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Posted on Thu, Oct 6, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

Wall Street protests come to Ann Arbor

By Kellie Woodhouse

wall street protest.jpg

People gather at the Diag on the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus to protest unemployment and perceived economic inequalities.

Kellie Woodhouse |

A movement that has spurred tens of thousands of people to protest unemployment and perceived economic inequality has hit Ann Arbor, attracting hundreds of people, including high school juniors to third-year graduate students.

A crowd of at least 200 people gathered on the Diag on University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus on Thursday night to support the Occupy Wall Street movement, which began as a large-scale protest in New York City on Sept. 17.

Protestors have been sleeping out on Wall Street ever since, speaking out against corporate influence on the political sphere, unemployment and the banking industry.

The New York City protest has spread to cities throughout the nation. Activists from Detroit are currently planning a sleep-out protest. It is unclear whether Ann Arbor activists will join the Detroit protest or create their own.

“We are gathered here to connect with one another, gather resources and spread information,” Ann Arbor resident Whitney Miller shouted as the crowd repeated her. “We’re here because we are tired of being ignored, we’re tired of struggling to meet our basic human needs.”

“We are the 99 percent,” someone from the crowd yelled.

The 99 percent has become a slogan for the nationwide protest. It refers to the 99 percent of people not included in the wealthiest 1 percent of the population.

Thursday night’s gathering was an assembly meeting meant to organize protest supporters in Ann Arbor. People were asked to volunteer based on skills, such as writing, organizing and video editing.

“Occupying Wall Street itself is not necessarily important. What’s important is the spontaneous formation of a mass movement that is opposed at a minimum to the banks,” said graduate student Nicholas Niemuth, who attended the event with U-M group International Students for Social Equality. “Any kind of political movement, if it’s going to have an effect, has to be national and Ann Arbor has a large campus with a lot of students.”

Eric Warton, a junior at Saline High School, said he attended the assembly as a part an assignment with his AP government class, which requires students to attend a political event.

Warton, who just finished learning about the Boston Tea Party, said he was interested in the current Occupy Wall Street movement.

“It’s a great cause: Striving for economic equality,” he said. “I think it’ll reach congress.”

Graduate student Maria Robles remarked on the large size of the movement.

“I want to be a participant of that,” she said.

Carrie Beattle, an Ann Arbor resident who supports the Wall Street protesters, said she thought of traveling to New York City “before the local scene started to emerge.”

She said she was particularly passionate about how “corporations influence on politics,” but added that she wasn’t convinced the movement would take off in Ann Arbor.

“I really don’t think it’s going to be very bustling here. There are a lot of students and there are a lot of classes that people attend,” she said. “The cities where it is really booming is where there’s a lot of people that have graduated and are unemployed. I don’t think Ann Arbor has a culture like that.”

Speaking to the crowd, Ann Arbor resident Will Hutchinson criticized the university.

“This university acts more like a corporation every day,” he said. “Right now this university is asking hard working nurses to take cuts in health care, overtime and working hours. That’s not right.”

The U-M hospital has been in heated contract negotiations with several nurses unions since the spring. The nurses and their employer disagree on healthcare and overtime allowances, among other things.

U-M freshman Zach Feldman said the protest “is a way for us to voice our opinion as a generation.”

“As a generation, we haven’t really been active,” he said. “We’ve been like the sleeping generation.”

Fellow freshman Julius Goldberg agreed.

“This movement is a way of saying we’re not going to just stay quiet any longer,” he said. “We’re not just going to sit and watch that 1 percent become more and more of the wealth of this country.”

This story is being updated.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:27 p.m.

Will Hutchinson obviously doesn't understand that healthcare costs are a major part of the problem. The redistribution of "wealth" is a relative concept. Nurses paying a little more for their healthcare may not be considered a redistribution of wealth to someone paing 100% of their healthcare. It appears the OWS movement has it's own "special interest" participants. Special Interest Groups are what has caused this crisis so to go to OWS protest and promote special treatment of a special interest group is a cotradiction of the OWS movement.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 3:12 a.m.

Someone should tell these nice little kids that there actually aren't any investment banks on the diag

Don Bisdorf

Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 11:02 p.m.

I'm appalled at the high number of upvotes given to the "why are these spoiled students protesting?" comments. Our country is suffering from widespread unemployment and foreclosures; Americans find themselves unable to pay back their loans or pay their medical bills. While the economy falters, and stalls, and falters again, the wealthy continue to profit and to manipulate the government to protect their own interests. The question shouldn't be "why are these students protesting?" The question should be "why aren't we all protesting?"


Sun, Oct 9, 2011 : 12:25 a.m.

Mr. Doe and Mr. Ghost-keeping the student stereotypes alive.


Sat, Oct 8, 2011 : 3:05 a.m.

Two IMF economists recently did a study showing that income inequality leads to slower growth, mostly through worse economic crises. Here's an IMF Direct article about it: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> The inequality is a good amount of the problem. Why not start with Wall Street? They're the ones who bought the political system and put us in this Depression.

Ricardo Queso

Sat, Oct 8, 2011 : 2:07 a.m.

Would these be hippie grandparents sperm?

Ricardo Queso

Sat, Oct 8, 2011 : 1:56 a.m.

