselves.

    1. dewflirt

      Rise like lions after slumber
      In invanquishable number,
      Shake your chains to earth like dew
      Which in sleep had fallen on you-
      Ye are many-they are few.

      Percy Bysshe Shelley

    2. Pysmythe

      Unacknowledged legislators of the world, indeed.
      Shelley always did stump along very handsomely, didn't he?

      Jesting, obviously!

      They are perfect and (very, very) beautiful.

    3. dewflirt

      Hey ladybu..... Mr B, nothing like a peaceful protest to get the blood flowing eh?

    4. Pysmythe

      I told someone months ago I'd be very surprised if we didn't see agents provocateurs planted in this movement to discredit it, since it's an old tactic that has probably been used since the time of Sun Tzu. Like a lot of people, I SUSPECT we're seeing some of that now, and why not? There's a lot at stake for the people who profit off the system as it stands. The man who makes 350 to 1 more than his employees has a lot of motivation and resources for painting this movement with a "socialist, hippie, dope-smoking mor*n looking for a handout" brush. The poor, d*mb cattle herding in the streets probably don't stand a chance against his earth-shattering brilliance.

      Except for there only being one of him!

    5. dewflirt

      We had a case over here fairly recently, a copper sent to infiltrate an animal rights group. He spent seven years under cover, lied to both sides and got caught out when the activists went to court. Makes you wonder how many others are out there doing the same thing. If you have enough money there's nothing you can't buy. How long can occupy last? I think they're going to have to do something big or change tack altogether to stay one step ahead. Never seems to be enough of them in the same place at one time or for long enough. They should take back all the repossessed homes, that's as far as I've got with my plan :)

    6. Pysmythe

      Of course, I'm not bit surprised.

      I think it was in October, during Occupy protests in Italy, that a number of witnesses testified to having seen a group of "demonstrators" who were subsequently arrested for violence assembling and changing into their gear RIGHT NEXT to a police van, and that something about that struck these witnesses as suspicious, since there were police officers there at the time, and it was pretty clear what the "demonstrators" intentions were.

      I mean, of course I don't KNOW, but...

    7. dewflirt

      I'm sure I've seen something like that on YouTube, and I'm surprised there aren't more given that pretty much everyone has phones with cameras now. Probably a few newspapers planting people as well, they're not above that sort of thing.

    8. Pysmythe

      I just read those lines of Shelley's again... and again.
      Oh!, it just FLOORS me, how great they are!
      I haven't read him in years and years, and don't even recall if I ever read this one, although I THINK I did.
      I would've probably given anything to have been able to write something like that, but it still makes me proud to read it, you know what I mean?


    9. dewflirt

      I know exactly what you mean, something powerful about poetry. Condensed meaning, concentrated. The smaller you make it the bigger it gets. Did you find and read the whole thing? The more you read it the better it gets, like a Christmas tree to hang your thoughts on :)

    10. Pysmythe

      I'm downstairs babysitting my darling little grandson right now for a couple of hours, but later on tonight, up in the man-cave, I'm gonna pour over the whole thing, yes.

      That line characterizing chains as dew (lol)...
      Wow, he makes seem as if he were simply "shaking the dust from his sleeves."

    11. dewflirt

      Well I won't spoil it for you. Almost jealous of you though, getting to read it for the first time. Had to find it earlier to check i'd remembered it properly (I hadn't) and had to read it a few times, made my heart shake. But jealous of your babysitting too, I love mini people :)

  19. codename76

    Useless protest. Nothing changed. Very few regulations were added. Banks continue to dominate the financial markets.

  20. Loren Hart

    These two videos from Fault Lines about the Occupy Wall Street movement are great! Thanks for adding!

  21. Jack_Burton

    Stinkapoluza has failed

  22. Matt Kukowski

    I do not think Europeans (all whites and Christians that Occupied the Native American lands ).. they do not understand how war like and destructive to nature and humanity and animals they are.

    These people convert woodlands and oil into TRASH and try to bury this trash in holes. but the holes are filling up, cancer is on the rise and population is out of control.

    This system is NOT WORTH fixing... small changes to govt will NOT make a difference. The problems are so bad and so HUGE that we are all beginning to feel it has grown OUT OF CONTROL.

    Nature and man are not separate... even computers CAME from nature, (invented by the natural man) ... the only thing worth saving is the HIGH TECHNOLOGY (solar, and automation) and to just forget the current way as we are MALADJUSTED to it.

    nature will let us know when she has had enough of all this consumerism NON-SENSE... not a few Occupy people trying to make small changes to an already down trodden corrupt and acidic system that is eating away humanity and the planet.

    1. alans

      Seems like you've been smoking too much of the peace pipe, dude.

    2. Julie

      Whats wrong with that? Do you ever think that maybe we wouldnt be in this mess if people would just chill the **** out. At least hes not stealing billions of dollars from millions of people.
      Just maybe my friend you have not been smoking enough...

