There’s nothing like a little $700 billion bailout proposal to get people mobilizing. Possibly the most expensive ‘rallying cry’ ever?
A simple, over-the-top, September 11th-comparison-filled e-mail has started the movement for a large demonstration near Wall Street today (scheduled to be held near where all those tourists like to play with bull testicles). The main grievances voiced in this protest will be stemming around a group of concerned taxpayers not wanting to purchase “a pile of worthless junk“, aka the failing big Wall Street institutions.
In a clever visual gag, protesters are planning on dumping all their useless garbage ranging from 8-track cassette tapes, to Spice Girls CDs (hey, they did a reunion tour!), to broken surfboards and even some Enron stock certificates (they still have those?).
The guy who started the whole demonstration, Arun Gupta, a 43-year-old freelance journalist in Manhattan, is a little extreme to say the least. In his e-mail he’s said this bailout is the financial equivalent of September 11th, with this being a version of ‘the Patriot Act using shock to force us through the therapy.’ Dude, really? I hope the NYSE gets the message and doesn’t approve this monumental bailout because of all the garbage you leave down there. Wait, you do know a protest in Washington would be more effective and symbolic, right? And you are going to clean that mess up, aren’t you?
Somehow, making a statement like that didn’t immediately discredit his brain-to-mouth filter, it looks like it’s going to be a dramatic event either way. Even if it looks like the bailout has already been approved in theory. If anyone shows up. One of Gupta’s main points of contention is that this bailout will lead to no money left for global warming, education, national health-care, rebuilding the decaying infrastructure, etc. All things people are concerned about.
He does not address a better plan for how to cope with a financial system on the verge of self-destruction, though.
Would you want to be down on Wall Street right now dumping your worthless junk? Or if you had the chance to speak to the organizer, Arun Gupta, face-to-face, what would you say?
UPDATE: Bailout agreement reached! Cancel the protest? “Never!”
WIRED: Online Bailout Outrage Jumps To Streets, September 24, 2008
Bailout Protest Junk Site: Buy My Shitpile, Henry!
September252008: Protest Wall Street Bailout: the e-mail