In its second week, hundreds of people have taken over Liberty Square as part of Occupy Wall Street. What started as a loosely organized protest against the corrupting impact that Wall Street and big financial institutions have had on our democracy seems to be growing into something larger. The persistence and increasing organization of the mostly young protestors is tapping into the pain and disillusionment that millions of young Americans across the nation are feeling as they face bleak economic prospects that show little sign of improving.
As the Occupy Wall Street protestors lift up the pain that young Americans are experiencing and take it directly to the heart of our country’s corrupted financial system, other movements composed of homeowners, the jobless, faith leaders and the growing ranks of the poor are doing the same. And even better, these groups are demanding that the very banks that caused the economic mess in the first place take specific actions to clean it up and get the economy back on track.
Earlier this week in California, homeowners, community members, faith leaders and students protested and shut down an auction of foreclosed homes as part of a week-long series of actions to demand that the nation’s big banks stop the foreclosure crisis from wreaking any more havoc on their communities.
In Ohio, community leaders and union members sent a clear message to U.S. Bank to “clean up the mess they caused” by delivering trash they had collected from a bank-owned foreclosed property to a bank branch.
And in Boston, at least 1,000 people are expected to take to the streets on Friday for a march on Bank of America. They plan to hold a peaceful sit-in at the bank’s Massachusetts headquarters to demand that BofA reduce principal on inflated home mortgages in Boston.