The Occupy Wall Street held a series of rallies around the country on Thursday, in response to the attempt of Mayor Michael Bloomberg to remove their tents and other camping equipment from Zucotti Park. Some 300 were arrested, mostly because they chose to engage in some form of civil disobedience.
One central issue for the protesters is a perception that the big banks have been treated very well by the government but that there has been less done by Washington for ordinary people who have lost the homes and lost their jobs.
“In Los Angeles, more than 500 people, including a large contingent of union members, chanted ‘Banks got bailed out, we got sold out’ as they marched from the city’s Bank of America tower to Wells Fargo Plaza.
Is it a fair chant?
Despite widespread fraud in the banking and financial sectors, President Obama has prosecuted fewer financial crimes than did Reagan or either Bush.
This site points out that big banks received bailouts, but that home owners largely did not. (President Obama’s mortgage bailout plan was expected to help only 1 in 9 home owners under pressure).
MSNBC notes that since the beginning of the mortgage crisis in 2007, about six million homes have been foreclosed on by the banks. Another four million homes are now somewhere in the process of being foreclosed on. And new house foreclosures are now in the range of two million a year. A quarter of homeowners in the US owe more on their houses than they are worth.