WBUR

Wall Street Protesters Camp Outside South Station

"Occupy Boston" protesters waking up in Dewey Square, outside of South Station, on Saturday. (Kathleen McNerney/WBUR)

"Occupy Boston" protesters waking up in Dewey Square, outside of South Station, on Saturday. (Kathleen McNerney/WBUR)

BOSTON — Dozens of protesters camped out in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Friday night as part of a growing number of demonstrations against Wall Street.

The movement, called Occupy Boston, is similar to Occupy Wall Street, where protesters there have been camped out in Manhattan’s financial district for more than two weeks. The call to organize the sit-ins first came from Canadian magazine Adbusters back in July as a way “to end the monied corruption of our democracy.”

In Boston, the movement is still in the beginning stages in many ways. The group has no leaders. Protesters said they were working to create a unified message to which everyone can agree. Everyone is there for different reasons and to champion different causes.

“We’ve been trying to put together all the facts about how wrong things are,” Stanley Rosario said. “We are putting together our minds to find the best ways to move our country forward.”

From Revere, Rosario, a self-described socialist, said he joined the protest because he was outraged by the 2008 bank bailout.

“For me it was just crazy to see the government spend so much money on people who already have money when we have so many human needs that we could fulfill with that money,” he said.

Rosario said at the very least, he wants to raise the nation’s minimum wage.

For 22-year-old Diana Ramos, a political science major at Bridgewater State University, the nation’s political discourse needs to change.

“We all have common ground in the message that we are the 99 percent,” Ramos said, wearing a slightly wrinkled suit and black pumps. “The way the country is run, the way our politics operates over-represents the wealth in the country, the top 1 percent.

“I’m just really disillusioned with the way that political discourse has been happening especially at an increasingly polarized rate,” she said. “We have different ideas about the way to run America and we just need to calm down and sit at the table and have real discussion.”

But for 19-year-old Eddie Martinez of Brighton, a lanky man with a curly mop of brown hair, the cause is less tangible. He said he wanted some kind of economic reform, but was not sure exactly what that would look like.

“I honestly don’t know what could come out of this. It could be just a total flash in the pan, it could be a complete revolution like in Egypt,” he said. “It’s probably going to be somewhere in between those two, but I honestly can’t tell what’s going to happen.”

A similar sit-in was scheduled for Los Angeles on Saturday, while protests continue in New York City and Chicago.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on wbur.org.
  • Junkmail

    Nothing pisses me off more than hippies without a cause.

    • Maryloulord

      You should understand it’s not hippies. It’s ALL of us. Take a look at  this and you might change your mind.   http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/         I’m not too fond of hippies either, nor am I of activists, anarchists, or thumpers of any kind. But this is getting really bad. It’s time to open our eyes!

    • ghunt

      (…mumbles something about communism, Obama . . . trails off grumbling something about the liberal media)

  • Mclean R

    Kathleen McNerney please read more about the history of this Global Revolution. AdBusters has about as much to do with the Occupy movements as democracy had with invading Iraq. While Adbusters may have played a role the movement was set in motion long before with other calls to action such as Operation Empire State Rebellion, and many others. Diminishing this movement to single entity such as Adbusters is not only misleading and ignorant it also confuses the readership about purpose and spirit of the revolution. Join us, OccupyBoston, OccupyWallSt, OccupyPortland, Occupy together!

    • ghunt

      Like it or not, Adbusters did put out the call to Occupy Wall Street, which sparked OccupyBoston.  The article isn’t saying they are responsible for everything, it just accurately says they put the call out for action.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_F5L6JDJ2XAQ4U7NATPHCYF6FKA G

    Nothing pisses me off more than idiots who complain about people exercising their right to peaceful assembly.

  • Johndsands49

    They are sending our jobs over seas,funding and directing the attacks on our pensions,wages,teachers,firemen,cops under the pretense of budget and debt concerns.While their budget and debt concerns result in trillions of dollers in bailouts and favourable treatment  from our politicians.While the ordinary working guy gets to worry about his falling paycheck,his future,rising prices,is he going to be able to retire,will he be able to fund his kids education,rising health costs !.Something is wrong with this system and its not being fixed by the current crop of politicians and it won’t be fixed by the next !