&quot;Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?&quot; &quot;Whadda got?&quot;


Sat, Oct 8, 2011 : 1:09 a.m.

So the entitlement generation is protesting and demanding, well their entitlements. Sorry, but as some guy who grew up in 1200 square foot tract house, downwind from a foundry, I put myself through college in the 70's and now find my net worth well into the seven figures. I resent being called the enemy and greedy. If you passed me on the street, I look like anyone else and do not live in a gated community and nor do I belong to a country club. I recall the economy and unemployment being just as bad or worse in the 70's but the country perservered and we survived. That does not seem to be the case now, because people like these protestors are content to have their hand out, demanding money and a lifestyle they have no desire to earn.


Sun, Oct 9, 2011 : 2:19 a.m.

Well Nancy, I never felt entitled in my life. I was too busy working and educating myself to complain about the unfairness of it all. Do you think I feel &quot;entitled&quot; because I should not have to hand over my hard earned money to Washington or worse yet, a bunch of malcontents who would not recognize hard work if it kicked them in the butt? Income taxes I paid last April were well into the high five figures, of which I have no say how they are spent. One thing I have noticed about successful people over the years is they don't waste their time whining, worrying, or complaining. They just manage to get the job done.


Sun, Oct 9, 2011 : 12:30 a.m.

huh? what does this have to do with entitlement, except your own? Our kids grew up in a 1500 foot tract house-WOOHOO! and our net worth will never reach six figures despite our hard work since we were teens and our own kids hard work. Count your blessings and realize not everyone has had your experience.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

I hear somewhere that if you averaged out the entire world's wealth to everyone we'd all be living in the poverty level. It'd be great to have a more level $$ between everyone, but that is just a fantasy.

Marvin Face

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 6:25 p.m.

Was in NYC on business last week and went down to see what the fuss was all about. It appeared to me that the crowd was approximately 80% homeless and that they were using the &quot;protest&quot; as a welcome reprieve from being harassed off the streets. I wonder if the same will happen to this little gathering in our town as well.

Michigan Man

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

Astute observation in NYC! Most of the Ann Arbor crowd, I would guess, are backed by millionaire, capitalist parents who can afford U of M. The Ann Arbor panhandlers, as I have been reading, are already on the target of local law enforcement. I think the Ann Arbor Occupy crowd (where are they camping - on campus?) will probably be steam rolled by the Frat dudes at the next Michigan home football game - this will then end this silly event.

Dog Guy

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

Wall street bought the government and the voters fair and square.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

To all those blaming consumers for taking out mortgages they should not have taken, who was giving them out? Who was pumping out mortgages and selling them as debt instruments? Not consumers.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

The CRA does not say &quot;pump out mortgages and sell them as debt instruments.&quot;


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 6:18 p.m.

&quot;Without the fed govt's heavy hand in social engineering&quot; The CRA banned redlining. You want to go back to that? Also, if the CRA is the culprit, then why are foreclosures happening everywhere and not just in minority neighborhoods?


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

The fed govt required it through the CRA, and then they facilitated it by guaranteed it through Fannie and Freddie. Without the fed govt's heavy hand in social engineering - trying to get everyone to own a home (noble idea, but not practical), the whole housing crises would not have happened.

Lionel Hutz

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

You can drink yourself to death - does that make the alcohol companies liable?


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

The desire to have wealth equality amoungst everyone will only drag our potential down to the bare minimum. Without incentives we will not have greatness. This movement needs to address tax code issues that allow exemptions for those who do not need them. Taking from the rich to give to the poor doesn't help the poor with their fundamental problem. The poor are poor for 2 reasons; bad things have happened to them or they just don't want to try that hard to get ahead. I don't mind helping out the first, however those that want to sit back and let everyone else take care of them need to change.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

I take issue with your selective editing of comments made by Nicholas Niemuth of International Students for Social Equality. I was standing right there when you interviewed him and he told you completely radical things about the necessity for working class people to break with the Democrats and form an independent political movement to overthrow the entire capitalist system and reorganize production rationally in the service of human need, not private profit. You've chosen the two most tepid sentences from his interview and stripped it of it's real political content. This is in line with what seem to be the intentions of the organizers of this Occupation General Assembly, which was to squash political thought by constantly insisting that this remain an apolitical movement not guided by any underlying principles or programs. To do this is to undermine any chance for the 99% to address their concerns through collective action. Together they are much more powerful than the 1% but until they consciously organize behind a revolutionary program they will continue to be easily trounced by the kings of capital, who are very well organized and politically conscious. Shame on you!

Lionel Hutz

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

Zac, at this time, it would be best to arm yourself with knowledge. You may think that you are preaching bread, brotherhood and freedom, but what you will achieve is starvation, racism and slavery. Please, go visit North Korea and see what your teachings wrought.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

err, you do recognize you are on a lone island called communism, which has not worked in any instance, ever, and that has more deaths, atrocities and corruption than any other attempted government form. Maybe you should look at socialism instead? In either case, it wont happen here - it is antithetical to the Constitution. I suppose you could try to amend the Constitution, but I doubt you will get the support. I admire your passion, but temperance is healthy.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:03 p.m.

&quot;perceived economic inequality&quot;? Really now!

