The weekend saw two days of protest in Ithaca, New York. On Friday, around one hundred people gathered on Ho Plaza at Cornell University for the Occupy Cornell protest. On Saturday, another hundred people gathered on the Ithaca Commons in solidarity with the international day of protest.
The protests themselves had the typical array of various ex-left groups who gravitate toward such events, as well as politicians such as Svante Myrick, the city’s Democratic candidate for mayor. However, there was also a relatively large turnout of workers and students genuinely interested in learning more about the protests and how to move forward.
Many carried handmade signs expressing their opposition to Wall Street and solidarity with “the 99%.” One read, “When the 99% go hungry, we will eat the rich!”
The World Socialist Web Site spoke to protesters at the events and distributed recent perspectives on the Occupy movement.
Jack, a senior at Cornell, voiced an array of political concerns about the Occupy Wall Street protests.
“They need specific demands, perhaps along the lines of ‘stop all foreclosures’ and ‘forgive all student loans’,” he said. “Obama will do anything to further his re-election campaign. He’s using this for that, and that’s why the protesters have to fight for specific demands.”
“I would also like to see the protesters say something about Cornell,” Jack added. “They have connections to Wall Street through the endowment. The Board of Trustees is identical to the Wall Street managers. They are the same media moguls, parasitic bankers and corporate tycoons.”
Cornell’s Board of Trustees includes the CEOs of Chevron and Goldman Sachs and past and current CEOs of Citigroup.
Jack also discussed the rampant corruption in the Wall Street establishment.
“When the Rupert Murdoch scandal broke out, Cameron and Obama fell on their knees apologizing to him [Murdoch], but both are okay with attacking peaceful protesters with batons and pepper spray, arresting people who just want their rights. Everyone would be so wealthy if we just got rid of these people. There is no reason we should be in this manufactured nightmare.”
“People are slowly realizing that we’d be better off if we threw these people in jail and started over with a system that makes sense,” Jack said. “The people need to control the money and the wealth. That’s the single most important thing. Ultimately...it really has to be on an international scale.”
Another protester, who wished to remain anonymous, commented on how Obama is attempting to use the Wall Street protests for his own gain.
“So many people voted for Obama in 2008 and became disillusioned with him after he basically wrecked our society worse than Bush. I think it’s disgusting that he’s supporting Occupy Wall Street protests. He’s a main part of the problem. I hope that everyone realizes what a fraud Obama really is.”