  23. Jack1952

    We all criticize politicians as if they are a different species of humans. They're not. They are us. In our hearts we like to believe that if we were in their position that we would act with only the best interests of our constituents and behave with the utmost integrity. However, if we honestly reflect on our own lives and remember the times that maybe we acted in a manner that was not exactly honest and how we justified those actions with our own convoluted notions of justice, we can see how easy it is to be corrupted. Obviously, some of us are more dishonest than others but the truth is none of us are perfect. The average person has the luxury of not living under the media microscope and so our questionable behavior goes largely unnoticed unless we break the law in a highly dramatic fashion.

    We can't ignore the politicians. We can't forcibly remove them because we will always need someone to undertake the administration of society. If we replace them with those that we believe are more like us to become the administrators that we feel we deserve, watch how quickly they become politicians. It has happened in every new administration, after every revolution, without fail, in every country in the world throughout history. There is no reason to believe that the OWS people will be any different.

    The only option is that we have is a system that has built into it the understanding that people are corruptible. It needs the mechanism to recognize that corruption and to expose it in a fair and judicious manner. The democratic system, however flawed, is still the only way that has any semblance of fairness. It will never be perfect, but at least we can hope to mitigate the harm corrupt politicians inflict by being aware and being involved and being fair in the way we choose and perceive those that we want to run our country. Any other hope is no different than waiting for a political messiah. That person does not exist and will never exist.

  24. PavolvsBitch

    Frankly, as a vet campaigner of the '80s I have never seen such a simpering, wimpy, directionless no news movement such as Occupy. They don't 'occupy' the places of real power and are not meant to. They don't have a message other than 'this system stinks' and perhaps the growing fringe of 'cashless society' freaks heading up the continual demolition of that option.

    People say there's no 'perfect system' and i agree, it is impossible that a perfect system to one group would be seen as perfect by the majority. But that's what we've got. Platonian Utopian Neo Fascists, imposing thier version of 'perfection' on human beings to the extent of their irradication.

    There is however, a perfect 'system' and all perfection is seen in nature. This System is unatural, the inverted, perverted replicant which takes and takes whilst giving nothing but pollution, misery, pain and destruction.

    Outlaw Usery, Fractional Reserve Banking, Monopolisation. circulate interest free money for infrastructural necessities, environmental clean ups and true grass roots initiatives.

    Employ The Law. Prosecute all those in authority breaking the Law and ask the people how they should be dealt with under Law. Simple.

    Some think 'democracy is a good thing' while it lasts, perhaps it seems so. But they fail to appreciate the Weimer Republic under democracy or what purpose a democracy serves as a bridge between Fascist Repression and Communist Revolution. Dig?

  25. Mercenarry ForHire

    I do agree that our system is Flawed, however a perfect system does not exist as far as i know, the closest thing is a Democracy but i do know that we dont really have that, only a illusion of one.

    Nature changes so the animals evolve and adapt , our politics and the minds of the general population stay the same if not degrade.

    Idea for O.W.S.

    The most efficient way to change the system is from within, if only 1% of the 99% infiltrated politics they could do it, even better if OWS devoted all there efforts into law and joining the congress.

    It would be unstoppable. Then they would deal with the problems politicians deal with.

    Tips for The President

    Just ignore the movement completely and the kids will eventually will loose interest, the minds of young ones are easy to win over and shape, real life will catch up with them.

    Also fake a policeman's death by them.

    And those are some ideas for both sides (I dont know any side to be better any more than i know Red is better than Blue or NO color.)

    1. Earthwinger

      You do realise that the whole point of the Occupy movement is the exact opposite of what you're suggesting, right? Meaningful change in government will not come from within. Occupy has said all along that the only way to bring about real change, is for the people to be the change en masse, and actively ignore what the politicians say. Because trying to play politicians at their own game just doesn't work, seeing as they've long since rigged the game.

      Even the most well meaning politicians are doomed to failure, that's just the way it is. Here's how it works in the UK......If an MP has a rush of blood to the head, and one day blurts out the truth, or tries to do something positive, it's almost guaranteed that within a couple of weeks, they'll be involved in some sort of scandal or very public faux pas, which the mainstream media will dutifully run with ad nauseam. Then, once the dirt has been well and truly ground in, it's then followed by the Prime Minister saying in a speech to the house, that the MP in question has their full support. And that's the kiss of death, which guarantees they'll be gone before the month's out. :D

      I'm guessing that American politics isn't much different. ;)

    2. Sharon Hutchinson

      Yes, it is the same here. Suddenly the skeletons in one's closet are found out and exposed (i.e., a mistress, supposedly fraudulent dealings in the past; "supposedly" being the key word). Those who dare to expose the truth or dare to disrupt the status quo will see their political career go down the drain, and fast.

    3. Mercenarry ForHire

      Sorry ived been moving boxes :) your right.

      The movement is about making a change without mixing into the system, but it would not hurt to have a branch infiltrating in order to put more pressure in it.

      And besides, most of the system is run by old people with old ideas which is why one of the best ideas would be to change the minds of the young and just wait for the old people to die.

      But theres always a infinite amount of ways to achieve the same thing.

      In wars Generals assert pressure by sending infantry and air units. The Bigger the enemy, the more ways to overwhelm it.

      And thank you for the information. :)

  26. tariqxl

    Good stuff sign me up :)