Stephen Landes

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

In the photos I noted several signs regarding the President's American Jobs Act. I wonder how many of these protestors know that not a single representative -- Republican or Democrat -- in the House has sponsored that legislation and that only Harry Reid in the Senate has sponsored it, but that he doesn't want it voted on? If legislation isn't sponsored it can't be acted upon. So I guess those demonstrators will have to go find out why not even the most left wing, &quot;progressive&quot; legislators will have anything to do with the President's bill.

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

Who should be prosecuted? Oh my, when the whole system is bankrupt of basic values it is difficult to decide. When their hired hands make injustice legal, where do you start? How about a ratings agency that just downgraded America after assigning their highest AAA rating to fraudulent junk? How about using gov't funds to cover speculative losses? Or bonuses for risking and losing? A just system would have no difficulty in finding legitimate targets!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

You;re making the assumption there is some sort of legilative body left to address the problem. The problem is the government because the have not regulated the banking industry.

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

And the problem with that would be? We put a poor minority in jail to set an example. Yet Bernie is the only bankster that went to prison and he had NOTHING to do with the massive fraud!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

There might be one slight problem. Most of the government would be in jail then.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

Plenty of job available in and around Ann Arbor. Okay, maybe not in manufacturing, but they exist.

Lionel Hutz

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 5:40 p.m.

Also, many of these jobs require one to shower - something this crowd is also protesting.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

The problem is most of of those employers insist that you show up on time, work hard, and refrain from stealing from them. From what I hear from the local business owners I know, that's asking too much these days.

Lionel Hutz

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:52 p.m.

Does anyone really know what they are protesting? Banks? Corporations? The Boogey Man? The empty chair? Unwilling to take a job they feel is &quot;beneath them?&quot; Not knowing that corporations don't vote, but people do? Did they not know that the government made money off the bank bailout? Do they have any demands? No one has a right to job. It takes planning, education in a field that is hiring, and the motivation to see it though.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:49 p.m.

Overturn Citizens United. As others have stated, I will believe that corporations are people when Texas executes one. Reinstate Glass-Steagall.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

GM should have been executed but Pres. Obama granted them a pardon.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

It's funny how the &quot;99%&quot; are talking about disparity yet there is no admittance of the disparity in those who pay taxes. In 2008, the top 1% paid over 38% of the taxes. The top 5% paid over 0% of the taxes. The bottom 50% paid little to no taxes. Do the wealthy complain about this disparity? Never. Times are tough right now and jobs are not as plentiful. There are jobs out there but many do not want to leave their &quot;home&quot; area to obtain a job. We are a capitalistic society. That is why we have become the wealthiest nation with opportunities and amenities some countries can only dream about. If the 99% want to eliminate disparity, we will rid ourselves of the rewards for hard work and become more of what the Soviet Union was during the 60s and 70s; a nation of people who could care less since there will be no incentives what so ever. Is that what you all want?


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 6:27 p.m.

David: The wealthy don't need tax breaks and exemptions. The laws need to change that. However your consistent message is that the wealthy don't deserve their money and it should be redistributed to the poor. Of course you don't put any thought into the poor trying to improve their position. I want to see the poor improve, but success starts with themselves, setting goals, working to achieve those goals. There is nothing worse than someone standing with hands open saying gimme. by the way those numbers aren't lies. In 2008, the top 1% paid 38% of the taxes. They didn't pay 38% taxes on their income. Read in the information correctly. The other numbers provided are available from several web sites. The top 5% pay over 50% of all tax dollars collected. The bottom 50% pay little to no taxes. Except for the exemption and tax break issues, are you really going to complain about this?


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 4:32 p.m.

The latest IRS figures are a few years older — and limited to federal income taxes — but show much the same thing. In 2009, taxpayers who made $1 million or more paid on average 24.4% of their income in federal income taxes, according to the IRS. Those making $100,000 to $125,000 paid on average 9.9% in federal income taxes. Those making $50,000 to $60,000 paid an average of 6.3%. David please do some research! The rich pay way more, and they pay at a much higher marginal rate!!! Plain and simple . These liberal talking points are getting tiresome. Do some rich people pay less or nothing, sure, but on average no! I just wish we could have a reasonable conversation.

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

grye, Why do you have to spread lies? Why can't a millionaire pay 35% like a working man? What makes his special? Why should they only pay 10%, 15%, 17% or Nothing at all? And you call that fair. I call that silly and unfair. It has nothing to do with work.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 4 p.m.

9-9-9, no exceptions, no deductions! Income defined as money flowing to you that you did not already have and money being defined as cash, options, stock, stock options, goods or services.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

David: If someone earned $1 Million a year, how much should they pay in taxes in your perfect world? Do you think that everyone should live on the same amount of money? Then where is the incentive to work harder if you get nothing more than the person who doesn't work hard? In your perfect world everyone would get the same salary, despite how much or how little they work, they all live in the same style/size house, all drive the same size/style car, have the same number of kids, etc. That is a pipe dream. It isn't reality. Need to get over it, work harder, and if compelled, give more away to those who can't or won't try harder.

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

grye, I ask again, what is their effective tax rate? Why is it so much lower than people who actually work for a living? That is the unfair disparity in America! WE aren't a wealthy nation. Poverty, unemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosure, lack of health care are the growth results of our system of injustice. Keep cutting education and soon the masses will become ignorant enough to buy those trickle down lies!

