October 8, 2011 Seattle Washington – Signs of the Times
Saturday’s ‘Occupy Seattle’ rally (“general Assembly”) at Westlake Plaza and march on City Hall went off without too many hitches and just
three twoarrests at its near conclusion. I estimate the crowd, at its peak, to have been between 3 and 4000.
A fair spectrum of tribes were present here, it seemed: occupiers, 99%-ers, no-nukers, veterans, teachers, legal advisers, green crusaders, social justice workers, socialists, union members, hippies, yuppies (laid off), retirees, punk-rockers, homeless campers, minority and human rights advocates…the long-term unemployed…and just a generally diverse population of folk fed up with excessive corporate greed, government corruption, and the injustices and excesses of unregulated capitalism.
The Occupy Wall Street movement that began in New York nearly a month ago has spread like so much GMO crop pollen, with ‘Occupy ________’ (fill in city of your choice) rallies and protests spreading around the country.
No single message has crystallized yet, although there is such a wide base of anger and resentment that one should not be puzzled at this. Currently, the still leader-less movement seems to be morphing into simply an “occupy everything” movement.
Where will all this anger and activism lead?
Some political pragmatists might be happy simply with passage of a (non-watered down) Consumer Financial Protection bill, such as the one now stalled in Congress.
But it seems to this observer that the growing and more frequent protests indicate an unwillingness to settle for anything less than a full reckoning for Big Finance and a fundamental change in the way Corporations do business (and are permitted to corrupt our government).
The following is a photo document (with notes) of Saturday’s Occupy Seattle events — I’ll let the reader take away whatever message(s) s/he chooses. Enjoy (click on any pic to enlarge).
Photos: all photos by M. Ricciardi except as noted; Please credit if you reuse or reprint.