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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.


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

Occupy Wall Street


About The Author

Francisco Collazo

Francisco Collazo is a Cuban-born private chef and freelance photographer. He lives in New York City.

  • rob

    The people don’t know exactly where they are heading but they surely know they wouldn’t start from here if they had the choice.

  • Happens

    They have every right to protest, but their motivation is asinine. The average American has over $10,000 in debt. Who’s fault is that? If you control spending and go to a community college followed by a state university you wouldn’t rack up 10k in debt. According to those poverty statistics a family of four could make that much money working full time at McDonald’s. Not to mention Obama has received more campaign funding from Wall St than any other President in history. These people should be protesting the White House front lawn. I did get a kick out of everyone mourning Steve Jobs yesterday though. Someone who is pro-big business, anti-union, and succeeded because of free market capitalism – which is the only reason these people have anything of value in their lives.

    • DJ David J

      Why would they protest in Front of the White House?  The people who control the White House are on Wall Street.  Follow the Money Dude.

      • CBAS

         Follow the money indeed.  And it leads you to individuals who can contribute to an individual canidates campaign much more than others.—–> Campaign Finance Reform idea–> Each individual citizen 18 years and older can contribute $1000 to any individual contest.  No more.  And if they try to mess with anyone’s contribution–> harsh penalties.

      • Happens

        Businesses fear Government because they can tax and regulate them out of business. Any business person will tell you they don’t fear competition, external factors, or demand half as much as Government. That’s why corporate lobbyists live in DC and Execs donate billions to politicians. Follow the money Dude and it goes right back to crooked politicians, Republican and Democrat alike.

  • Candice

    Had to go back and read that Boston Herald article. The anti-GenY sentiment is insane, I’ve never seen anything like it. Especially considering most of those protesters aren’t even Gen-Y. I would imagine that many people badmouthing this movement have never experienced the overwhelming competition for entry-level jobs or the kind of despair that comes with unemployment after being promised a brighter future from a higher education.

    • SC

      Those promises are not false if you know how to apply yourself.  but expecting to be handed a golden ticket when you graduate is just silly

      • Ladyjaimz

        Your comment is what’s silly. Any realistic person knows they aren’t going to be handed a golden ticket upon graduation. It’s not about applying yourself anymore. There are no jobs. The majority of people I know who graduated college with degrees don’t even work in the field they went to school for because there is NO work. They bartend, waitress or do construction instead and are DROWNING in student loan debt. Got answers other than the one you listed above?? If so please feel free to enlighten me

        • SC

          Thanks for that tidbit.  However I am not an old timer
          responding to the good old days,  I am in my late 20′s  I served in
          the army right out of high school and went to Iraq during the Bush years. 
          I got my degree when I came back, while working full time at an entry level
          job.   I applied myself and got a real middle class job last
          year and a new higher position in April…yes this past one. (That is two jobs
          in 18months)  There are jobs out there if you are a likeable
          person.  I get emails and phone calls weekly about new positions. 
          Monster, Career builder, LinkedIn all have my updated resume and contact info
          on them. 

          2 key reasons I was told they selected me:
          They saw from my schooling and work time frames that I had motivation to
          succeed and had personal goals.
          After they asked me technical questions, I asked them more specific questions
          about the how the company applied to the question.

          But nobody ever wants to hire people complaining about doing what other people
          already have to do.  Yes I have student loans but I wasn’t one of the
          people convinced by the guidance counselors at the high school, that you needed
          to go to a private university.  State schools are just as prevalent on
          your resume as private colleges.  You want a master’s degree then you go
          to a private one.   If it’s too late for you, please tell your
          friends there is no such field as liberal arts.

          As far as I am concerned this movement is not hosted by realistic

        • SC

          Secondly, and I am not sure how I missed it at first,  It is all about applying yourself.  Maybe that’s the reason you cannot find a job.  Back in high school, I asked a teacher why I had to do all this stupid work that I am not going to use in the real world, she said “You are going to have to do tons of stupid work when you get into the real world.  You need to find a way to get through it.”  I knowledge is all about how it’s applied.

      • Candice

        I totally get that, and I’m proud of the hard work I put forward to get to where I am today. Work ethic is crucial. But often the opportunities simply do not exist, even if we’re told they are.  And when you have mountains of student debt, you can’t afford to work at a shitty job to make ends meet. 

        • SC

          It’s not easy to get a degree and it very is hard work.   It’s rough to have all that debt and try to start at square one but there are ways to get by. The military often gives tuition money or paybacks, I am not a recruiter, they often tell lies about how that works.  But if you put in enough hard work to get a degree you can find a way to get through the hard times. Keeping your head up and not getting down too much makes a huge difference. Good luck.

  • Hal Amen

    Thanks, Francisco, for getting out there and shining some light.

