Occupy Wall Street never dies

TEHRAN, Aug. 31 (MNA) – It was on September 17, 2011, when Wall Street of New York in USA was 'occupied' by thousands of demonstrators who decried the influence of the 1 percent in politics.

Four years ago, demonstrators descended on Zuccotti Park in New York City's financial district. Their focus on economic injustice, influence of corporate money in politics, income inequality and unfettered capitalism, was clear in the name the movement would take: 'Occupy Wall Street'.

Occupy Wall Street was the product of a deep-seated yearning for economic justice, equality of opportunity, and yearning for the return of an economy that lifts people out of poverty and generates a large and prosperous middle class.

The movement, with the slogan "We are the 99%," was the fruit of widespread and intense anger at Wall Street and Corporate America, and against those in the political class who helped them hijack the economy. Those sentiments are very much alive in the American political process.

The movement continued to grow in more than 80 countries around the world and has now spread across the world, motivating thousands to voice their anger at financial and social inequality, and in some places merging with existing anti-government protests.

Every year on the anniversary of the event, thousands of protesters carrying banners, promotional materials and brochures, took to New York City's streets as well as other cities around the world, to mark the anniversary of the original Occupy Wall Street encampment and renew their cry against financial greed.

Across the world, many demonstrations were raised in accordance with the movement. Protesters took their messages and anger to the streets from Hong Kong to Fairbanks, from Miami to London, from Berlin to Sydney, and hundreds of more cities large and small all over the world.

During all these four years, as the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement approaches on September 17th, different activities and many events are conducted across the world for holding solidarity events, keeping the spirit of the movement alive and showing the huge impacts the movement had in New York, the United States, and across the world. During the three days of events marking the one year anniversary of the movement, many programs including music concerts, workshops, several general assemblies, exhibitions, seminars, international conferences, TV programs and etc., are been conducted in many countries.

Iran, like many other countries across the world, has hosted many events and programs to show its support for the people-powered movement.

The Wall Street Fall website (wsfall.com) - with content in both Persian and English - was launched in 2011 by the Head of Iran's The Organization for Mobilization of the Oppressed (Basij), Mohammad Reza Naghdi.

"This news website can notably be influential in informing the people living under the sun specially those truth enthusiasts living in the west who are captives of universal Zionist media propaganda," Naghdi was quoted as saying on October 30, 2011.

In 2011, University of Tehran held a conference on analyzing Occupy Wall Street Movement which hosted many American professors, including Alex Vitale of Brooklyn College, Heather Gautney of Fordham University and John Hammond of City University of New York, in Tehran.

In 2012, Iran held a cartoon festival supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States; the event known as the international Wall Street downfall cartoon festival showcased the works of cartoonists from 45 countries. Most of the works portrayed an end to capitalism and the income disparity of America’s social middle class and the so-called 99 percent.

Now, on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the event, Iran has arranged an 'Occupy Wall Street poster exhibition' in Abolfazl Aali Art Gallery in Tehran which kicked off on August 30 and will wrap up on September 5.

The exhibition consists of 36 posters of 100 by 70 cm dimensions designed by foreign artists who are mostly from the United States.

Saeed Khavarinejad, a visual arts researcher in charge of organizing the poster gallery, and one who has collected the posters told Mehr News that the artworks are selected from among hundreds of works in occuprint.com.

Jimmy Hendon's 'Occupy the Heart,' 'General Strike' by Colin Smith, 'Wall Street, The Global Movement' by Kevin Vancio, 'Money Talks... Too Much' by Josh Mcfee, 'Bull Shit' by James, 'Occupy Wall Street' by Rob Sheridan, 'You Don't Have Enough Lobbyists to Matter' by Brian Tatosky, 'The War on Women Is a War on Everyone' by Favianna Rodriguez, 'We Are The 99%' by Roberto Conti (Imho) are among many other works exhibited in the gallery, Khavarnejad said.

To a question on the objectives of holding the gallery, Khavarinejad said the works aim to raise awareness about the movement and its dimensions, especially its artistic and graphic dimension, which has a profound impact on conveying the message.

He underlined that although the movement is no longer alive technically or physically, it fostered the idea of social criticism and accomplished many achievements.

occupy Wall Street

"It put the question of economic inequality in the center of national discourse for the first time; it called attention to the stifling impact of student loan debt on young college, professional and trade school graduates; it inspired a wide variety of actions to prevent foreclosures and to bring relief to beleaguered home owners and tenants; it focused attention on the issue of police brutality and the militarization of urban police forces in ways that reinforces longstanding complaints of police misconduct and abuse in Black and Latino communities and it sparked protests against tuition increases at the nation's public universities," Khavarinejad said describing the achievements of the movement.