Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Ninety-Nine Percent:
This Is What #OccupyWallStreet Looks Like

To sit in silence when we should protest
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest.

- Ella Wheeler Wilcox, I Protest, 1914

With so much effort being exerted by the right-wing lunatic punditocracy and commentariat, Citigroup fiancées with CNN programs, know-nothing pizza magnates and billionaire mayors to belittle and dismiss Occupy Wall Street protesters as "stereotypically aging hippies and young kids who could have just left a Phish concert," here's a look at who's actually down at Liberty Plaza.

Hero, 21
The Bronx, New York

John, 61
Croton-On-Hudson, New York

Alisha, 20
Las Vegas, Nevada

Kevin, 60, and John, 57
Queens, New York

Ronnie, 24
New York, New York

Taylor, 20
Catasauqua, Pennsylvania

Ari, 29
Chicago, Illinois

Michael, 20
The Bronx, New York

Susie, 52
Brooklyn, New York

Matthew, 28
New York, New York

Natalie, 26
Seattle, Washington

Lexi, 38
New Orleans, Louisiana

Samoa, 53
Brooklyn, New York

Hamza, 29
Utica, New York

Pat, 69
Erie, Colorado

Layla, 5 months
Brooklyn, New York

All photographs ©Nima Shirazi

The ever-intrepid and affable J.A. Myerson contributed to this report.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1914

To sit in silence when we should protest
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance and lust
The Inquisition yet would serve the law
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle; Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills,
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and child-bearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.
Therefore do I protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong which holds one rusted link,
Call no land free that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled, slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee;
Until the Mother bears no burden save
The precious one beneath her heart; until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the Land of Freedom.



Sue Katz said...

Exquisite photos, exquisite feelings, makes me want to get out there and kick some butt! Thanks for showing all the faces of the fight.

Barbara Harris said...

Simply, without long discourse or rhetoric, you have captured the personna and meaning of the movement. A stirring essay in many ways. Peace with justice.

TM said...

Thanks for posting this. I think it's important that people see the faces that get lost in the ridiculous back-and-forth you read about. Thanks -Todd

Maurizio @ ARREST BERLUSCONI said...

Thanks for posting this! It's beautiful and it shows the truth!

Ajlounyinjurylaw said...

Much respect to all of you. I only hope that more and more join and bring a much deserved change in America. It is time that we change the status quo and fight for equality and a country that belongs to the people not the rich or those with the most influence. I think its time to wake up from the "American dream" and make it a reality. Great photos by the way.

Tyler said...

The real heroes.