The Faces of Occupy Wall Street – Bill Schiavo

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

“I’m 65 years old. The economic crisis effected me, yeah. I lost about 36% of retirement money. So I’m not alone. I didn’t have huge amounts in the bank. It was thousands of dollars as opposed to hundreds of thousands of dollars like a lot of people.
I’m retired. My life in comfortable. I still do some work. The reason I’m here is not because I’ve got it so bad. It’s because I see my children struggling and I see the creation of a peasant class in our society. People that are the working poor. They don’t have enough money to get proper healthcare. Can’t afford housing. The middle class American dream has been eradicated almost by the social inequity of the 1% versus the 99%.
I would describe the 1% as the super rich in America. The people that really wield the power. That buy politicians. That get laws passed to benefit corporations. Financial institutions. Just basically rich families. It’s an oligarchy almost.
I think [the occupy wall street] movement is great. It’s around the world. Even though you don’t see huge masses of people here I would say that for every 1 there’s probably 100 that agree with them. It’s the tip of the iceberg.
I’m out here because of social inequity. America is a great place but I really do think we’re creating this peasantry and a lot of people must think it’s really o.k. to do that or they don’t have time to do anything about it. Fortunately I can spend some time. 5 years ago I wouldn’t have been able to do it because I’d be working just like a lot of other people.
It’s a different society now. My children are all college educated. I wasn’t college educated but they’ve had a lot of difficulty finding their jobs so to speak. They’ve all taken jobs that were lesser than their abilities and their capabilities. So I see that as another pressure down on the people. It used to be education was the key to advancement but now you’re just another drone. You can be a college grad two times over and still be banging nails or living on the street.
Every time I watch television I get nauseous because it’s so slanted. It’s so fixed that you really don’t get the truth over the media. The people here [in the movement] are regular people. It’s mothers, fathers, housewives, little babies. They’re the common folk like everybody else. It’s not rabble.
The movement, I think, will get bigger because economically things are getting worse and worse and there’s really no relief. The republicans and the rich still have a stranglehold on where the money goes. There’s billions sitting in cash yet we don’t employ people. That’s a direct function of investment bankers and financiers and banks. they are starving out the American people. I think they do want a powerless rabble so they can use an excuse to have more police around. Republicans I think are the dominant force. Look what they’re doing in Congress. They’re stopping anything that’s got kind of a social note to it. But I do believe there are democrats too.
At this point I’ve totally gotten disgusted with politics in general. I have no faith in any politician that’s supposed to be representing me. Including the president. I voted for him and I’m not happy.
If I was going to encourage people to do something, you know, you can talk the talk but you gotta walk the walk too. I divested all the money I had in wall street. Do I still have money in the bank? Yeah I do. But I would say boycott wall street. Stop giving them your money. I don’t care if you put it under the mattress. Resist this trend toward zombies walking around.
It’s economic. It’s social. It’s environmental and it’s just a down hill slippery slope if we don’t act to create a more socially responsible community and environment. If we don’t, we deserve what we get.”


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