The protest movement is gaining traction, not only in New York but throughout the United States.
I hugely admire the Occupy Wall Street protesters. I admire them for their determination, their fortitude and their imagination. But, most of all, I admire them because, by their sheer presence, they tell us that we do not have to accept the way things are but, collectively, we can take this world back from the vampires that seek to suck it dry.
When the hoped for 20,000 protesters didn't show up on the first day of the protest, there was a degree of anxiety and apprehension. There were fears that the protest would die a quick death, especially since the corporate media was doing its best to ensure that the political message of Occupy Wall Street did not get out to the people.
It was plain why Michael Bloomberg, the New York mayor, was defending the protesters right to protest. The impartial observer might of thought the arch-capitalist was being eminently friendly and accommodating but I, for one, thought he sounded patronising. What Bloomberg was really saying was 'Oh, the kids can let a bit of steam off for a while. They'll soon grow bored and go home.'
As the protest approaches its third week Bloomberg isn't sounding quite so friendly. In a recent interview he attacked the very idea that any of the traders on Wall Street should have to go to jail for their crimes.
He may well be worried what he thought was going to be a brief demonstration now shows real signs of developing into a nationwide movement. Protests have sprung up in cities such as Boston and San Francisco. Perhaps more worryingly for Bloomberg and others of his ilk, this is a movement that will not be conned into believing that 'working within the system' will deliver results. This is a movement that won't be strangled by Obama and the Democrats - the people who have bailed out Wall Street and plunged nearly 46 million Americans into poverty.
And last week fifty New Yorkers appeared on Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. They have a combined net worth of $211 billion. At the same time new figures have emerged from census data that the percentage of the city’s population living in poverty has risen to 20.1 percent. One in five New Yorkers are living in poverty. Yeah, New York - its one helluva town.
This week Occupy Wall Street was given a morale boost by the appearance of documentary maker and author Michael Moore at the protest. He also used an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN to advance the cause.
The protest in New York will also be boosted by a similar protest in Washington DC, which begins on October 6. Protesters will gather in Freedom Plaza 'to take control of our country and our lives.'
People are invited to take the pledge which reads:
"I pledge that if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as that criminal occupation goes into its 11th year, I will commit to being in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with others on that day with the intention of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo, our Madison, Wisconsin, where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine to demand that our resources are invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation. We can do this together. We will be the beginning ."
As I watch from faraway New Zealand I am reminded of a passage written by Leon Trotsky. Some seventy years ago, and near the end of his life, he movingly wrote:
'Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression, and violence, and enjoy it to the full.'
These words, I think, speak not only to the protesters on Wall Street but to people all around the world fighting back against the forces that seek to oppress and impoverish us.