Occupy Wall Street: A Guide

Whether you’re in the 99%, the 1%, or attempting to ignore the issue altogether, Occupy Wall Street is a pretty enormous–and now international–movement. It’s still making the news daily, blocking traffic, raising voices and making itself heard.

Thanks to a new infographic and timeline (embedded below) from Visual Economics, it’s easy to track the rise and continued growth of the movement.

Take a look at how the protests got started, how they’ve evolved, what the mission is and how the public and government perceive it.

July 13, 2011:

  • Adbusters publishes a blog post asking for people to rally on Wall Street.
  • The important point they make is that there should be no official leadership at the protests, and that what the group hopes to achieve may only be decided when the entire group agrees. The movement was spearheaded by a group and was meant to be carried on as a group, too.
  • The hashtag #occupywallstreet first shows up on Twitter.

July 26:

  • A website, Facebook page, and Twitter profile have been created for the movement by this time.
  • Adbusters asks for global involvement after less than two weeks of domestic protests.

August 23:

  • The activist hacking group Anonymous releases a video supporting Occupy Wall Street and uses its Twitter feed to promote the demonstration.

 

September 17:

  • The rally and march take place, and the protesters set up a temporary city in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. Soon it will have its own newspaper, food supply chain and Wi-Fi. Reports of arrests and clashes with police emerge almost daily. Many of the incidents are filmed and posted on YouTube.

 

September 24:

  • Over 80 people are arrested during an NYC march to Union Square.
  • Accusations fly against the NYPD when its use of excessive force and pepper spray is brought under fire.

October 1:

  • Over 700 people are arrested while marching across the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • NYPD says the myriad protesters were blocking traffic.

October 5:

  • Nearly three months after the movement’s inception, major unions across the United States begin to support the protests.
  • In fact, Occupy Wall Street’s approval rating was 19 points higher than that of Congress that day–33% approval to Congress’ 14%.

October 6:

  • In accordance with the high approval rating, the movement begins to spread much faster across the United States.
  • In the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C., protestors vow they will occupy the city for weeks.

October 11:

  • As must be expected with every movement, a counter-movement develops.
  • “The 53%,” a play on the 99% that Occupy protestors identify with, claims to be the percentage of the working class that pays to support the protestors.
  • “The 53%” feel the protestors are complaining publicly to avoid working, thereby missing out on perhaps attaining a higher financial class.

October 12:

  • NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg tells the protestors they must vacate so that Zuccotti Park can be cleaned.
  • Not to be discouraged, the protestors begin cleaning the park themselves.

October 14:

  • In response to a job well-done, Zuccotti Park’s property management company, Brookfield Properties, decides that the protestors do not need to vacate the park for cleaning.

October 15:

  • Occupy Wall Street has occupied Earth.
  • 951 cities in 82 countries hold protests.

October 17:

  • Adbusters side with Robin Hood, asking for a Global Robin Hood March at G20 on October 29.
  • The march would promote a Robin Hood tax on the 1%–take from the rich, give to the poor.

October 19:

  • The NYPD announces plans of discipline for an officer who pepper-sprayed women on the September 24 march.

October 25:

  • 500 protesters in Oakland refuse orders to move.
  • The police respond with tear gas to clear them out.

October 26:

  • Since the number of shooting victims in NYC in the first week of October was 154% higher than the same time in 2010, NYPD blames Occupy Wall Street on the rise in gun crime.
  • The number was up 28% for the entire month.

Digital Takeover:

  • Occupy Wall Street is in 82 countries, 951 cities worldwide.
  • Its Facebook page has over 100,000 fans.
  • There are over 14,000 followers on Twitter.
  • Meet-Up has formed 2,340 groups worldwide for local protests.
  • On October 27, 2011, #occupywallstreet was tweeted 918.4 times per hour.

Beliefs:

  • 80% of surveyed protestors believe the very rich should pay higher taxes.
  • 88% believe the government should limit the salaries of CEOs.
  • 98% think health care should be free, and the same amount believe insurance companies profit too much.
  • 95% believe the government should regulate prescription drug prices.
  • 32.5% think government would manage health care poorly.
  • 93% feel student loans should be forgiving, and also that internet and cell phones should be free.

How Much of the National Wealth is Consumed by the 1%?

  • In the United States, the top 1% earns 20% of national wealth.
  • In the United Kingdom, they earn 16%.
  • In Canada, 14% of national wealth is earned by the top earners.
  • In Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Australia and Japan, the top 1% earns about 10% of the national wealth.

Poverty:

  • 5% of United States citizens live below poverty.
  • That number is 9% in Canada.
  • 10% of Australians are below the poverty line.
  • 14% of United Kingdom residents live in poverty.
  • In Belgium, it’s 15%.
  • In Germany and Japan, 16%.
  • Portugal is home to 18% of citizens living below poverty.
  • It’s worth noting, however, that some protesters in “the 99%” make about half a million dollars annually.

Slogans:

  • Aside from the “We Are the 99%” slogan that Occupy Wall Street is known for, there are some other popular slogans seen on signs globally.
  • These include “We Are Too Big to Fail,” “Will Work for Money,” “Human Need Not Corporate Greed,” “OUT$OURCED,” and “People Over Profits.”

Final Note:

  • Keep an eye on Occupy Wall Street–it seems to be far from over.

Click the infographic to enlarge.