Protester’s Voice: As a Reason for his Protest Paolo, 23, Unknowingly Echoes Newly Formed Sentiments of the Federal Reserve
By Joseph Wade
Daniel de Paola, a 23 year old undergrad from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts— has been at the Occupy the Wall (OW) movement since Sunday the 18th of September. Originally coming to check out what the protest was doing, Paola decided to join the protesters on their marches.
“Yeterday, we marched to meet a rally of postal workers. Police were trying to keep us from walking on the sidewalks. At one point they [NYPD] were blocking us off from the sidewalk, then yelling for us for standing in the street, saying that we were obstructing traffic. We yelled, ‘you are obstructing traffic. It took us an hour and a half to walk a mile and a half,’” Paola said.
Laughing, Paola shook his head and said, “one mile an hour,” referring to speed of the march.
The postal workers rallied for their jobs yesterday in an effort to keep their jobs. They are facing layoffs in the face of a multi-billion dollar deficit.
Since the 80-100 arrests made on Saturday the 24th, the police have been using softer tactics in order to disrupt the movement. Among the tactics used by the NYPD are obstructing the marches with barricades that leave only narrow passages for pedestrians on Wall Street; ordering the grass-roots media center to remove tarps protecting thousands of dollars of sensitive electronics in the center of the encampment when it is raining; surrounding the OW movement’s encampment with police; and sending NYPD supervisors to walk through the encampment without cause, at which point, many of the grass-roots media point their cameras at them as a measure of protection.
Paola went on to say that protesters have many different reasons for being at the protest. Pointing out the name of the movement, Occupy Wall Street, Paola said, “the fact that it [the protest] is in the center of the financial district really is suggesting there’s an issue with financial institutions in the United States. The effects can be felt all over the country and on a global level.”
Currently, the entire world is near the brink of recession, the United States has retained an unemployment rate of around nine percent, and many protesters have become disenchanted with the government and financial institutions. Many protesters blame politicians for their impotence and financial institutions for avarice charging them with jeopardizing and destroying the financial security of 99 percent of the citizens of the United States.
Paolo listed some of his gripes: Wall Street gambling with investor’s money; the complexity of the financial system which makes it hard for people to understand what is happening within the financial system; and the ability to affect the government through lobbying.
In addition, Paolo voiced his frustrations with quasi-government agencies like the Federal Reserve, citing that the Federal Reserve acts almost entirely independently of Congress. “They have very little oversight,” he said.
Continuing his thoughts on the Federal Reserve, Paola mentioned quantitative easements, “As far as I understand, it’s basically creating a massive amount of money to enter into circulation. When the Federal Reserve decides to do this, rather than buying bonds from the treasury they [The Federal Reserve] buy bonds from Goldman and Sach’s—then they announce it before they buy the bonds—giving Goldman and Sachs the chance to inflate the bonds, where as they could do it directly from the people for a fraction of the price.”
Major media outlets such as the The independent, have pointed out the cozy relationship that Goldman and Sachs has with the Federal Reserve. That relationship seemed to take a turn when the Federal Reserve sanctioned Goldman and Sachs for questionable lending and mortgaging practices.
An article released by Bloomberg news today, reads, “William C, Dudley, President of the New York Fed…explains how he’s trying to change the image of the central bank as a closed club that caters to Wall Street at the expense of everyone else…”
Yesterday, Susan Sarandon came to the protest and asked if anyone had registered protestors to vote or if any petitions were circulating. Paolo said he saw a lot leaflets with information on where to go to sign petitions, but that he had not seen any petitions being circulated for paper signatures. He also said that he has not been at the protest all the time, so he could not be sure that no petitions made their way around the protest.
A video of OW’s march can be viewed at this link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbjUMtewB_c