The Occupy campaign may have hoped, at its launch, to inspire similar action elsewhere, but few can have foreseen that within four weeks, more than 900 cities around the world would host co-ordinated protests directly or loosely affiliated to the Occupy cause.
The exact targets of protesters' anger may differ from city to city and country to country. But while their numbers remain small in many places, activists argue that Saturday's demonstrations, many of which are still ongoing - and are pledged to remain so for the foreseeable future - are evidence of a growing wave of global anger at social and economic injustice.
"This is not a battle by youth or Chilean society," said Camila Vallejo, a Chilean student leader who has become a key figure in that country's protests, and who this week travelled to Europe to forge alliances with protest movements there. "This is a world battle that transcends all frontiers."
Democratic Rep DeFazio "It's time for a new order.":
Krugman on "Panic of the Plutocrats":
"... if you were listening to talking heads on CNBC, you learned that the protesters "let their freak flags fly," and are "aligned with Lenin."
The way to understand all of this is to realize that it's part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.
Last year, you may recall, a number of financial-industry barons went wild over very mild criticism from President Obama. They denounced Mr. Obama as being almost a socialist for endorsing the so-called Volcker rule, which would simply prohibit banks backed by federal guarantees from engaging in risky speculation. And as for their reaction to proposals to close a loophole that lets some of them pay remarkably low taxes -- well, Stephen Schwarzman, chairman of the Blackstone Group, compared it to Hitler's invasion of Poland.
Matt Taibbi: My Advice to the Occupy Wall Street Protesters
Hit bankers where it hurts
" ... the primary challenge of opposing the 50-headed hydra of Wall Street corruption ... is that it's extremely difficult to explain the crimes of the modern financial elite in a simple visual. The essence of this particular sort of oligarchic power is its complexity and day-to-day invisibility: Its worst crimes, from bribery and insider trading and market manipulation, to backroom dominance of government and the usurping of the regulatory structure from within, simply can't be seen by the public or put on TV.
In fact, the structure of the news production system is, you can't produce evidence. There's even a name for it -- I learned it from the producer of Nightline, Jeff Greenfield. It's called "concision." He was asked in an interview somewhere why they didn't have me on Nightline, and his answer was -- two answers. First of all, he says, "Well, he talks Turkish, and nobody understands it." But the other answer was, "He lacks concision." Which is correct, I agree with him. The kinds of things that I would say on Nightline, you can't say in one sentence because they depart from standard religion. If you want to repeat the religion, you can get away with it between two commercials. If you want to say something that questions the religion, you're expected to give evidence, and that you can't do between two commercials. So therefore you lack concision, so therefore you can't talk.
I think that's a terrific technique of propaganda. To impose concision is a way of virtually guaranteeing that the party line gets repeated over and over again, and that nothing else is heard.
I think the movement's basic strategy - to build numbers and stay in the fight, rather than tying itself to any particular set of principles - makes a lot of sense early on. But the time is rapidly approaching when the movement is going to have to offer concrete solutions to the problems posed by Wall Street. To do that, it will need a short but powerful list of demands. There are thousands one could make, but I'd suggest focusing on five: