Wall Street protests enter second week with arrests

The Takeaway

Story by The Takeaway. Listen to audio above for full report.

For over a week, groups of protestors angry at the power and greed of corporate America have been marching on Wall Street, as part of an ongoing campaign broadly known as “Occupy Wall Street.” On Saturday, several hundred people took part in the march and at least 80 people were arrested. The participants are also fighting against a range of other issues, including healthcare reform and scrapping the death penalty.

“I actually quit my job and got a one-way ticket out here for the protest,” said one protester from Oakland, California. “I just felt like in a lot of ways this was the last hope for some sort of real change.”

Arun Venugopal, a reporter for public radio station WNYC, was at the protests this weekend. He told The Takeaway participants want the protests to be civil, not disruptive. “They’re really trying to gain the support of the public here,” he said.

Venugopal says while the number of protesters have grown, they “still haven’t really crystalized exactly what they’re looking for.”

Michael Kazin, a professor of history at Georgetown University and co-editor of Dissent magazine, believes the “Occupy Wall Street” movement reflects a lack of leadership on the left on a number of economic issues, like nationalizing health care and jobs. “People on the left have not been focusing really on the economic issues, they’ve been focusing on other things — and quite successfully in many ways — gay marriage, the war in Iraq, the environment to a degree.”

“That’s one of the reasons most of the young people down on Wall Street now are acting on their own without being part of a large institution,” Kazin added.

View YouTube video of police clashing with protesters near Union Square in downtown Manhattan:


“The Takeaway” is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.