Economic and political observers have been hinting at it for a while before it actually came – the rise of the 99% of the population which do not belong to the wealthiest 1% of society or at least a preview of it. Occupy Wall Street (OWS) introduced itself to America on September 17, 2011 via the occupation of Zuccotti Park in Wall Street, the Financial District of New York City. Before this however, the Occupy Movement has earlier introduced itself on July 30, 2011 in Kuala Lumpur.
Said to be a movement with no clear leaders as well as demands, it was initiated by a Canadian activist group known as Adbusters. Its driving force is the perceived social and economic inequality resulting from the great disparity in the distribution of wealth, thus the now famous 1% representing the biggest percentage of wealth controlled by a very few and the remaining 99% representing the rest of the population who are not as privileged. There is a belief among many that this situation has been made possible by the extraordinary influence the financial services sector has on government and the unabaited greed of certain corporations leading to widespread corruption.
The movement and its actions received mixed reactions although several surveys tend to show that the approval rates are more consistent than the disapproval. Disapproval mainly came from people who believed that they earned their spot among the wealthiest through honest and hard work. Concerns about sanitation, noise, and traffic because of the 2-month occupation of the park also partially account for the disapproval. Over-all however, the sentiments of the movement are shared by many people all over the world as evidenced by the growing list of Occupy Communities spread across the globe. Clearly, the Occupy Wall Street protest which was successfully removed from the park last November 17, 2011 is not the end of the story.