  • AR

    This is great!  Occupying financial Districts across the country!  It’s about time.  Could we have more mainstream media coverage please?

    • Smaug1415

      You won’t get the coverage because the same organizations that we are protesting  own or control the mainstream press.

  • Rosek

    This is a lame account of what is part of growing movement against corporate greed across the country. This is not an isolated event in support of the Wall Street protests. If you want  an accurate account of how many cities are involved in support of OccupyWallStreet  go to: http://www.occupytogether.org 

    Also, Chris Hedge’s recent column in Truthdig is very informative : http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_best_among_us_20110929/

     

  • http://twitter.com/InkblotPropgnda Jordan Hammond

    When greed becomes the most powerful and rewarded trait in our society it is a shameful day for democracy. I hope for the best for #occupyboston and #occupywallstreet. There are 50 other cities starting ones too. This could be the start f something big.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robin-Lee/100000719646321 Robin Lee

    You can go to ‘occupytogether.org’ to find an Occupy location near you – they are now being organized in about 80 cities, not just the handful as media, like this article, implies. Join the movement and take our country back.

  • Pada

    Everybody needs to support this movement. Otherwise our children or grandchildren will live their life in slavery. Like in the game of monopoly we have to let the winner(the rich)know the game is over, time to start a new game. The game is over when 1% have all the money, let the new game begin.

  • Brita

    Two suggestions for change from our current corrupt system of oligarchy in which  rich, corporate elites call the shots in Washington:  1.  Instant run-off voting.  We need this so we can move from a two-party system to allowing a third party to get votes but not make voters feel like  they’re tossing their vote away or causing a spoiler effect if they vote for the candidate they really like.  2.  The Green Party.  There already exists a third party that is not beholden to corporate donations; the Green Party.  People should support them instead of trying to  make a third party from the ground up.

  • Paul, Boston MA

    I stopped by Dewey Square today on my way from the farmer’s market to South Station and talked to a couple of the protesters to get the story straight from the horse’s mouth.

    I still don’t get it.

    I was told that they were prepared to stay there indefinately, but when I asked what had to change before the camp-out was called off, I couldn’t get an answer. Apparently, they have meetings where they strive to come to 100% consensus about all the issues and aspects of the protest, and apparently they haven’t reached one regarding the specific focus of this thing. Wall Street corruption is part of it, but their issues run the gamut. This isn’t my opinion, the nice lady I talked to told me that point blank.

    So this is, for now, an awareness-raising movement rather than a specific-issue demonstration. OK. And after talking to them in person I can’t be smirky or patronizing because their hearts do seem to be in the right place. (At least the ones I talked to.)

    But a sit-in / camp-out / occupation without a clearly defined goal or endgame doesn’t cause people to rally in support. It causes shoulder shrugging and confusion. Yes, Wall Street harbors some greedy monsters. We all know that. What are your suggestions? What are your ANSWERS? What would you like to see done – specifically – to remedy our problems?

    And now I hear that the New York branch of ‘occupiers’ shut down the Brooklyn Bridge this evening – again, without any clearly defined demand backing up their action - and that just causes outrage among the people who are being inconvenienced.

    An occupation without goals isn’t a protest, it’s just a tantrum.

    • jackthanks

      It is important that thousands of people are willing to publicly express a collective tantrum.

      • Paul, Boston MA

        Important to who?

        I’m mad about a lot of things too, but without demands for specific changes, what’s the point?

        And I’d also say that come Monday, if those folks have any plans about disrupting commuting in the area, they better have made their positions clear or they will just alienate people rather than garner support.

        • Banksterbob

          How much clearer do you need to get, Paul.  People are pissed off at Wall Street, Banksters, Corporate Neo Zionists lobbying the America out of American.   But it really doesn’t matter does it, because sh*t is going to get super real here soon and if you have food and I don’t I am going to kill you to get it.  That specific enough for you?

          • Paul, Boston MA

            Now, that wasn’t very nice.

            Is that how you plan to entice folks to donate food to your sit-in?

