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A letter from Occupy Wall Street


I really wanted to write this letter a little later, but events evolved. I have been at the Occupy Wall Street demonstration for the last month twice a day. I went there to try to act as some sort of moderator and do the best I could to deflect any violence.

Was I able to do it? Not really. There where probably five people my age there at any one time (71 years old). I never slept in the park.

The media has had a field day, and I thought some reality as to what is going on is important. I have no agenda vs. Wall Street or our economic situation.

Never have I seen any human filth in the park, and I am right in the center of things. No public urination or defecating.

Yes, there are crazies (and they create all sorts of situations that the media love) there, but no more than any segment of society, most people have very real issues as to how the economy is affecting them. I have spoken with people from all over the world including world class bankers, one was a central banker from Spain talking about how impossible it was for his 20-year-old daughter to get a job.

Many of people who work on Wall Street support the movement. They walk by and say, "I work on Wall Street. I know what is going on, and I support you."

The night after the expulsion was kind of sad — many walking about in a state of shock and confusion. Anyone who went through this at 2 a.m. would feel the same.

The events today at Wall Street where different. There must have been 500 police.

Some shoving and some what I would call inappropriate manhandling by the police. It was a tense situation but nothing really getting out of control. What next? I have no idea.

What I do predict is that every day there is going to be a demonstration on Wall Street with many more joining. Will it get violent? I doubt it, but it will get tense.

Zucotti Park, incidently, is about one-half the size of Peppin park. Did I see anyone from Montana? No, but I did see a sign saying we are from Missoula. Never found them to talk to them.

Peter Lener

New York City


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