Occupying Wall Street

by Seungman Park (Korea)

The shouting of “We are the 99%!” pawed at my heart. I felt the obstacle – the fact that I was not born in the U.S. – melting away. If someone does not agree with my protest against Wall Street, dare I say “I have the right to occupy Wall Street because I have family in the U.S, I am an immigrant in this country, and I am a part of the United States of America.” We all have dreams of making America a great place. Everyone – citizens, residents, immigrants, migrant workers, and students – will help develop this country with our hard work and dreams. So I was proud of myself to march as one of the protesters on Wall Street.

Before deciding to participate in the protest, I was full of thoughts. I had just gotten my green card after an unbelievably crazy process and I was invited to my sister-in-law’s wedding the following Sunday. Even though it was not my first experience complaining about corruption, each step toward Wall Street made my heart beat so fast that I could hear the loud sound as it hit my chest. I felt like a soldier without any weapons walking into battle.

To grumble my complaint as an immigrant sometimes results in awkward moments. Someone, whose name I do not want to release, asked me in ignorance, “Do you know the purpose of the protest?” On hearing such foolishness not only did my mouth and body become frozen, but my blood also boiled. After that, I wondered whether my protesting was right or wrong. The answer to the above question is to not stress about it – I do not need to get close to someone who is narrow-minded.

Once I got to Liberty Plaza, where protesters delivered their speeches, sharing this painful economic situation with the 99% of us, my irrational fear of being arrested or pepper-sprayed flew away. I was just happy to be with normal people who had the same reasons I did for occupying Wall Street. I know why you and I should have been there, I know why you and I should be there, and I know you and I will be there until we all retake our voice and rights. That’s because we are the 99%.

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6 thoughts on “Occupying Wall Street

  1. I am an immigrant in this country, and I greatly condemn the Occupy Wall street protests, for them being aimless and unreasonable.
    Clearly, the majority of the people who have gathered on the Liberty pl are highly uninformed on economical issues (and I’m trying to put this politely.)
    Them being not able to identify the reason for the protests is only one part of the problem, what really concerns me is their excessive aversion and hostility towards the people who works and happen to make more money than they do.
    I used to attend International Center on a regular basis and in spite of all my gratitude to them, i can’t leave unnoticed their political bias. At first i was surprised to get the message from the ICNY with the “occupy wall street” in the subject, but now “the flashbacks” of “old times” put its all in place.

  2. “The misguided people never reflect during this frenzy, that the moment they become riotous, they renounce, from that moment, their independence, and commence vassals to their ambitious leaders, who instantly, and with a high hand, rob them of their consequence, and apply it to their own present or future aggrandizement; nor will these tyrants over the people stick at sacrificing their good, if an advantageous compromise can be effected for themselves.” – Alexander Hamilton, Wednesday, October 17, 1787 For the Daily Advertiser

  3. We say, in GOD we trust. Is it true? Maybe. Sure, the rich people are really working hard for their money. Let’s take an example. Two persons: one middle class (A) and one rich (B). Let’s say they work 10 hours a day, but (A) earns $400 a week, but (B) can vary from $1,000 to 20,000 and more. I repeat (B) is really working hard, so the question is if (B) is Really working hard for $10,000 or more a week? Sadly, we know the answer. PS. Sorry for my grammar and my misspelling.

    • A market economy rewards people according to their abilities to produce things that others are willing to pay for. For instance an NBA player might not be working so hard, but he will get rewarded multiple times as much as a construction worker – because people are willing to pay more to watch NBA. THAT’S PERFECTLY NATURAL

  4. I truly commend you for your courage in joining this protest and taking a chance. Our Country is about standing up for what you feel is the right thing to do and coming together, peacefully, to create that change. Your letter touched my heart and thank you for standing with all of us who believe in fairness.

    Claire

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