The Ninety-Nine Percent

on 30 Comments

To sit in silence when we should protest
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox, I Protest, 1914

With so much effort being exerted by the right-wing lunatic punditocracy and commentariat, Citigroup fiancées with CNN programs, know-nothing pizza magnates and billionaire mayors to belittle and dismiss Occupy Wall Street protesters as “stereotypically aging hippies and young kids who could have just left a Phish concert,” here’s a look at who’s actually down at Liberty Plaza. 

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Hero, 21
The Bronx, New York
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John, 61
Croton-On-Hudson, New York
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Alisha, 20
Las Vegas, Nevada
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Kevin, 60, and John, 57
Queens, New York
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Ronnie, 24
New York, New York

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Taylor, 20
Catasauqua, Pennsylvania
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Ari, 29
Chicago, Illinois
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Michael, 20
The Bronx, New York
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Susie, 52
Brooklyn, New York
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Matthew, 28
New York, New York
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Natalie, 26
Seattle, Washington
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Lexi, 38
New Orleans, Louisiana
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Samoa, 53
Brooklyn, New York
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Hamza, 29
Utica, New York
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Pat, 69
Erie, Colorado
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Layla, 5 months
Brooklyn, New York

All photographs ©Nima Shirazi

The ever-intrepid and affable J.A. Myerson contributed to this report.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1914

To sit in silence when we should protest
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance and lust
The Inquisition yet would serve the law
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle; Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills,
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and child-bearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.
Therefore do I protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong which holds one rusted link,
Call no land free that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled, slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee;
Until the Mother bears no burden save
The precious one beneath her heart; until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the Land of Freedom.


Nima Shirazi blogs at Wide Asleep in America. You can follow him on Twitter at @WideAsleepNima.

About Nima Shirazi

Nima Shirazi is co-editor of the Iran, Iraq and Turkey pages for the online magazine Muftah. His political analysis can be found on his blog,, where this post first appeared. Follow him on Twitter @WideAsleepNima.

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