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

&quot;I sure as hell would like to be more like Sweden, Germany, Belgium&quot; There are already countries that are exactly like Sweden, Germany, Belgium available for you to enjoy at this very moment. They are called, &quot;Sweden,&quot; &quot;Germany,&quot; and &quot;Belgium.&quot; And there are several others just like them, too. I'm not saying &quot;Love it or leave it,&quot; but honestly asking, why not just go there? Why go through all the work to change this country into one of those - that is, to ruin this one - when those already exist? You can have exactly what you want... instantly... right now.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

Oops, I meant SALES tax.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

About 54% of the top 1% inherited their money. They did not work hard for it. As a percentage of income, most of the top 1% pay less than we do. Also, you talk as if you are part of this &quot;wealthy&quot; group - you are not unless you make significantly over 1 million a year. The bottom of our society does not pay INCOME tax. They most definitely pay taxes in the form of income tax, fuel tax, etc. They do not pay income tax because they want to pay rent and buy food and clothing. We are the richest country in the world. It is disgusting to see how we treat the poor, elderly, and disabled in this country. I don't want to become more like the Soviet Union, but I sure as hell would like to be more like Sweden, Germany, Belgium and the rest of the industrialized nations!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

It's funny because many of these same youth have no problems sharing and downloading music, movies, and software for free. When questioned, many have said that you aren't owed a living. It has been a huge problem in the last couple of years and nobody seems to care. Now that the same thing is happening to them, they are up-in-arms and protest. Why should I feel sorry or care?

hut hut

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

Some people won't be happy until the 99% are living in cardboard boxes and eating out of dumpsters while the 1% live in gated communities and eat high on the hog.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 9:02 p.m.

and by the way, I'm not tall enough to eat out of dumpsters, do I qualify for dumpster diving assistance?


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:58 p.m.

Its sheer exaggeration and extension to the unreasonable and unbelievable realm.

hut hut

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

that's quite an opinion. On what are you basing your observation?


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.



Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

The movement is also angry about: no prosecutions for the mortgage meltdown/congress and the Justice Deptartment looking the other way, attacks on women's and abortion rights, voter-intimidation and gerrymandering by the GOP, destruction of the environment to enrich the already wealthy, destruction of much-needed regulation of financial markets and speculator's markets, hamstringing of the consumer-protection agency, LIES as real-news, Religion being forced into politics AND made into law/destruction of separation of church/State, conglomerate/factory farming, and the endless, expensive wars. Join the Protest in Lansing on October 15th!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

No, I agree that religion IS being brought into politics in an inappropriate way. Religion, or the lack of pones religion, is not an appropriate public topic in lawmaker. in the same way &quot;anti-religion&quot; is being forced into politics. People are starting to believe we are Christian nation when any reading of our founding fathers is clear that we are not. Religion is a private matter.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:31 p.m.

&quot;LIES as real-news&quot; The media is already mostly left-wing, so I agree with you there. But you see, you would rather have all left-wing media. &quot;Religion being forced into politics&quot; It's not being forced into politics. You just don't like the politicians (that have been voted into office) that happen to be religious. There is a difference. &quot; voter-intimidation and gerrymandering by the GOP&quot; The Democrats have done the exact same thing. Where's the protest? This &quot;occupation&quot; is just an excuse to go after every single left-wing grievance you can think of.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

Anyone deluded enough to think the rich don't own both parties needs help. This country enacted legislation after the Great Depression to prevent the type of trouble we are in now. Among them was the Glass-Steagall bill that prohibited the investment banks from engaging in the commercial banking field. Those were dismantled in the Clinton years along with the change in eligibility requirements for loans from Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac. (I hope I have the spelling right). Throw in jokes like NAFTA and the problem is compounded. The financial regulation joke by the current administration and that's where we at. The practice of the credit swaps, derivatives and the existence of hedge funds just make it worse. It is neither a Democratic Party nor Republican Party issue. They are both corrupt and looking for money from the rich for reelection. That is all they care about. Protest Wall Street but protest in from of the White House and Congress too. They are every bit as responsible as Wall Street.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 8:15 p.m.

I'd add that the efforts and brain-power going into electronic trading algorithms is largely a waste of resources and talent. We don't need to be trading stocks hundreds of times per second to produce liquidity. It's just gaming the system with no real productive output. So brilliant mathematical minds are being used to create money, but nothing inherently productive or useful. It wasn't long ago when stocks traded in eighths, instead of single cents. We managed to maintain liquidity pretty well back then. High speed trades should be taxed more to discourage their use.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 5:22 p.m.

Great point.

Bernhard Muller

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

I agree that &quot;the rich&quot; own both parties, provided that you define &quot;the rich&quot; as any entity (individual, or organization) that has lots of money.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

Hot Sam, that is a tragedy all by itself.

Hot Sam

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:02 p.m.

JSA...the common sense which you describe simply does not carry the emotional lift that this bunch needs...


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

If the top 1% are &quot;job creators&quot; they need to be fired. This is their PINK SLIP!

Roy Munson

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

&quot;Your revolution is over, Mr. Lebowski. Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir. The bums will always lose. Do you hear me, Lebowski?&quot;

Top Cat

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:43 p.m.

