Wall Street protests hit NC college campuses

Posted October 5, 2011
Updated October 9, 2011

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— Hundreds of North Carolina college students walked out of class Wednesday afternoon as the weeks-long protest against Wall Street spread to universities nationwide.

Demonstrations started in Manhattan on Sept. 17 but have been expanding across the country in recent days as people expressed anger over the wobbly economy and what they see as corporate greed.

A slice of America's discontented, from college students worried about their job prospects to middle-age workers who have been recently laid off, were galvanized after the arrests of 700 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge over the weekend.

Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, East Carolina University and UNC-Charlotte were among 140 colleges nationwide where students took part in the so-called Occupy Campus demonstrations.

"Apart from the message of Occupy Wall Street, which is people over profit, is that UNC students, regardless of political or socio-economic background, have issues on this campus," student Denise Mitchell said. "Students just don't feel like they're being heard by the university."

Mitchell cited a recent study that found UNC housekeepers feel they are treated unfairly and an investigation into the Department of African and Afro-American Studies following allegations of plagiarism by a former football player.

About 60 UNC students gathered on the steps of Wilson Library, where Mitchell and others said they wanted to start conversations on addressing problems.

Occupy Campus protest NC students protest over economy, campus problems

"(We want) to have all of these groups that we have that do great work apart come together and work on the interconnectedness of the issues that we face and how important they are to our future," junior Matt Hickson said.

Students used Facebook and other social media outlets to spread word of the noon protests. They say they represent 99 percent of Americans – people struggling to get by while the wealthiest one percent makes financial decisions.

"People will become aware and will know that we are the 99 percent, and our voices will not be ignored," N.C. State student Katina Gad said.

"If you look at any group of people (who) are being discriminated against, I think youth and students are a big part of that. We've taken on massive amounts of student loans to go into what jobs?" said Ryan Thompson, who helped organize the small protest on N.C. State's Brickyard.

"How are we going to pay $50,000 in debt when there are no jobs out there?" UNC student Ana Maria Reichenbach said.

Another group involved in the protest movement, Occupy Raleigh, plans to hold a meeting in Raleigh's Moore Square at 5 p.m. Sunday and hold a larger protest a week later.

Many of the students said they plan to travel to New York in the next few weeks to show their support in person to the hundreds of protesters on Wall Street.

A few dozen protesters launched the Occupy Wall Street movement last month by pitching tents in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, hundreds have set up camp in a park nearby and have become increasingly organized, lining up medical aid and legal help and printing their own newspaper, the Occupied Wall Street Journal.

About 100 demonstrators were arrested on Sept. 24 and some were pepper-sprayed. Last Saturday, police arrested 700 on charges of disorderly conduct and blocking a public street as they tried to march over the Brooklyn Bridge.

In Manhattan on Monday, hundreds of protesters dressed as corporate zombies in white face paint lurched past the New York Stock Exchange clutching fistfuls of fake money. In Chicago, demonstrators pounded drums in the city's financial district. Others pitched tents or waved protest signs at passing cars in Boston, St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., and Los Angeles.


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  • rmwolfpack Oct 10, 2011

    Quit protesting and GET A JOB. I am an NCSU student and own my own company and am growing 20% each year. People need to focus on what they can control and quit whinning. I can even find good help and I pay good! A college degree isnt going to solve all of your problems and should never be free or every numb skull would have one.

  • Wingnut Central Oct 6, 2011

    I can say that there is no chance whatsoever, no matter how hard you work, no matter how much you study, no matter how much overtime you put in that you will ever be a millionaire and for 99.9% of those who hear it, it will be true.

  • kermit60 Oct 6, 2011

    Every one of those students are going to college with the hope that they will one day have a job or make the money just like the people they are protesting against. They didn't spend trillions we don't have. They didn't borrow money from China. They don't operate an organization the every department looses millions or billions every year. They are protesting against the wrong people. They need to switch the protest from Wall St to Pennsylvania Ave.

  • Bill Brasky Oct 6, 2011

    "Whats the average age of death in Canada and the U.K compared to the U.S?"

    They all live longer then the US. In fact there are 34 other countries that have longer life Expectancies. Here are the numbers according to the CIA:

  • Bill Brasky Oct 6, 2011

    "You mean like all those european countries that are going bankrupt now and that will probably cease to exist within the next ten years,"

    Is Europe the only continent that has industrialized nations? Besides these European countries aren't going bankrupt because of universal healthcare, they are bankrupt because they bought US mortgage backed securities.

  • dwg0325 Oct 6, 2011

    Jeez guys..didn't you hear...only conservative protesters are allowed to exercise their Constitutional rights.

    Be good little boys and girls and go get a job at Burger King and serve me my fries...

  • SARCASTICLES Oct 6, 2011

    I could support these protesters if they'd wear ridiculous costumes and carry signs like "Laid Off--I Believed That Voting Against My Own Best Interests Was Patriotic".

    (Can't wait for some loony winger to repost and attack me personally...there's one lurking now.) ;)

  • gunny462 Oct 6, 2011

    "Last I heard, over 70% of crude oil trades are speculative, not purchases, meaning people are making gobs of money by playing with a commodity that directly affects (and potentially busts) our home budgets.I say, protest on.BIlzac"

    Yup, which is why I'm glad we've been drilling so much here lately... ooops

  • gunny462 Oct 6, 2011

    "The industrialized countries in Asia also treat their citizens well with paid vacations",
    Uhh yeah, every 3 years, why didn't you mention that?

    "universal healthcare"
    Which is based on a caste system, why didn't you mention that?

    "free schooling and are highly successful"
    If your family is affluent you get the best education, if not, THEY train you in your education, why didn't you mention that?

    "I'd also like to point out that all but one of the industrialized nations have healthcare..guess what country that is?Bill Brasky"

    Whats the average age of death in Canada and the U.K compared to the U.S?

  • gunny462 Oct 6, 2011

    "The people I know are there protesting gov bailouts like TARP. Turn off your TV and go see FOR YOURSELF. LOL poor sheep.

    Pssst next time ask your 'friends' if they ever heard of the gov bailout called STIMULUS which cost us more (still is) didn't do anything but fill democrat coffers and union pockets. You're so transparent 'Reel'