Dateline gets to the heart of the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York and questions whether the financial world can ignore such a huge demonstration in its midst.
“This isn’t just a game, this is the future of this country. It’s actually the future of the world”, insists the economist Jeffrey Sachs. Lawyer Burt Neuborne took on many of the biggest civil rights era cases in New York. He feels that this movement, while in its infancy, has that kind of potential. “It is at the emotional outpouring stage and it hasn’t matured yet, but it will. It will.” The movement so far is an instinctive one, responding to the pain of recession and the deep inequalities in society. However, while the protestors may have been accused of not having a clear set of aims, they have a very clear idea of the problems they are reacting to. “Those at the top 1% are making it impossible for the rest of us to live decent lives”, one protestor tells us. Most educated onlookers feel that it is this sense of moral justice that will sustain the movement and help it spread, despite its early lack of direction. As economist Moshe Adler points out,“Occupy Wall Street is a cry for economic democracy. It is not concrete enough yet, but it is providing a kernel around which a movement to call for change can coalesce”.