  • DJ David J

    We have never lived in a democracy.  The U.S.A. was set up as a Constitutional Republic.  That simply means that the people of this country are in charge of what happens based on a guideline that was established.  These guidelines are also known as the Constitution of the United States of America.  We are a conglomerate of independent States that are united as One Nation.  The states have ultimate power.  NOT the Federal Government.  People need to realize this.

    • CBAS

       Yes, the states have the ultimate power.  According to the Constitution that is.  But the federal government has overstepped its boundaries in numerous ways.  I.E. abortion, drug laws, income tax, department of education, bailout of airline companies, wall street, banks, mortgage companies, farmers, etc. etc. 

      If anything should be protested it is the federal government overstepping its constitutional boundaries.  Keep the feds dirty hands out of states cookie jars.

  • ZT

    Hey how about you these folks get a job so that they can
    contribute their “fair share” to the tax system….Just b/c some
    people would rather work hard, produce something, other than complacency and
    criticism, doesn’t mean they should bear the burden of those who want to suck
    the teat of society.

    • The Lord and Savior

      ZT, I wish you were 22 and unemployed. You couldn’t get a job. I don’t care how talented you are and if you have a degree. Unless you are a doctor or engineering major, send out 500 resumes and go to 100s of interviews, or happen to know the son the CEO of Paramount, your out of luck. Then you would know what it’s like to get shit on by people like yourself. I guess you could get a job at fast food and kill people with obesity. That will contribute to society.

      • Phixer00

        I guess just because you have a college degree you are entitled to automatically get a high paying job?  There are a shortage of skilled worker in the US . If you become a Doctor or Engineer you get a job because there is a demand (not enough of them just in case you went to college). Get a job in a fast food resturant and move up the ranks and change it from the inside. That is a foolish notion for the ” I want it now”generation.

      • SC

        the lord and savior, I fear your exaggerated view of the poor job market got the best of you.  Perhaps if you weren’t setting your expectations of a job so high you could get one.  A degree means next to nothing if you can promote yourself in an interview.  I am pretty sure a fast food joint wouldn’t hire you with a woe is me attitude, so that contribution is out the window. 

    • Stephan

      Yo, Ayn Rand called and wants you to suck on her teat. 

    • David Campbell

      Mr ZT there are multiple ways to recieve income, the most base and most common (although dissappearing) way is wages through work for others. Most wealthy people get income from profit, interest, baksheesh (referral, trailling and brown paper bag payments for influence). Work has little to do with income and wealth. Previous wealth has a lot to do with it see: Why the Rich get Richer . A competitve and efficient market requires all players to have the means of exchange, we need income! If it is not going to be attached (which it isn’t anymore) to productive work we must be given it. See how we got into this mess and how to get out of it on : . It has employment charts and stuff to keep you busy. We can give everyone $22,000 a year without increasing income tax and actually feeding innovation and new production by a simple monetary siphon and payment system the FSFP: And the world is good again.

    • Ladyjaimz

      You should try getting your head out of your ass. There are NO jobs. Have you ever heard of a layoff? The average person who is lucky enough to even have a job nowadays is living paycheck to paycheck, barely making ends meet. Wake up

  • Carlo Alcos

    From reading comments here and talking to friends who are part of GenY it seems there is a massive disconnect between the realities of those coming up in the system now and those who have been in the system for a long time. Older people remember what it was like, have “worked hard” to move up, to get themselves into positions they hold now. They see that, remember that and can’t understand why it isn’t the same. They think “I had to do this and this to get where I am, and so should you!”

    Not to say people shouldn’t work to earn their keep, of course they should, but it needs to be recognized that things aren’t the same as they used to be 20-30 years ago. Job security is dead. People don’t “move up” like they used to. They’re used then discarded when not needed anymore or when a cheaper alternative comes around (eg outsourcing to India, China). Name calling, blaming, living in the past is not going to get anyone anywhere. There needs to be understanding and listening…everyone seems to be trying to just shout out over one another. I think there would be a lot more agreement if there was more understanding. Or at least effort to understand. I see a lot of resentment and bitterness toward young people these days…and even if the general statement that the youth have been coddled/feel entitled is true (which I don’t believe it is on the whole), who’s fault is that? It’s certainly not theirs. They are a product of the environment they grew up in.

    • Phixer00

      It is our generations fault. We wanted to give our children the opportunities that we didn’t have. In doing so we have created a spoiled class. How long will we be a power in the world when we are a bunch of coddled children. The rough and tumble crowd are dying off and being replaced with kids who are allergic to peanuts and play video games 8 hours a day.  The same kids who don’t want to work for $10 per hour because it is beneath them or they have a college degree. America became great through hard work and determination. Time for tough love.

  • david miller

    American Revolutionaries are not the ones out in the streets.

    Even that is yet another distraction.

  • Chrisgiddyup06

    Do not believe what the mainstream media says to you.  Research it yourself..

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