Mayor Bloomberg on Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street

American Autumn? ... Occupy Wall Steet

One one hand, sympathy for some of its demands. On the other, criticism with the disruption it is causing in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg talks about the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Mr. Bloomberg has become increasingly critical of the Wall Street protests, even while repeatedly defending the right of people to demonstrate. On Friday, he described the Wall Street protesters as not productive and as “trying to destroy the jobs of working people in this city.”
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Mr. Bloomberg will be talking at Digital Technologies for 21st Century Democracy on November 8, at 2:30pm.

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Are social media-fueled protests going global?

People of Europe rise up. © Club de Madrid / Raúl San Mateo

Madrid calling ... The 'indignados' dreamed of an 'European Revolution'

Excited by its own success, the indignados movement that surged in Spain in May 2011 was prompt to call for a “European revolution”. Indeed, replicas of the camps held at Madrid’s Puerta del Sol and other central Spanish plazas were seen in some European cities, but they were only timid copies of their Spanish counterparts, mainly held by Spanish émigrés. It seemed that a turbulent economic and social situation such as Spain’s current was needed for such a thing to happen.

But not only the indignados dreamed of a “European revolution”. By the same time, and in a different way, Trends Research Institute Director Gerald Celente announced that “these revolutions are going to spread through the summer in Europe, and by the winter it’s going to go global”. [Read full article...]

The facts are now there: massive social movements have since sprung up in many parts of the world – protests in Greece, marches in Israel, riots in England, strikes in Chile… All of them different in many ways, but with some things in common: they have been fueled by social media and are telling something about today’s democracies.

However, summer is almost gone and these “revolutions” have certainly not spread all throughout Europe. To which extent was Celente right? Will these protests succeed at a global scale anytime soon? If so, how global is “global”? Would it include developing countries with poor internet access? Or dictatorships where the internet is censored? Or countries where the impact of the economic situation has been minimal?

And most importantly, will these movements benefit democracy in the long term, or will they become an obstacle to unpopular but necessary measures?

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