If they think that this is a strategy to make people forget Obama's failed policies, his War on Jobs and get him re-elected....just keep it up.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

Pot meet kettle, lol

hut hut

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

&quot;IF&quot; you vote next year, who do you plan to vote for? The guys on the right who openly disdain anything to do with economic justice or the guy who has half a chance to make a difference? If you don't vote or vote for some far left of center candidate, you're automatically giving it to the guys who prefer Wall Street over Main street. JustMyOpinion can't see the politics past the end of his nose and will willingly cut if off to make a point.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:10 p.m.

See, that's where I think you are wrong. So far, the protesters in NY have been equally mad at both parties. People like you hut hut somehow think your special party is right and others wrong. So far, it seems the protesters think its your special party too. Just ask the Democrats who went to visit them and were boo'd. You are part of that problem until you can recognize that both parties have equal blame. After all, they take equal cash from lobbies to pass their legislation.

hut hut

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:32 p.m.

No &quot;they&quot; KNOW that it's obstructionist Republicans who are blocking all efforts for economic reform and job creation just to get Obama out of office.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

Sorry. I have to agree with 'John Doe'. Mass / group greed is partially responsibile for getting us to where we are today. Persons lyng on their mortgage applications about income to buy a home they can't afford, no check on the supposed facts of the application, and leverage. Assming no end to sucess &amp; a failure to learn about economic cycles. Leverage was the zero to 20% (lie) about the equity in the loan multiplyed by the low reserve requirements of the banks buying the paper resulting in the stick big enough to move the world. When the first group of people were laid off the snowball started down hill. No equity no reserves (on the part of the homeowner) therefore none protecting the holders of the debt who happened to be investments for retirees. I know the more faceless the object the easier to point fingers because we do need a scapegoat - certainly not ourselves. Yes, there are innocents involved there always are. What happened a 100 years ago is a guide to today and failure / ignoring those lessons allows us to continually repeat them. The more of us there are the bigger the ups &amp; downs.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

Well, deregulation and the Community Reinvestment Act.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

um all that you mention happened because of deregulation...educate yourself

Olan Owen Barnes

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:23 p.m.

A whole 200 - what a movement and with achievable goals - what a deal.

Hot Sam

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:08 p.m.

Our problem is not the tax rate, it's the tax code...and those who have written it.

Hot Sam

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

Just My... I too believe 9-9-9 is a great start!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

9-9-9 baby. All for it. No exclusion, no exemptions, no deductions.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 11:58 a.m.

Why do you say &quot;perceived income inequality?&quot; Look it up, income inequality in the US has reached very high levels on an historical basis. That's a FACT not just a PERCEPTION. It is actually OK to acknowledge facts.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

The best way to protest against the big banks is to stop doing business with them. Join a member-owned, not-for-profit credit union!

Sparty On!

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 11:47 a.m.

Seriously? Who even takes the time off of work to protest? Perhaps the bottom 1%...or maybe bottom 10% due to our lackluster government and their ability to stifle job creation. Can someone please explain what the protests are about (other than the fact you are sour you don't earn $1M per year)? I choose to protest in more constructive (or destructive) ways, such as NCAA Basketball Tournament games.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

&quot;Who even takes the time off of work to protest?&quot; The Fox News sponsored Tea Party does.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1 p.m.

Oh yes, because participating is social-discourse and exercising the right to protest is something only &quot;the bottomfeeder rabble&quot; do...perhaps leave the sports-obsessed, rah-rah-rah, &quot;glad it's not ME&quot;, frat-boy high school attitude behind, and then, if lucky, you'll get to join the adult table.

Hot Sam

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 11:44 a.m.

We're watching a fixed game... The reason this whole &quot;movement&quot; is a joke, is because these people want to place all the blame on the winning team, while ignoring the dirty referee...


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

Could not agree more with you Hot Sam. Unless and until we get a constitutional amendment defining corporations as other than people, it wont change. I am all for that. The idea that corporations are people with equal speech rights is flabbergasting in its naive nature.

Hot Sam

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

Just My... I by no means excluded Wall Street from guilt... They are however playing in a game where the referee has been bought off and is guilty... Wall Street for the most part is not breaking the law...just paying to have the laws written for them...


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

I don't think that's accurate. They are mad at Wall Street, which has some merit friend. The credit default swaps did not occur on main street - they occurred in the halls of the largest 11 banks in the USA, then traded at Wall Street. Their foolish actions, do to lax regulation and oversight, were the genus of our current economic crises. They have also paid no price at all for their actions since they were legal. By any reasonable measure, their actions were criminal and wrong.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 11:31 a.m.

Get back in class. And when class is finished, get a job and work hard. Be a productive member of society. Become a producer, of wealth not a consumer of it.

Paul Taylor

Sat, Oct 8, 2011 : 9:04 p.m.

And then go home and criticize others from behind a silly nom-de-web.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 4:41 p.m.

Get a job where? They've been sent overseas!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 10:46 a.m.

I guess I am waiting for this movement to state its purpose and goals. Washington is broken, the radical right is wrong, etc. However, we need solutions. The &quot;rich&quot; didn't get us here. Those that over-extended themselves did. Private equity that loaded companies with debt to enrich themselves did. Broken programs like Medicare and Unemployment did. And workers that found nothing wrong with being paid for not working did. But a blanket blaming the top 1% is ridiculous.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 5:02 p.m.

