Four years ago, Wall Street’s fraud, deception, and other risky financial behavior set off a global recession that plunged as many as 60 million people worldwide into poverty, according to figures released by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
This misbehavior by the world’s banking elite set off the Occupy Wall Street movement one year ago today. Tens of thousands of Americans took part in demonstrations nationwide, and many set up tent camps to protest the country’s growing economic inequality. The movement inspired not only a nation but the entire world as copycat movements sprung up globally.
But one of the central demands of the occupiers — that the Big Banks that broke the law and caused the recession be held accountable — has yet to be fulfilled. Few bankers have gone to jail for their complicity in white collar crimes (although bold progressive candidates like Elizabeth Warren are running on a pledge to prosecute these criminals).
Yet while bankers have committed crimes while avoiding arrest, thousands of those who have demonstrated against them have been arrested. According to OccupyArrests.com, which has been tracking reports of arrests since the movement started, at least 7,435 protesters have been arrested in 120 cities nationwide.
As we arrive here at the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests, let’s not forget about the justice that remains to be done and the sacrifices made by protesters who have been arrested while in the process of calling for the Big Banks to finally be held accountable.