Francisco Collazo heads down for the march from Foley Square to the financial district to find out who’s actually protesting.

Earlier this year there were riots in Vancouver and all across the UK. Hooligans were, of course, blamed. A bunch of up-to-no-good youths in balaclavas hell-bent on destruction. Blame is easy to assign; what’s much harder is asking why these people felt a need to do what they did. That they are releasing in a negative way is not the point. That they feel a need to release something is what needs to be looked at. I see all of these events, including the current protests, as symptomatic of a common underlying problem.

SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY FUCKING WRONG.

If nothing else, these protests are a wake up call; a call to get seriously critical of the status quo. A status quo that sees the average American debt over $10,000, nearly 1 in 6 in poverty (official poverty level is an annual income of $22,314 for a family of four), and the ever-widening income gap. The people out on the streets aren’t just the “entitled generation” as many critics are suggesting. They are representative of a wide range of citizens. Reporter Al Lewis from the protests in Chicago:

Folks I found protesting in Chicago came from all walks of life, connected mostly by a vague sense that the economy wasn’t dealing with them fairly anymore.

Yesterday evening, the Occupy Wall Street movement was joined by labor unions and liberal activist groups for a march from Foley Square to New York’s financial district. Photographer Francisco Collazo headed down to snap us some photos. I don’t know about you, but I see a lot more than just over-privileged “kids” asking people to do their laundry. - Carlo Alcos

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