In 2008, the United States of America (US) experienced a financial crisis which affected the rest of the world. Investment banks and Wall Street crashed. It left a good portion of US citizens in debt, unemployed, homeless, etc. As a result, Occupy Wall Street became a movement to demonstrate that the people have had enough and started protesting and voicing their opinions. In terms of globalization, the development of ‘Occupy’ movements have altered the notion of social movements to which it is not just about highlighting and fighting for causes, rather it desires to place the power back into the hands of the people. The term ‘movements’ has become a catchall definition about the mobilization of people from short term causes to longterm causes.1 Through an analysis of Occupy Wall Street (OWS), it will be demonstrated that there was a globalized response and movement toward the 2008 financial crisis which illustrated an issue of the inequality of income between social classes. The paper will explain the trajectory to an international movement though five sections: the 2008 US financial crisis, Occupy Wall Street, the local and global response, the opposition, and the obstacles and its legacy.
Structurally, the paper divides into five different segments to illustrate the journey of OWS to which it transitioned from a local movement to a global one. The first part will examine the 2008 US financial crisis to showcase where the problem originated and to understand how the movement became a consequence to the recession. The second part analyzes OWS and its values which is the foundation of their cause. The third part views the reception of OWS within the local and global spheres. As a result of the response, the fourth part will survey the opposition to understand the fighting cause of OWS. Finally, the fifth and final part studies the obstacles that they had to overcome to be recognized as a movement and gain global awareness. All in all, OWS is a movement based on a human rights movement which is fighting an economical issue that relates to the whole world.
2008: US Financial Crisis
To begin with, the 2008 US financial crisis is the initial event that OWS is opposing and that affected the rest of the world. Since the aftermath of the Great Depression, the US has been living within a period of growth which influenced the economic system to become out of control and greedy. In the documentary Inside Job directed by Charles Ferguson, the failure of investment banks and financial-insurance firms was based on the process of deregulation markets and the technological innovation of derivatives.2 Yet, derivatives were supposed to be financially safe, but were actually a risk and dangerous. Financial innovations are not intrinsically flawed. They are risky economic devises because they create the illusion that financial employees believe that they do not have any responsibility towards others, when they use them.3 Hence, it was difficult to pin it on...