Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is an ongoing series of demonstrations in New York City based in Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street financial district. The protests were initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters. They are mainly protesting social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the power and influence over government of corporations, particularly from the financial service sector, and of lobbyists. The participants’ slogan “We are the 99%” refers to the difference in wealth between the top 1% and the other citizens of the United States.
The movement has been criticized for having no goals and/or formal demands. Other commentators see it as a “democratic awakening,” whose motives are difficult to formulate into a few demands, saying that the current primary goal for the movement is simply growth. On October 15, an attendee of “The New York City General Assembly”, the governing body of the group, said that demands have been brought up, but “they were shot down vociferously under the argument that demands are for terrorists and that is not who we are.”
By October 9, similar demonstrations were either ongoing or had been held in 70 major cities and over 600 communities in the U.S., Internationally, other “Occupy” protests have modeled themselves after Occupy Wall Street, in over 900 cities worldwide.