One of my middle school classmates now works on Wall Street and was harassed by Occupy Wall Street protestors while heading home.
Apparently Occupy Wall Street protestors mistook my friend for someone like this guy.
I recently discovered that one of my middle school classmates now works on Wall Street and was harassed by Occupy Wall Street protestors while heading home. Considering that she’s Hispanic, grew up in our poor immigrant neighborhood, attended its shit-hole schools and is currently working two jobs, it seems extremely retarded for protestors claiming to represent the 99% to be targeting people like her — especially while the demonstrators embrace Kanye West, Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon, you know, people who actually belong to the 1%.
Over a series of emails, she and I discussed her job, her run-in with the protestors and the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in general.
STREET CARNAGE: You said you work on Wall Street. What exactly do you do? What does your company do?
WALL STREET FRIEND: I work at a brokerage firm. I am the executive assistant to the Compliance Officer / Branch Manager.
You previously mentioned that you and your boyfriend were confronted by protestors outside of your job. Can you describe what happened?
My boyfriend happens to work in the same office as I do. He’s a stockbroker. We left work together and walked up towards Broadway to catch the train. I assume because we were dressed professionally and leaving with the mass of other finance workers around 5 P.M., the protestors saw us as ” the enemy.” They began chanting much louder at us and one guy started waving his poster right in front of us. My boyfriend became upset and bumped past him, and we walked faster to where we were heading.
Despite being yelled at by protestors, you said you support the demonstrations. Why?
Because I too am just a regular person who supports that large corporations and banks should have much less power and control.
Do you think Wall Street is the main culprit in America’s current financial fiasco?
I think there are many factors to consider in the current financial situation. Wall Street has been doing what it did way before our generation, our parents’ generation and their parents’ generation. Moreover, Wall Street itself is suffering and has been for months. The market’s last peak was almost six months ago or so.
If there was something you could explain to the Occupy Wall Street protestors, what would it be?
Well, I am a bit of a cynic, so I would say that, realistically, there is not much we can do. It is wonderful that so many people can come together and fight for us “regular people,” but us regular people, despite our large numbers, are still just that. The banks and corporations will always vouch for each other and cover what they do. Unless those people in power change what they’re doing or modify how they conduct business, nothing is really going to change. It’s just the hard truth.
I’m no expert in this, don’t get me wrong. I have been in this industry for close to six years and even then, I only know and understand a little more than the average person. Without trying to be too harsh, I do think it’s a little ignorant for homeless individuals and job-less young kids to be involved because they think the government and everyone, for that matter, is against them. I think we all need to educate ourselves in the way things have been run before we go and sit in a park for weeks without showering and leaving waste all over because we want things to change. If they were able to verbally make an educated and wise effort to obtain change, maybe those in power might consider listening. Honestly, do you think a conference room full of old white men in expensive suits gives a shit about a bunch of young dirty people screaming with cardboard signs? Sorry, I really don’t.
You’ve been working in the industry for nearly six years and you still only understand it a little better than the average American. If that’s the case, is it even possible for Wall Street outsiders to become educated in the internal machinations of banks and corporations? Isn’t this inability of normal people to understand the workings of Wall Street part of the problem because it leaves them feeling like they’re getting fucked by something they can’t understand, much less control?
I think there’s only a small portion of people who fully understand the way corporate America is run — and I don’t mean “understand” in the way people who read financial magazines or follow the news think they “understand.” I mean FULLY get it. Part of me doesn’t even think its those in power who are in this small percentage. It’s probably really smart, quiet, pushover-personality types who get paid a lot to serve as the brains behind the man with all the money.
I definitely agree that this lack of total and accurate knowledge about what is really going on and how all of this works is the main problem behind those protesting right now. For example, if someone is explaining how much they owe you after loans and small payments and more loans and the math they’re doing doesn’t seem right because you don’t get it, you would begin to think, “They’re trying to rip me off, motherfucker!” Right?
Well, it’s not exactly like this, but I think you get the point.