          • Xxxspencexxx

            really man…false threats masked as statement……if any of you were true..you wouldnt even have a fucking laptop to use when you were n your tent….i am a consumer….you my friend..are a leech

    • Anonymous

      Then history is filled with tantrums.

    • TheThinker

      Paul, I think the problem you describe stems from the fact that there are too many problems requiring redress.If you were to look back, could you identify the one defining moment or fact where things went wrong?  You’re witnessing a collective of people, at random, with any amount of political knowledge or awareness, demonstrating that exact attempt. Unfortunately, it is in danger of becoming a committee: that cul-de-sac where ideas are lured and then quietly strangled. If they don’t get assistance and support soon, they may fail to find something cohesive.We have too many points that need to be addressed, and the problems have been going on for so long without complaint, that it has become near impossible to say “This is the one thing that started it all, and this is what we need to do about it.”

      • Paul, Boston MA

        TheThinker, I agree.

        There is no one thing that can be cited as the ‘original sin’ that led us to the sorry state we’re in as a country right now. Plutoracy, Oligarchy, Corporatocracy, call it what you want, that’s where we are. I also agree that the commitee process, (‘General Assemblies’, in the protesters languge), can easily lead to stagnation. Paralysis by analysis.

        For this movement to achieve a goal, it must have a goal in mind. Not something in the abstract such as “We’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore”,  they have to define at least one of the grievances we all have and come up with a workable plan to put it right. If you’re mad as hell at “it” you have to, at some point, define what “it” is.  That’s what draws people together in common cause. And there’s a smorasboard of grievances today to pick from.

        So, pick one and get on with it! Just like cleaning up a messy room, you can become overwhelmed if you focus on the totality of it. Start in one corner, don’t worry about what’s ahead,  and eventually you’ll have a clean room!

         

  • http://crazyworld-leann.blogspot.com/ Lea

    While Occupy Boston has not come to a consensus on what thedeclaration will be (a democracy is about consensus and consensus takes time), Occupy Wall Street has set forth a declaration which may help people understand – http://www.scribd.com/doc/66968871/NYCGA-Declaration

    • TheThinker

      I would add to that list, 
      1. The need to eliminate the electoral college. An indirect election is an outdated mode of voting that was created out of need, due to illiterate masses attempting to vote. It no longer necessary and robs citizens of their part in the voting process. 2. The need to eliminate the two-party system. In interest of fairness to candidates and the American people, all political candidates should have the same standing and chances of election as any other. Maintaing the two-party system creates an unfair balance of power and further robs the voters of the opportunity to hire the best candidate for the position. 

      3. The need to divide the Presidential and Vice Presidential ticket. Each candidate should be voted in by their own merits, rather than having the VP’s election riding on the coat tails of a Presidential candidate. By dividing the ticket, the people are given another opportunity to vote for someone who represents their interests and ideals, which may or may not be presented by a candidate who shares the same party side. Dividing the ticket also gives rise to the possibility of a true bi-partisan vote.

  • Chrisluca

    Its sad to see a generation of young people fight to get/keep a job. To have so much to pay in student loans. To offer up their lives in the service just so they can afford an education. As a middle aged person Because of the poor managment of the goverment I’ve lost all of my 403b invvestments. I’m closer to retirement and have worked for the last 37 years and now have nothing to show for it. How do you explain that when people indited for criminal acts in goverment continue to earn a pension while they serve time in jail. How is that fare? How do sports figures continue to earn crazy amounts of money when they get cought driving drunk, commit crimes and all is forgiven. I feel that the goverment has dropped itselve on its head.  Good for anyone who can and will make a point.  I wonder how much Obama has in his retirement plam. Please don’t judge the Dewey Square folks with negitivity.  Its a crazy time in this country my hat is off to them.       Chris