It's called the &quot;Wall Street Meltdown of 2008&quot; for a reason. It was Wall Street that ran the economy into the ground. Typical blame the consumers when corporations louse things up.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

Don't forget the federal loan program demands that forced banks to make loans to people who couldn't afford them, as a condition of licensing, I think your statement is the clearest here, but I also think the radical left has as much to answer for as the radical right. Both play fast and loose with the truth and other peoples money.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 10:29 a.m.

The commentator who seems unaware of the fact that many many Americans are living in poverty, have lost their homes, and are among those of the world who do not have enough to eat needs to start getting themselves better informed. It is impossible to have any sort of meaningful dialogue with either scant information or misinformed mind sets.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

America is a bad place. Where else could a person borrowed more money than they could afford to pay back to buy a house with cheap money backed by government gaurentees? Are cell phones, color TV with cable and cars, a &quot;basic human need&quot;?

Monica R-W

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 6:33 a.m.

Here are pictures from the Occupy Ann Arbor Event taken for our News Blog... Ann Arbor UofM campus General Assembly event 10/6 <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;type=1</a>

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:21 p.m.

That's a rather tiny crowd.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 6:28 a.m.

Ok, so the Virg Benero crowd needed a night out. Being puppets for Soros and Van Jones puts these folks in the same category as the WTO loons.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 5 p.m.

And the tea party is a puppet for the Koch Bros.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

you are also part of the 99%


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 6:14 a.m.

Let's hope the 99% Movement can overcome the radicalism and venom that the tea party and far right republicans have brought to American politics. Maybe civil discourse and respect for the office of the presidency can be reclaimed so that the rest of the world doesn't look at you as dangerous buffoons.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:25 a.m.

Finally, the opposite to the tea party has arisen. Let the progressives rejoin to support the democrats and the President to counter the ongoing attempts by the republicans to shut down the government, safety net programs like social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and their stated attempt to make Obama a one term President since the first day of his administration. The party of no may have met their match and the irony is that they may have caused it to happen with their behavior.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

&quot;Imagine a true populist movement where George Soros isn't sending cash..&quot; Imagine a true populist movement where the Koch Bros aren't sending cash and Fox News is not plugging it on the air.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

Imagine a true populist movement where George Soros isn't sending cash, where Unions are jumping into the leadership as fast as they can, where only the people commenting are the ones saying its an anti-GOP movement. Imagine that.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

Except Obama has Monsanto's in is pocket

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 4:52 a.m.

Imagine a true populist movement that isn't co-opted by billionaires and right wing hucksters like Gingrich and Palin. Sucking off the lemmings teat? A movement that represents real human beings/average citizens! What a NEW idea!!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:59 a.m.

I'm sure Wall Street and all of the other greedy corporate baddies are shaking in their boots and losing a lot of sleep over this.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

I think what I meant was that this all seems pretty futile. The rich own so much and the rest of us have so little by comparison. Short of an armed insurrection, I don't think the super-rich will even bat an eyelid.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

Well, maybe some. The Mercantile Exchange guys posted their own homemade sign that said &quot;we are the 1%&quot;.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

Actually they rating have been down graded the last 24hr


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:25 a.m.

Another approach: decouple from the &quot;system&quot; as much as possible. Move out to where land is cheap and the government minders don't harass you so much. Learn to grow food and otherwise homestead. Google permaculture, rocket stoves, cobb construction, aquaponics, root cellars,, etc. Keep all systems necessary for life as low-tech and sustainable as possible, not dependent on the outside world. Computers and communications gear, not strictly necessary for life, don't require much in the way of off-grid power generation. Yes, they tried such things in the 1960's with mediocre results. The difference today is the Internet. Being able to share and learn from a worldwide community helps. Much old knowledge has been rediscovered or reinvented and shared online. Setting up multi-mile point-to-point WiFi links is tricky given the need for line-of-sight but doable. is a good place to start. Doesn't make sense in cities but great for connecting your village to the 'net. Worst case, skip it. Microelectronics are going to get fried by EMP one of these days anyhow. Or you can stay in the system, become yet another debt slave, work at an unproductive job and complain at the injustice of it all. I'd tell you what the political and economic solutions are to fix the system but most of y'all are too far gone. Read &quot;Starving the Monkeys&quot; if you can stomach having your illusions shattered. But these OWS protests? They're just feeding the beast. Begging Big Brother for shinier chains will not set you free.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

I have to say, Tammy makes an interesting point. The entire GMO issue is a prime example of the overwhelming of our government by a single corporate interest. Monsanto has been shown to attempt bribery for approvals (Canada - BGH), pervert accepted scientific practices in testing and then rammed it all down our throats while limiting our rights to protest it. How can one company get a new genetic product out and then make it a crime to identify or ask for the identification of that product as such? It's as amazing as it is bold. Clearly, the general population wanted and does want the identification and labeling of those products, but our system failed the living breathing people and went for the cash corporation people; the hiring back and forth between the FDA and Monsanto is statistical unsupportable as coincidence or reasonably without influence. Its basic math. Yet, we do nothing and our legislators do nothing to stop it. Look, I am a Republican and a centrists, no crazed liberal. It is undeniable that we have some very serious problems that begin squarely with a government too large and uncontrolled. The ramifications of this lack of control and empowerment of companies as uber citizens look to be quite serious.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

Except Monsanto's will own the seed you want to plant..the rain will be acid and the frackin trees will be dead...I will not to be able to think for my self but I can take a standardized test.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:18 a.m.

