Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Occupy Oakland

On September 29th there was the demonstration of the Occupy Wall Street in San Francisco (, which is solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street in New York ( that has been going on for thirty-for days now, where a mass of people are in the financial district to protest financial injustices that are going on in this country. The Occupy Wall Street Protests in New York City has inspired similar protests all over this country and all over the world. You can read more about the protest on the 29th here: ( This demonstration is a vehicle for people to vent their frustrations about their communities and their own financial plight. I was able to interview one of my friends who stated that the crowd was a mixed group in terms of all kinds of ethnicities and an age range from twenty to seventy. The protesters had similar goals of raising awareness in this country of the inequality of our tax system and the unchecked political and economical power of this country’s financial institutions. Now is the time for the disability community to get on board with this protest, especially since the policies that these financial institutions are promoting has the potential to drastically harm people with disabilities. My friend said she did not see people with visible disabilities at the protest so we have to change that. The protests at San Francisco and Oakland are easily accessible by BART.
I had the opportunity to visit the Occupy Wall Street site (when it was still there) next to City Hall in Oakland when it was first constructed on Monday, October 10th, 2011. When I got there hundreds of people were milling around the Oscar Grant Plaza conversing with each other. Many people had signs that expressed the dissatisfaction they had with the financial institutions and the bank bailouts. There were no tents set up at the site yet, but there was a feeling that the people had reclaimed that ground for real public use. I was also able to visit the site on Monday, October 24th, a day before the horrendous police crackdown, and they constructed an intricate community on the site. Even though police have now dismantled the site, supporters of Occupy Oakland will meet at Oscar Grant Plaza 6 p.m. every day.
Everyone knows that financial institutions, banks and stock brokerage companies that are the main cause behind the economic recession we are now in. It should also be clear that low-income people with disabilities are taken the brunt of the governmental policies that are in reaction to this global recession. As a result, we as people with disabilities have a vested interest in participating in these protests going around the country. We can choose to divest our money from big banks and then invest in small banks and credit unions. We can also boycott corporations that unduly take advantage of us. To find out more information on investing in small banks and credit unions go to Also for more information about Occupy Wall Street go to,,, or We should be supporting these protestors in their cause because it is ultimately our cause as well.


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