  • jBoston

    I was down there yesterday. I was in agreement with the whole “anit-corporate greed” “anti-corruption” thing but a majority of the people I spoke with(at this particular event) were very impractical and without consensus on exactly what was being protested. A lot of them were advertising interests of living off of nothing, “abolishing money,” getting paid back student loans, not paying taxes, etc. Now, these are things we would ALL love to enjoy, but it’s not practical. The same people who were proclaiming such woes were the same people who said “Yeah, I didn’t go to college because I wanted to join this (so&s0) group and protest around the country.” What needs to be remembered is hard work is still required by everyone. Whether its studying in college or sweeping the streets of Boston. If you go to college and work hard a job will be found. If you don’t go to college a job may still be found. Where one ends up is, in a lot of ways, up to the individual. People like to forget this. I got tired of seeing people at this thing who had arguments but no way to support them. People who complained about not having a job, but didn’t really do a whole lot to get one. How can people expect to protest, light a joint, complain for a few hours, and then expect to just happen upon a job and some money. It’s impractical. Now when someone says the government is corrupt I say “Of course!” It’s true, and it’s unfortunate. People are corrupt though. It’s the nature of people, and especially people in power. A certain level of corruption is expected. It isn’t right but really can corruption ever be entirely eliminated? Lying, for example, in no matter what form, isn’t exactly a “right” thing to do. But we do it anyways on a daily basis. As consumers we lie all the time. {“Oh I bought this last week…..opened it up and it just didn’t work.” (Real story) The item was dropped in a puddle of water.} Then comes the refund. The consumer just robbed that business of a profit. Oh, but “they”can afford it. Let’s not be hypocrites. The reality is we can put whatever spin we want on an issue and who’s really right? Is opinion right? No. Never will opinion be right as long as people exist. In short, (hahaha) this protest could be a good idea, but it was poorly advertised by its participants. 

    • reavoiceson

      Your thoughts and conclusions smell of last centuries old notions that describe poor people as lazy and the well to do as blessed with a gift for triumph perhaps by some deity of a man being tortured for the shortcomings of others.
      None of it has ever made sense but it keeps being sold starting at preschool and thru college. That story is old and needs to change. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.  You should look into new ideas that are changing the world in front of your very eyes. Or you can chose to shut your eyes and pretend progress is not happening. Either way progress and change won’t wait for you to catch up. The only question is how far back do you want to be left behind? The world is not FLAT. If you wanna talk about hard work, how many people in the 1% of the wealthiest people on Earth do you think work hard? How many poor people work hard? Who works longer? Who deserves to take yatch vacations? If you think like a person and not a slave you’d realize it’s the guy that spends his time in a lab away from his family unselfishly trying to find the cure for Cancer. Meanwhile his time off he spends asking for funding to make ends meet and the investors in the pharmaceutical company he works for are playing golf because that’s how their daddy’s taught them to plan the take over of the world. That needs to change NOW.

    • TheThinker

      I like the fragmented sentences with fractured ideas: 

      “What needs to be remembered is hard work is still required by everyone. Whether its studying in college or sweeping the streets of Boston. If you go to college and work hard a job will be found. If you don’t go to college a job may still be found. Where one ends up is, in a lot of ways, up to the individual.”

      Yes, anyone can get “a job”. Ex convicts have proven that. The problem is not in the ability to get “a job” but lies in the ability to survive on the rate of pay in any given job, regardless of your level of education. What exacerbates this situation is the increasing number of people who have put their time, money and hard work into earning a college degree, only to graduate with large amounts of student debt and no job prospects available that will allow the person to live sustainably. 

      For them, it is no longer about “a job”; which can be found at any Burger King or Chick-fil-A. It’s about the fact that college graduates put their lives on hold to earn a higher education and develop a career in the field they studied, with the intent on becoming a more lucrative prospect to employers and creating something in the world. It’s about the loss of potential combined with the increasing cost of higher education and the necessity to remain competitive with ever higher education. The pendulum has swung the other way. Now, not only is it nearly a requirement to earn a college degree, but we also, frequently, see the cost of education outweighing the students’ earning potential. Far too many students are graduating and unable to find work or paying work in their field, ultimately and reluctantly accepting just any “job” where they can scrape by while working as an unpaid intern for the sake of experience. 

      Please, don’t tell me that this is what you think “hard work” should be defined as. Capitalism has turned it’s ugly face to become a form of monetary slavery and government we depended upon to protect us has failed. 

