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Occupy Wall Street (OWS) was a left-wing protest movement that began on

September 17, 2011, in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City's Wall
Street financial district, against economic inequality.
The Canadian anti-consumerist and pro-environment
group/magazine Adbusters initiated the call for a protest. The main issues
raised by Occupy Wall Street were social and economic inequality, greed,
corruption and the undue influence of corporations on government—particularly
from the financial services sector. The OWS slogan, "We are the 99%", refers
to income and wealth inequality in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1% and the
rest of the population. To achieve their goals, protesters acted on consensus-
based decisions made in general assemblies which emphasized redress
through direct action over the petitioning to authorities
The protesters were forced out of Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011.
Protesters turned their focus to occupying banks, corporate headquarters,
board meetings, foreclosed homes, and college and university campuses.
The original location for the protest was One Chase Manhattan Plaza,
with Bowling Green Park (the site of the "Charging Bull") and Zuccotti Park as
alternate choices. Police discovered this before the protest began and fenced
off two locations; but they left Zuccotti Park, the group's third choice, open.
Since the park was private property, police could not legally force protesters to
leave without being requested to do so by the property owner. At a press
conference held the same day the protests began, New York City
mayor Michael Bloomberg explained, "people have a right to protest, and if they
want to protest, we'll be happy to make sure they have locations to do it."
Because of its connection to the financial system, lower Manhattan has seen
many riots and protests since the 1800s, and OWS has been compared to other
historical protests in the United States. Commentators have put OWS within the
political tradition of other movements that made themselves known by
occupation of public spaces, such as Coxey's Army in 1894, the Bonus
Marchers in 1932, and the May Day protesters in 1971.
More recent prototypes for OWS include the British student protests of
2010, 2009-2010 Iranian election protests, the Arab Spring protests, and, more
closely related, protests in Chile, Greece, Spain and India. These antecedents
have in common with OWS a reliance on social media and electronic
messaging, as well as the belief that financial institutions, corporations, and the
political elite have been malfeasant in their behavior toward youth and the
middle class. Occupy Wall Street, in turn, gave rise to the Occupy movement in
the United States. David Graeber has argued that the Occupy movement, in its
anti-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian consensus-based politics, its refusal to
accept the legitimacy of the existing legal and political order, and its embrace
of prefigurative politics, has roots in an anarchist political tradition. Sociologist
Dana Williams has likewise argued that "the most immediate inspiration for
Occupy is anarchism", and the LA Times has identified the "controversial,
anarchist-inspired organizational style" as one of the hallmarks of OWS.
Women’s Marches Around the
World Reflect Worry Over
Violence and Populism Jan. 19, 2019
ROME — Women of all ages, and some men, took to the streets in a dozen cities
around the world on Saturday, the anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March that
served as a strong rebuke of President Trump’s policies.

The annual marches and rallies have taken on wider themes since then, such as
challenging the rise of the far right, while also calling for an end to inequality,
the gender pay gap and violence against women.

Some events were organized in response to a call from the United States to
create a “Women’s Wave.” But others were held independently, and in many
cases, the core message was that women’s rights are about more than Mr.
Trump.

In cities across the United States, women braved subzero temperatures in some
parts of the country to march even as accusations of anti-Semitism have rocked
the movement and prompted questions about its future.

The rallies in European countries like Germany and Italy included warnings of
bleak times because of the rise of populism and the far-right. In London, women
marched against punishing austerity measures. But the turnout fell shy of the
many thousands that had filled the streets two years ago.

In Rome, women met in a downtown square, where they took aim at Italy’s
populist government, which has been accused of whittling away at measures
that protect women and migrants.

They chanted against fascism, against the “Italians First” mentality promoted by
the government’s main political parties — the League and the Five Star
Movement — and they blasted Italy’s grim record of violence against women.

Warning that the rise of the right in Europe and the United States puts at risk
rights that affect women, as well as migrants, Raffaella Palladino, president
of D.i.Re, a network of women’s centers and shelters, said that women were not
going to “give up one millimeter” in defending their rights.

“This was a country that used to assist women who were victims of human
trafficking, and exploitation. Now, we are erecting walls and closing ports to
ships that rescue migrants at sea,” she told participants, referring to Italian
policy under Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to no longer participate in sea
rescues outside the maritime border and to bar ships carrying rescued migrants
from docking.
In an interview, Ms. Palladino said women in Italy faced a difficult time.
Violence is prevalent, and if women denounce their aggressors, she said, they do
not get “sufficient protection.”

Although a report by Istat, the national statistic agency, said that 43 percent of
working Italian women had been subjected to some form of harassment at least
once during their life, the Me Too movement has not taken hold in Italy.

“MeToo was nonexistent in Italy because women were afraid of speaking out,
and those who did were revictimized and condemned,” said Luisa Betti Dakli, a
journalist and one of the speakers.

Carlo Cosenza of Sentinelli di Roma, an association that describes itself as “lay


and anti-fascist,” got one of the biggest cheers of the day when he held up a
poster showing Mr. Salvini and Mr. Trump.

In London, organizers chose “Women Demand Bread & Roses” as a slogan this
year to protest the government’s squeeze on essential services. It drew
inspiration from the American “Bread and Roses” protests for working women’s
rights in the 1910s.

The march across the heart of London drew around 3,000 people. They held
signs reading, “Men of Quality Don’t Fear Equality” and “Brexit Wrecks It,”
reflecting the political deadlock ahead of the March deadline for Britain to leave
the European Union.

In Berlin, around 2,000 protesters marched from the Brandenburg Gate to the
Alexanderplatz along the famous Unter den Linden. Organizers called for
scrapping a Hitler-era law that makes it a crime for doctors to advertise that
they perform abortions.

Marchers in Frankfurt, Germany, met at two spots at 5 minutes to 12, in a


reference to the urgency of women’s issue. Roughly 1,200 people marched,
according to the Frankfurt police, many wearing the pink knit hats emblematic
of the movement.

They waved flag and held signs saying, “Teach girls to be somebodies, instead of
Somebody’s,” and others spoke of racism, gay rights and abortion issues.
Members of Green and Social democratic parties showed up with party banners.

Marches were scheduled for Sunday in cities such as Sydney,


Australia, Taipei, Buenos Aires and later in the year elsewhere.

Women in Spain held rallies this past week that were independent of the
Women’s March movement but that denounced the return of the far-right in
Spanish politics. On Tuesday, they protested against the right-wing coalition
government taking office in Andalusia, led by the Popular Party but supported
by Vox, a far-right party that secured its first parliamentary seats in elections
last month.
Vox is nationalist and anti-immigrant, but has also angered women’s
associations because of its call for Spain to abolish its abortion law and to
overhaul another law covering gender violence. Vox has also questioned official
data about domestic violence and wants to unwind gay rights in a country that
was among the first to allow same-sex marriage, in 2005.

The protests involved about 45 women’s associations and took place in 50 cities.
Protesters held signs that read, “Not a step backward,” in defense of abortion
and other rights.