By Anya Schiffrin
Oct 3, 2011 13:30 EDT
Things have come to a pretty pass when the right to assembly is respected more in Egypt and Spain than it is in the US of A. I am of course referring to last week’s pepper spraying of a group of women who were enclosed in a police pen and the Saturday arrest of 700 people who strayed into traffic as police ushered them on to the Brooklyn Bridge. The police responded by saying they had warned the protestors away from traffic lanes.Here's the video, with accompanying text from YouTube.
The fact that it took the New York Times more than a week before they started treating the protestors seriously was also shameful.
Having read the press reports my husband and I decided it was time to see the protests for ourselves so we went down to Wall Street yesterday and found about 1,000 slightly-drenched but enthusiastic people carrying signs, making music and being careful not to step on the flowers in the middle of the square. The protestors were clustered in groups listening to several speakers. One of the speakers was from the 15-M protest movement in Spain and another was Jeff Madrick, the lefty economist who has written extensively on the financial crisis.
It was rather amazing how this just emerged in the middle of Zuccotti park AKA LIBERTY SQUARE. The "people's mic" check occurred, and suddenly we were listening to two important economists of our time speak to the protestors.In case you're wondering, Anya Schiffirn is Mrs. Joseph Stiglitz.
Great point about bullhorns...
Stiglitz is one of the most frequently cited economists in the world. It was great to hear the two of them speak, informally, in this magical setting. All types of people were listening, many folks were recording sound and visuals. The rain had stopped and a question and answer session had followed.
As for the protesters, they're getting quite an economic education.