      • ang

        couldn’t have said it any better

      • jBoston

        I am one of those students. Millions of others before me have “put their lives on hold” to get a higher education. It’s better to have something going for you and stay in the race, right? Right. And we can argue that the 1% doesn’t work hard. In a lot of cases that is so, so, true. But what I’m saying is the majority of the crowd who makes up this particular protest (Occupy Boston) needs to remember that their is action required to put yourself in a position of success. Dropping out of high school to join Robin Hood’s Merry Men certainly won’t get you any closer. Most of those “big business” guys went to college at one point too. They studied their asses off too. 

        We should take some responsibility at some point as well. People have a very, very hard time with this. When the recession was in its infant stages, it was primarily because the citizens were biting off way more than they could chew. I.e. Housing Market? Trying to make fast cash and playing too much in the stock market? This is a history lesson. The Great Depression began because the people ran the new idea of credit, amuck. War got us out, and this time we are seeing that a needless war isn’t the proper stimulus for the economy. The problem here is the recession is lasting too long, but the people aren’t doing much to benefit themselves. 

        As a small example, I work in retail, and let me tell you I’ve seen way more people say: “Oh, I shouldn’t open a card…..my husband would kill me…..but I will!”  than those who say: “No.” Those are the same people who come back three months later and say: “Oh, my credit is just awful…..no, I can’t use my card today.” (wallet opens) They have a card for every single retail store within 100 miles! 

        We need to:A: Find the right people to represent us in protest.B: Take a tiny bit of responsibility.C: Make good decisions as to not sink the economy into further troubles.D: Set a CLEAR agenda. 

        • PragmaticLiberal

          I stopped using credit back in ’05, except for my mortgage and a car payment. Credit card companies still send me “acceptance” letters all the time. Banks and stores always ask if I want to open an account. “Save money, get cash back,” they say. We all know where that leads.

          When I first bought my house 25 years ago, I started getting letters from banks telling me I could get a home equity loan to “Buy a car, take that vacation, pay down credit cards” whatever I wanted. At the same time advertisers keep up pressures to buy, buy,buy. With house prices seemingly always rising, and people being told that would continue, lots of people fell for the dream of buy now and someone else will pay later.

  • Recycle01746

    The world is at a crossroads.  People are sick and tired of working hard and doing the “right things”, only to see a small segment of society benefit.  Whether we’re talking about Libya or the US that sense of frustration prevails and “the people” are ready to stand against this injustice.  The specifics are less important than the fact that there is a ground swell of discontent that will grow.  Leaders and objectives aren’t necessary.  Protesters are bound together in something more organic.  Only the savviest of leaders would have a chance to harness and direct this energy and most of them are sitting on the sidelines hoping it will just go away.  It might.  Or it might swell to a wave of tsunami proportions that sweeps through the streets of the nation’s major cities, leaving destruction in its wake.  

  • Tkbrown413

    I’ve seen a lot of thoughtful comments across the internet regarding the lack of direction these protests have. People obviously want to support this movement, and have good ideas about where it could go; so my question is, why don’t you come down and help out?

    Look, people who are able/willing to sleep out in the street for weeks are going to be more fervent and radical than your average person. Their having impractical ideas doesn’t mean corruption in the financial sector and income inequality is any less relevant. The question is, if you’re no going to speak up now, when will you?

    • mooglecity

      I came down and helped out….but really, a majority of these people are more than happy to camp out on a common. They had nothing else to do. Most whom I saw and spoke with practically make a lifestyle out of protesting everything under the sun. Some people follow rockbands and camp out at Woodstock–others follow protest groups. If any official in government was watching this they would laugh. I wouldn’t blame them. We need the right people to speak, the right people to organize. 

      • Red

        Then do it! It’s so easy being an armchair protester. 

  • X-Ray

    The protesters have the wrong target. The bankers and brokers of Wall Street are only a symptom of the problem. The root cause of our economic problems are excessive imports from foreign sources, especially China. These goods represent exported jobs, along with their technology and expertise. From carpets to computers, televisions to tools, they are eating our lunch. We like their prices but the loss of jobs is unsustainable. Because of their low wages, lax environmental regulations, favorable exchange rates, they can overwhelm our industries. Congress must level the playing field but our leadership doesn’t have a clue.

  • mainewayne

    Useful idiots!  They’ll use you, then kill you!  Is that George Soros behind that tree?

Most Popular