Leandro Maceo Leyva
THE Occupy Wall Street movement has
completed five months of sustained protest in the
streets of the United States. And the indignados’
intention is to remain there.
Since the media broke its silence on
the subject, headlines such as: Hundreds of
occupiers gathered outside…/Occupiers have begun to
march on…/Occupiers forcibly removed from…/Occupiers
redouble protests… It is therefore worth asking: Who
are they? What is the basis of their demands? What
will remain of all this in one, two, three years?
There is an undoubted sentiment of
anger directed in particular at the financial
sector, identified by the movement as principally
responsible for the crisis traversing the country.
But, in general terms, people are
indignant at the fact that while the rich are
becoming richer, the poor have been abandoned to
To be more precise, one could say
that what has fuelled popular clamor is the
certainty of the middle class that its future
well-being, which once seemed guaranteed in
developed societies, is no longer a possibility.
Occupy Wall Street is a cry against
growing inequality: 46 million U.S. citizens are
living below the poverty line.
The indignados or occupiers
are part of a movement without defined leaders. They
are simply doing what those in power believed was
impossible: waking up and protesting. Meanwhile,
anger is growing, and this amalgam of malaise is
reserving its greatest indignation for the next
It is not enough to read the
infinity of placards they raise or listen to the
daily chanting of slogans, one has to explore their
actions more deeply.
It is clear that the movement has
emerged as a result of a fusion of will among men
and women who are reclaiming their rights, whose
fervor and reach could not be silenced by the news
monopolies which dominate the juicy information
market at the global level, despite detractors
demonizing the movement in order to discredit and
More importantly, the Occupy Wall
Street movement is expanding. It is entering its
fifth month fortified by the generalization of
protests and the interest aroused by them, despite
the shadow accompanying the demands.
Since September 17, 2011, when the
occupation of Zuccotti Park, in the heart of the
Wall Street district, began, the movement has spread
to more than 250 of the country’s cities, involving
thousands of people.
Each and every one of the protests,
those initiated in New York and those repeated in
other parts of the United States, reveals an energy
born of anger provoked by the nation’s economic
crisis, with a concrete impact on their own pockets.
As long as the causes of social
discontent remain, the marches and protests will not
be a passing phenomenon and the system will have
more and more recourse to violence against them.
What they are calling for is
unacceptable to the system: "Not money, but people"
and "It is time we were heard," or when they affirm
that they represent the 99% abandoned to their fate
against the all-powerful 1%.
It is too early to say if they will
be the final response to the deterioration of world
capitalism, but the occupiers or indignados
constitute, for now, a huge question which has not