Hero Vincent has a dream: to see the titans of Wall Street trade their palatial office suites for a row of dank prison cells.From ABC News:
The crime? Theft. Stealing billion-dollar, taxpayer-funded bailouts. Getting rich on your dime while you struggle to make ends meet.
And if you're tired of standing by while the rich get richer and the middle class crumbles, he has a suggestion: Take it to the streets.
Vincent, 21 and unemployed, has suddenly become one of several unofficial spokesmen for Occupy Wall Street, a leaderless protest movement made largely of twenty-somethings upset with the state of the economy, the state of the war in Afghanistan, the state of the environment, and the state of America and the world in general.
If that sounds vague, it's meant to be. In less than three weeks, the movement has become a magnet for countless disaffected Americans. And at a time when an overwhelming majority of Americans say the country's on the wrong track, there's no shortage of new potential recruits.
On Saturday, more than 700 protesters were arrested for blocking the Brooklyn Bridge. A splinter group called Occupy Chicago touted a "huge afternoon march." In Boston, 34 groups -- unions and other organizations focused on everything from foreclosure prevention to climate change -- marched for "an economy that works for all of us," according to one website.
Over on the West Coast, Occupy Los Angeles kicked off with a march to City Hall. In Seattle, demonstrators touted "a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors (and) genders."
On Monday, a live video feed from Occupy Wall Street was featured at the start of a three-day conference of progressive leaders in Washington.
What does it all mean?
"We're here for different reasons," said Vincent, whose father is also unemployed and recently went through a home foreclosure. "But at the end of the day, it all boils down to one thing, and that's accountability. We want accountability for the connection between Wall Street and the politicians."
"Something has to change," he told CNN. "We're out here because we're tired of what's been going on."
There are almost as many grievances as there are protesters. "We're tired, we're mad, and we're standing up," protester Hero Vincent today told ABC News. He complains that the movement is "degraded" by the news media for not having a limited and well thought out set of goals. "Our constitution took a year to make," he says. " We've been here for three weeks, and we're supposed to have an agenda? That makes no sense."
Professor Yochai Benkler, co-director of Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, calls Occupy Wall Street still very much a movement in the making. "One of the beautiful things about it," he says, "is that it is a movement defining itself as it 'becomes.'"
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