With “the Arab Spring” having sparked a series of intense protests and/or regime changes in over 15 Middle Eastern nations, a loose confederation of left-of-center activists and self-proclaimed revolutionaries have decided to stage a longterm period of protest in Wall Street which is scheduled to begin on September 17th. On their website, occupywallst.org, Occupy Wall street is urging fellow activists and disgruntled citizens “to flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months” until their “demand” is met by the government. In short, the group wants a New York Arab spring… of sorts.
However, the most apparent and surface level obstacle for this “New York Arab Spring” and self-described “leaderless resistance movement” is that their “demand” has yet to be decided upon. So far, from the Adbuster facebook poll, the leading vote-getter for a cause is that of “corporate personhood.” While the Occupy Wall Street campaign seems to be extremely egalitarian and “leaderless,” it very much seems as though the anti-consumerism group, Adbuster, is the main player behind this Tahrir style protest. As of Tuesday, September 7th, the New York Arab Spring protest’s facebook group states that at least 6419 plan to be in attendance, while an additional 4972 listed as “maybe attending.”
It will be very interesting to see how much traction will be gained by this September 17th protestagainst American Capitalism and political corporate hand-holding. How sustainable will this project be? Is the Occupy Wall Street movement a grassroots movement with mass popular support which will rock both the Financial District and the American financial regulatory/legal system? Or is this an Astroturf American fad playing copy cat to more genuine and sincere Middle Eastern struggle against political tyranny and economic marginalization? Only time can give those answers.
Either way, I want a front seat for this supposed New York Arab Spring; it’s gonna be a good watch, at the very least.