I can't tell these protesters to get a job? Who's that offending? Explain yourself Please stop the censorship. Calling them Hippies also isn't negative. Look up the word, it's not negative, it defines these people!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 6:31 p.m.

I don't think you understand what the movement is about if your first response is &quot;get a job&quot;.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

FTW, Rizzle. I am SO stealing that.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

instead of #OccupyWallStreet they should #occupyashower #occupyabarbershop #occupyajob

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:24 p.m.

Yeah, don't call people names. Well, except for names like &quot;TeaPublicon&quot; and &quot;Governerd,&quot; those are OK.

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:48 a.m.

Hey Joe, why call them anything but your fellow citizens? One vote, equal to yours. I heard someone say that just tonight! Quit mocking and tell us your solutions or how proud you are of the stagnant quo.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:06 a.m.

Can't find a job? Shut down Wall Street, that will fix things!

Jake C

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

Couldn't hurt.

Wearethe Nintyninepercent

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:48 a.m.

Thank you for your coverage. It's pretty interesting when a journalist is able to record history as it is happening. Stations and newsprint media seem a bit unaware. I have informed them of Occupy Michigan and Occupy Flint but they would rather report on the local hayrides and pumpkin patches.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

where is the hayride? oh nevermind...allergies....but I always find the juvenile liberal name calling well as defining the initial &quot;blogger&quot; as a annarborites crack me up

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 11:27 a.m.

&quot;It's pretty interesting when a journalist is able to record history as it is happening&quot; Oh, please. You apparently think just a little bit much of yourselves.

Michigan Man

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:16 a.m.

Weather - the media carried water for Team Obama last time around - did not work out real well for them - hayrides and patches are the safer story - once every so often the media gets smart - they do not want to get burned again with a loser.

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:02 a.m.

And cheerlead for the local TeaPublicon Governerd!

john doe

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:09 a.m.

These protestors need to realize what basic human needs are. There are still millions of people in other countries LITERALLY STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE EVERYDAY. All im saying is that in America there is no such thing as struggling for basic human needs, everyone has them, maybe just not to your expectations. Not everyone deserves a nice house in the suburbs. I think we should move forward to the day where you get what you work for and not take out huge loans so you can live way beyond your means. Yes wall st does need to change but so do these people.

Derrick Forshee

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

Seriously are you really that blind? What about those homeless in Ann Arbor. I'm sure if you ever visited the Delonis Center or Camp Take Notice, a homeless tent community off Wagner Road in Scio Township you would realize that not everyone in America's needs are met like you claim they are.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

Beyond the fact that we do have people struggling at well below 1st world standards, I believe the point is that the playing field has become unfair. The refs (policy makers) are getting payola from one team, and the rest of the teams keep playing along as if this were not true. People are looking for fair standards and opportunity - its not happening, Campaign finance reform is necessary to stop politicians being bought - and they are being bought. Even they acknowledge the undue influence o money on themselves. I believe a Constitutional amendment defining person status will be required. For my money, if you cannot vote, or do not have the expectation of ever bring able to vote in this nation, you are not a protected person with the rights of a person. Unless and until we get corporate money out of politics, its going to continue to be unequal speech at the ballot box.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

&quot; in America there is no such thing as struggling for basic human needs,&quot; Oh I wish that were true. Isn't decent health care a basic human need? How about food? Education and housing? Far too many people in this country are struggling while a few grow very wealthy. Is that the kind of country people want to live in?

hut hut

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:31 a.m.

You're seriously out of touch.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:10 a.m.

Clearly you're out of touch with the movement, who supports it and what it's all about. It's not what you think or what corporate American media tells you it is. Turn off your television and do some real field work, don't simply accept the spoon-fed drivel.

Jake C

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:34 a.m.

Instead of complaining about poor people &quot;living beyond their means&quot;, maybe we should be more outraged at these super-smart &quot;job-creating&quot; bankers and traders who care more about making a quick buck by selling a high-APR mortgage to a borrower who can't possibly afford it, which is basically what caused this whole economic disaster in the first place.

Jake C

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:32 a.m.

&quot;All im saying is that in America there is no such thing as struggling for basic human needs, everyone has them&quot; An absolutely ridiculous and totally ignorant statement. Not a personal attack, just attacking what you wrote. Please read this and then tell me how nobody is &quot;struggling for basic human needs&quot;: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> More people live in poverty in the USA than in any other industrialized nation. That alone should disgust all of us. If your main point is &quot;Well, at least most of the people in the US aren't literally starving to death in the streets like people in Somalia or getting bombed every week like in Afghanistan&quot;, you've got a warped perspective.

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:53 a.m.

