Occupy Wall Street: News Round-Up

people demonstrate outside the Bank of America in Chicago, holding signs reading: 'Jobs Not Cuts,' 'Jobs Not Wars,' 'Human Need Not Corporate Greed,' and 'Honk to Indict Banksters'
Occupy Chicago, October 18. [Getty Images]

Here's some of what I've been reading this morning...

Leonard Pitts, Jr.—Occupy Wall Street can bring about systemic change:
The Occupy movement is only a little over a month old. It is a new colt, still wobbly on its legs, yet some of us want it to already be Seabiscuit.

It is, however, difficult to escape a certain impatience when you consider that the corporate greed and exploitation the movement exists to oppose have gone unquestioned and unchallenged for an unconscionably long time. There is something grotesque about the idea that 1 percent of the nation controls more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. There is something pitiful about the idea that the bottom 90 has endured economic exploitation in silence for years.

The nation - the world itself, to judge from last weekend - needs this uprising, this line in the sand, this visceral reminder of the power of the people. We need this to be something.
Greg Sargent—Yup: Blue collar whites do support Occupy Wall Street: "Conservatives predicting that the protests will drive away blue collar whites are trying to exploit a traditional cultural faultline that has been a feature of our politics for decades—the one between working class whites and liberal activists who resort to outsized protest tactics. But if anything, white working class voters may be looking past the theatrics and responding to Occupy Wall Street's actual message. It's very early days, and anything can happen to the movement, but this raises at least the possibility that labor organizers can begin to make some headway in tying it to a broader working class constituency."

Errin Haines for the AP—Occupy protesters eye diversity as movement grows:
On Saturday, the nation's capital provided a sharp contrast: A couple dozen mostly white protesters congregated in Washington's Freedom Plaza. They were separate from Occupy DC but hold similar ideals. Not far away, thousands marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Their rallying cry was similar, if not identical -- yet the vast majority were black.

A few men played the bongo drums at Freedom Plaza, while a band at the nearby rally led by the Rev. Al Sharpton near the Washington Monument played a soulful, jazzy rendition of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" -- albeit with a white saxophonist -- and the crowd sang along knowingly as a speaker recited the familiar opening theme to the "Tom Joyner Morning Show."

Phil Calhoun, 44, an engineer from Crofton, Md., who was checking out the various protests, marveled at the racial disparity between the two groups even though they were preaching similar ideologies.

"Maybe it's just the nature of our society, set this up this way," he said. "But it's one thing I think we need to bridge. We need to bridge that gap."
Emerging from Chicago's South Side, Occupy the Hood, which is quickly spreading to other US cities, is one attempt at bridge-building.

Other odds and ends...

Public Radio International: Tourists flock to New York's Occupy Wall Street protests.

The Daily Beast: Occupy Wall Street Invades Late Night.

Voice of America: Grassroots, Labor Support for Occupy Wall Street.

Change.org Petition: Tell Bank of America: No $5 Debit Card Fees.

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