Demonstrators marked day two of the occupation of the Hennepin County Government Center, renamed “The People’s Plaza,” in downtown Minneapolis. The World Socialist Web Site spoke to a wide variety of workers and youth who expressed anger about the economic crisis, unemployment and the ongoing wars of the Obama administration.
Jasen Tveit, an artist and musician, is currently unemployed. He’s worked as a computer technician and professional baker. He told the WSWS, “The reason I'm here is due to the $16 trillion in bailout money given to corporations and banks, including foreign banks. I believe it was not only illegal, but was unconstitutional. It works out to $53,000 per American citizen.
“If you had taken the $16 trillion and distributed $53,000 to each American citizen, it would have helped people. My mom owes less than that on her house. She would have been able to pay it off.
“We have people that should be able to retire, but they’re losing their pensions. If they had $53,000 they could retire and there would be more jobs for the younger people.
“And the wars today are basically used as a mechanism for profit. We have banks like Goldman Sachs that have branches in various countries lending money to both sides in these wars. Goldman Sachs has banks in both Libya and Syria and they lend money to both sides to kill each other, and the banks profit.
“As for Obama, I think he is a tool. He’s in the pocket of all the others that came from Goldman Sachs. There are fourteen different congressman and senators, all former Goldman Sachs employees.”
A sophomore at the University of Minnesota, also spoke to the WSWS. “I’m a 20-year-old college student and my parents are still paying off their college debt,” she said. “My Dad is fifty years old. I find it is appalling that there are people sitting on huge piles of money while people like my family, and people doing worse than we are, have all this debt.
“It’s impossible to escape student debt. Even if you declare bankruptcy, you cannot escape it. So I’m here today because I want my opinion heard. Students in America need more affordable educations.
“I’m a sophomore at the University of Minnesota and majoring in global studies. I’m incurring debt, a lot of it. And it’s very difficult to find a job now. A lot of people are unemployed after they graduate. They can’t find a job.
“As far as myself, I don’t know what to expect. What I would like to do is travel and work with non-profit organizations. But I’m not sure that the support for them will be there.”