Of the 1%, By the hired hands of the 1% and For the benefit of the 1%. America used to be better than that. WE can still be much better! Money isn't speech. Money shouldn't buy votes. America is not for sale! America needs to take back the peoples airwave from the hands of the 1% and take back the banking system to serve the needs of the people. Massive fraud occurred in our banking system and not one single bankster would expose the fraud. The 1% and their mouthpieces in the &quot;populist&quot; Tea Party and their corporate owned media want us to believe that it was poor people that took advantage of the Banksters. Excuse me. You would have to be an ignorant buffoon to believe that lie! That lie is as &quot;good&quot; as the trickle down lie! Enough is enough! It has to stop! NOW!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

Groc, Barney Frank should be prosecuted for the 2008 melt down. He and Chris Dodd protected Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac as well as Country Wide from President Bush's proposed legislation to regulate them. The legislation was never enacted because Dems would not bring to a vote.

Hot Sam

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:58 p.m.

Sorry Dave, but these problems of which you speak have been going on since long before the Tea Party that you so erroneously demonize. You will net end them by continuing to vote for the same fools that have been in Congress for multiple generations...


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

David Briegel - please name an individual or individual(s) who feel should be prosecuted for the 2008 financial meltdown.

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:39 a.m.

Hey, I thought money was speech? Guess you don't agree. The banksters hired the same criminals who just downgraded America to rate their fraudulent junk AAA and then sold the junk to others. And all America stands by and watches as the fraud is ignored. Not one single criminal in jail for this huge fraud. TeaPublicon approved!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:20 a.m.

Yes, regulations that forced the banks to loan to sub-prime applicants. Yup, Clinton saved the world and doomed our future. As far as big tobacco, what are you talking about? Please address the need for Obama to raise a billion dollars to not buy your vote.

Michigan Man

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:03 a.m.

David - better check you bank balance once your crowd storms your bank and takes all of your money. LAMO!

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2 a.m.

Well Joe, I saw Boehner sell his party to Big Tobacco on the floor of the people's house. I'm certain you approved! And maybe the banks in Chicago need tending. Nobody anywhere talked about &quot;storming banks&quot; except a TeaPublican who thinks the banks don't need regulating! It's easy to be foolish than to address the legitimate needs of the 99%. Especially when you belong to the 1%!

Michigan Man

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

Storm the banks in Ann Arbor sounds like cool idea. Tell me how that works out. Even better, tell me what Ann Arbor bank you use and I will storm that bank and ask them to give me all of your money. Sounds quite fair to me.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:26 a.m.

Votes aren't for sale, yet Obama is going to raise $1 Billion to not buy your vote.

Darth Pablo

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:53 a.m.

We're not gonna protest! We're not gonna protest!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

What don't we eat!? Red Meat! Why don't we eat it!? It's Murder!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:50 a.m.

They should protest the greed at the U.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

@JMO...they're not? Oh a2 everybody is smarter than tressel and his crew...LOL


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

U of M Athletic department should be paying their players.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

The UM Athletic Department has a vast surplus of cash, yet every major science department at the UM is running in the red. Explain that to me?


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:06 a.m.

I will be down there it needs to stay till they get what we deserve. I do believe that we for us not corps for corps.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

here's a winning idea for you. get a job!

Bernhard Muller

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

@David Briegel That is exactly the problem. As long as Government hands out Trillions of dollars to anybody, there will be corporations, unions, foreign nations, individuals standing there with their hands out wanting some. The only solution is to reduce the amounts being handed out, preferably by reducing the size/scope of government to those things only government can do because only government has coercive power.

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:06 a.m.

Who did they sit next to 3 yrs ago and who will they sit next to in 2 yrs? That is the issue. Anything you care to add besides mocking?


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

How are you going to get down there? Drive your Chevy, a large corporation who took billions from the American people? Maybe you'll write yourself a post-it note (made by 3-M, a large corporation) to remember. Remember to put it on your fridge, made by GE (another large corporation who made multi-multi-multi billions and didn't pay any taxes and who's CEO sits next to Obamas wife at social function). You want to protest, then stop buying anything made be a corporation or foreign country!!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 12:03 a.m.

Congrats! And keep it up!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

well, deleted...I didn't know that the unions were in that 1% that owns the politicians...or did you not know that under healthcare reform, those that have the &quot;Cadillac&quot; policies will be forced to pay large additional amounts on those extravagant premiums...well, except for the unions that is, the unions got exemptions from that so you tell me who is buying votes and politicians and who isn' there you go...damn ultra wealthy wall street union workers...


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1 p.m.

Joe, if you think economic status does not buy votes you are sorely wrong. The 1% own politicians, its as simple as that.


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:23 a.m.

Yes, in this country we all have an equal vote, regardless of economic status, the the top 1% are at your mercy. Wait a second, they could just take their money to Canada when you tax them 60%. It's not that I or any other republican is against taxing the rich, it that it isn't a solution to solve anything. Balance the budget and I'll vote to tax the &quot;rich.&quot;

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 2:05 a.m.

I've never seen anyone complain about &quot;not making a million a year&quot;. Pretty hard to have an honest discussion with people who can't honestly discuss real issues and how they effect real live human beings! Easy to discount the 99% when you are in the 1%!


Fri, Oct 7, 2011 : 1:22 a.m.

Yes, keep protesting the corporate world and complaining that you're not making a million a year out of college and have to ... gasp... work for your money. Oh no, the world is supposed to just give you free other people's money.