by Max Brantley
No UA football today and it was a lovely morning, a good time for several hundred to get their protest on. Occupy Little Rock formed up to march from the River Market to the Capitol starting about 9 a.m. today.
We must forget the left and right issues. This is an American issue. It rings across party lines. We are not asking for anyone to give up their wealth. We are trying to point out that with wealth comes responsibility.
UPDATE: I dropped by. Perhaps several hundred were on hand, wiith others trickling in. Handmade signs predominated. The corporate oligarchy came in for a lot of attention.
New York Times article today makes the bankers sound a little nervous about the noise on Wall Street and around the country, even as some dismiss the protestors as a bunch of dead-end effen hippies.
The messages coming from the protesters are by no means in accord. They have myriad grievances, though many see Wall Street as the most powerful symbol of the income inequality and “economic injustice” they are railing against. There is ample indignation over banks being bailed out while their customers are being foreclosed upon, and over banks handing out hefty bonus checks and severance packages so soon after the crisis erupted.
Similarly, executives keep getting generous payouts when they leave. Just last week, Bank of America disclosed it was paying a total of $11 million in severance to two executives forced out in a management reshuffle, Sallie Krawcheck and Joe Price, even as the company said it would begin laying off roughly 30,000 employees over the next few years.
“Wall Street continues to underestimate the degree of anger among citizens and voters,” said Douglas J. Elliott, a former investment banker who is now a fellow at the Brookings Institution.
UPDATE: Find a slideshow of more photos on the jump.
A marcher sent along a phone photo of his favorite sign: