‘Why Occupy?’ explored by students

By Lena Torres |Staff Writer|

CSUSB students and staff gathered on Nov. 8 to discuss the causes and effects of the explosive occupy Wall Street movement.

The event, entitled “Why Occupy,” was presented by CSUSB economics department chair Mayo Toruno and economics professor Eric Nilsson.

“Why Occupy” opened with the discussion of what Toruno and Nilsson believe are some of the key factors that contributed to the protest.

Some of the factors mentioned include the government’s response to the recession, federal bail outs to large corporations, the 47 million people in the US living below the poverty line and the 14 million people in the US who are unemployed.

“The Occupy Wall Street movement is the people’s reaction to injustice,” said Toruno.

The Pine room in the Commons was filled for the meeting and many asked questions about what Toruno called the most spontaneous uprising since the 1960s.

According to Toruno, the Wall Street movement is the first of its kind.

In the past unions would not be in support of such a protest; however, there are many unions that now stand behind the movement

The Occupy Wall street movement initially started in Zuccotti Park also known as Liberty Park, in New York City with 2,000 people present.

The purpose of the protest was to target economic inequality and corporate greed.

Police pepper sprayed some of the protesters which brought the media’s attention. However social media has played a large part in the spread of the movement.

“The use of social networks and technology help to explain the explosion,” said Toruno.

Students discussed how through networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr supporters of the movement can help contribute to the expansion of the movement.

There is currently and Occupy Cal State movement here at CSUSB.

According to OccupyTogether.org there is currently 2,633 occupy movements taking place worldwide.

The question of whether or not Wall Street is to blame, or whether we should point fingers at the federal government, was asked.

“Wall Street is the scape goat in the situation,” said Nilsson. “There are numerous people to blame,” he continued.

The discussion of who to blame revolved around the discussion of federal bail outs to large corporations.

“Wall Street got us into this mess and then got bailed” said Toruno. “However if they didn’t bail out Wall Street things would have gotten worse,” he continued.

Students expressed mixed opinions on who is to blame. According to some, blaming Wall Street will not get anything done.

“Targeting Wall Street will not do anything,” said student Erika Thomas. “The politicians are who we should target,” she continued.

Others believe the movement is correctly directed at Wall Street.

“Wall Street has the politicians in their pockets, of course they’re to blame,” said student Felix Sanchez.

Whether or not Wall Street is to blame for our countries current situation is uncertain.  The question is what will result from the Wall Street movement.

Both Nilsson and Toruno are not sure.

“I don’t know where it will go, I hope it rattles things up and brings about policies that eliminate poverty,” said Toruno.

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