News / USA

Anti-Wall Street Protest Spreads To Washington

The anti-capitalist protests that began near Wall Street in New York are spreading to other cities.  Unlike the Tea Party movement, which blames big government for America's economic problems, the so-called Occupy movement holds big business responsible.  Our reporter went to its first rally in Washington, DC.

The drumbeat of the so called "Occupy" movement is getting louder, as it spreads from Wall Street to Washington, and spans generations.

"We have spent $3-trillion to send our kids to war," a group of older women sang from the stage. "Well no not all the kids, just the brown, the black, the poor."

Susan Arnett came from California to be at the protest.

"It is about the war," she said. "It is about the corruption.  It is about the greed."

As in New York, anti-capitalism was a key theme of Occupy DC.  The rally was symbolically held amidst the edifices of the U.S. government on Washington's Freedom Plaza.

There are a lot of different kinds of people here.  There are war veterans, students, artists, even government employees, who feel that there is a lot wrong with America in areas like education, infrastructure, the spending on the war.  And they are blaming a lot of it on the corporations in this country."

Jim Goodnow says America has changed since he was drafted for the Vietnam War.

"When I grew up we thought this was a country of 'We the people.  Of the people, by the people, for the people.'  Today, it is not. It is a corporation.  It is a country of the corporations," said Goodnow.

Many young protesters say they were inspired by the Arab Spring and the "indignados" of Spain.
Lourdes Parallobre of Miami says she is about to graduate from university owing $20,000 in student loans.

"I have an endless amount of friends who have masters degrees, bachelors degrees, and are working in restaurants," said Parallobre. "And I am terrified that is going to happen to me."

The protesters marched to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and decried the power of the business interests it represents.

"They are sitting on $2-trilliion in profits right now, corporations are," said a protester. "Their taxes are at their lowest level in 50 years.  Our unemployment rate is at nine percent."

The marchers, many of whom voted for Barack Obama, also stopped at the White House.  Inside, the president acknowledged the movement for the first time.

"I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel," said President Obama. "

The Occupy protesters also got the support of organized labor on Wednesday.  They are now setting up camp in Washington and hoping their movement gains momentum.  


Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid