While the gestures of protest were familiar - satirical costumes of billionaires, hand-made signs, numerous bells and horns to draw attention to the cause, some deep-seated anger about an administration and Congress bailout deal for Wall Street was apparent today in a late afternoon protest in the financial district. After a rally on Bowling Green at the lower end of Manhattan, the protesters, drawn from many different progressive coalitions as well as concerned unaffiliated individuals needing the speak their minds, walked up a few short blocks on Broadway and turned east on Wall Street, the scene of so much resentment of late.
I am both angry and sad that the situation has come to this, this predicament with the financial markets. I would like to know more about what went down during the months when people ran into mortgage trouble and the foreclosures began. I'm interested in what we can do about ending the predatory lending practices and how in the future we can prevent the system from taking advantage of people who only want the American dream of owning a home. And what about the loss of adequate retirement accounts of people who worked so hard to make a nest egg for their later years? I'm mad about that, too. Mostly, however, I am just sad about the whole thing. I'm sad we're looking at several lean years ahead. I'm not even sure I'm completely against the bailout, as I'm worried about the prospects of the immediate credit freeze, but on some days, like today, only a collective march, as opposed to a solitary stroll, makes me feel better.
Images of a protest from September 25, 2008 in opposition to the deal to bail out Wall Street. The proposed deal of some 700 billion dollars is not finalized as of this writing. Those reading on wotba.mobi, the mobile version, can see the images at this link.
More images of the afternoon on Wall Street at Flickr WOTBA.