My Hero...Vincent


From CNN:
Hero Vincent has a dream: to see the titans of Wall Street trade their palatial office suites for a row of dank prison cells.

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."
From ABC News:
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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Comments

  1. I am glad that this protest is FINALLY getting mainstream media coverage. This is a fantastic job that everyone out there is doing. We're even having our own "Occupy Wall Street" protest in Iowa City soon.
    On another, somewhat derailing note is the police brutality. So, it's been happening to black people and other POC every day for decades, and no one even blinks. It happens at one protest here and suddenly in a span of 3 weeks everyone is talking about police brutality. smh. I guess now nobody will have cause to trust the police, or constantly question why POC's don't trust them.

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  2. It's a shame that the cops was laughing at them while attacking them.

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  3. MidwestAG said...
    I am glad that this protest is FINALLY getting mainstream media coverage. This is a fantastic job that everyone out there is doing. We're even having our own "Occupy Wall Street" protest in Iowa City soon.

    This protest you speak of has been largely exemplified by white faces. And you know when whites get mad at the government it’s always justifiable. Notice also how the protest has been identified as A Movement. But when non-whites are at the forefront, the same remonstration is christened Riot. Much like the white protestors who spearheaded the tea-party movement; it was simply viewed by other whites as righteous indignation. Whereas, if this same Movement had involved nothing but non-whites, the revelers would have been called Thugs and Troublemakers. This is why the mainstream is interested.

    Whites always laud other whites who stand up against authority. Whites who rally against the system are viewed more like heroes then activists. Whites have been conditioned by privilege to control non-whites; but by the same token, they don’t want to be controlled by anyone. Let this ‘movement’ become a non-white campaign and people will start dying.

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  4. @ M. Gibson

    You know I co-sign.

    On the one hand, I am annoyed with the whiteness of the Occupation because once again, the whole story isn't being told and the racial aspect is - I feel - purposefully ignored. I think that's why Roseanne's speech hasn't been played more often; she bluntly points out that the 1% who are stealing from everyone, whom Michael Moore describes as "sociopathic" and "kleptomaniac", are white folks. While Negroes and Mexicans were getting the blame for the problems in the nation, white folks were causing them and that fact is still patently being addressed.

    Once again, the "it's strictly about class" argument is being echoed over and over again, while POC Occupants are reporting negative treatment from both the police and white fellow Occupants. One group's abusing them, the other is ignoring them.

    On the other hand, I'm going to give credit where credit is due and in this case, Shawn "Hero" Vincent is my hero. Arrested twice and beaten, he's not yet broken and I'm so very proud of him, and all Occupants of color who are out there protesting despite the obvious extra danger to them. For the record, that's what heroes look like. That's how they roll.

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  5. At times it mirrors a political protest movie, with a white lead and non-white supporting characters. Women and non-whites are the ones being abused, while white males are lauded for their convictions. As long as they keep white faces in the forefront, the movement retains its legitimacy, because most whites can identify. It’s those emotional non-whites we have to control, or this whole thing can blow up. So people of color will suffer the brunt of violent fallout, while white participants view such dissent as stepping stones to political notoriety.

    Ankhesen Mié said...
    On the other hand, I'm going to give credit where credit is due and in this case, Shawn "Hero" Vincent is my hero. Arrested twice and beaten, he's not yet broken and I'm so very proud of him, and all Occupants of color who are out there protesting despite the obvious extra danger to them. For the record, that's what heroes look like. That's how they roll.

    Oh I agree. That’s what the media should focus on if they were truly non-partisan and objective. But such reporting (regardless of the media outlet) will always bear a slant towards whiteness. When non-whites suffer harm in the cause it’s probably because of something they did to deserve it (some whites believe). The struggle of non-whites always seems to be framed in that narrative. On the other hand- whites who see affliction will be lauded in the eyes of the media for their bravery and determination; for the story will always be about their endeavor.

    They need non-whites to help them in their campaigns, and suffer for their causes; so that the crusade itself appears to circumscribe the entire racial spectrum. But the only ones that truly seem to benefit from such commotions are white men.

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  6. @M. Gibson: It the same as Katrina, White people scavenge and black people loot. Mind you this was all black, you'll have Newark Riots again.

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  7. I'm glad that Shawn did let that painful ordeal stop him. I'm quite sure that was what Wall street was counting on.

    I also agree heroes are the people who weather those storms and never surrender to their naysayers. I'm hoping that they keep it and their good work spreads to all 50 states.

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  8. @M. Gibson: On point as usual. You know I'm co-signing.

    I won't lie. Part of me was more than amused when white folks expressed shock that the police assaulted them for practicing civil and legal protest. They honestly could not understand that the police would break the law and violently assault them. For them it was clearly unprecedented.

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  9. Part of me was more than amused when white folks expressed shock that the police assaulted them for practicing civil and legal protest. They honestly could not understand that the police would break the law and violently assault them. For them it was clearly unprecedented.

    Which is precisely why I'm glad this is happening. This is a wake-up call for white Americans of the 99% who genuinely believed that the 1% had their back and their best interests at heart. Now they realize they don't. And when Chase, the infamous demon bank, handed $4.6 million to the NYPD to help protect fellow 1%ers, I was like, "Yes. Good. How do you like 'em now? This is how they roll."

    This is going to be great lesson for some white folks, and I'm not surprised that once again, it begins with the young. The rich white elite have sent their their poor cousins an ultimatum: We like you the way we like our POC: quiet, complacent, and preferably out of sight.

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  10. Thank you to Vincent (thats my brothers name)!

    I am all about Decolonizing Wall Street. Lets really get back to our roots before genocide, annihilation and assimilation of the the First People! I surely will be carrying my Decolonize Wallstreet sign in the protest I attend!

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  11. Hi all I just came from the Chi-town Occupy HQ.I got a chance to talk to some folks, and participate in the GA. I really recommend to everyone that if you can go to a protest near you, go. Many of the things we are talking about that bleed across the color line they are also talking about. I don't know about the movement in NYC, but the I felt that my presence a POC was genuinely desired. By genuine I mean everyone here knows and acknowledges that politicians manipulate fears about race to their advantage, white people do have white privilege and this is a problem and we actually want everyone to be included so we are truly listening to everyone. Also the organizers and leaders here in Chi-town appear to be all female. This is my initial impression I will be going back to see and learn more.

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  12. I'll admit, I've largely been ignoring the movement until the last couple of days, when POC voices have finally surfaced. I've, up until these past few days, assumed, due to what I've been exposed to, this was largely a movement of formerly-middle-class white kids mad that they suddenly are among the ranks of ~those people~

    Thank you for bringing this man to my attention.

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