Obama to Wall Street protesters: 'We shall overcome!'by Penn Sill
Oct. 8, 2011, New York, NY — President Obama traveled here today to voice his support for Occupy Wall Street and other anti-capitalism protest groups throughout the nation.
"We shall overcome!" the president shouted into a bullhorn as he stood outside his limousine this morning during an unannounced visit to Wall Street. "In my heart I'm one of the ninety nine, and we will overcome the other 1 percent. I demand that Congress raise the taxes on the rich so that they pay their fair share."
The protesters gave the president a standing ovation. As Obama ducked into his car, the crowd began chanting in unison, "Down with banks! Down with big business! Down with Wall Street! Down with capitalism!"
Obama rolled down his window, stood, raised his arms and gave two victory signs in a scene reminiscent of President Richard Nixon's farewell as he left the White House in 1974. Next Obama gave a double thumbs up gesture and flashed a toothy grin.
"That's right!" he shouted. "We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore!"
One of the protest leaders, Anne Tye Rich, who graduated Long Island University with a degree in Cuban Studies and is "currently between jobs," said she was encouraged that the president would fulfill his promise to abolish the poverty gap by redistributing income.
"The bankers, the hedge fund managers, the stockbrokers, the anesthesiologists, the real estate developers and the lawyers are going down!" she said. "Right now they pay only about 50 percent of their income in federal, state and local taxes. We demand that the rich pay their fair share, which is at least 90 percent. It's not fair that I had to go to college for four years to get my degree, and I can't find a job."
Unemployed artist Payne Tawn-Walls said she is angry that Wall Street's mismanagement has made it impossible for her to make a living by painting murals in banks and corporate offices.
"Companies don't spend so much money on art anymore," she said, "Don't they realize there are more important things than money? I'm supporting President Obama's plan to raise taxes on the rich so that the government will have enough money to hire me to paint murals in federal buildings."
Fellow protester, Becca P. Singer , an aspiring pop vocalist, said big corporations, such as RCA and Sony have ruined her career by repeatedly rejecting her songs.
"Capitalism just ain't working for me," she said. "I'm here to protest Wall Street because it allows the rich to get richer while I just get poorer."
Sculptor Chip Stone said he joined Occupy Wall Street because banks were bailed out by the federal government while his rock statues remain unsold.
"I work at least 20 hours a week," he said, "and I deserve to be paid at least half as much as a bank president who works 40 hours a week."
Unemployed auto mechanic Mayne Teign Fords said he decided to join the Wall Street protest because the government's Cash for Clunkers program hurt his business.
"There were millions of used cars and trucks that mechanics like me were maintaining," he said, "but people who were rich enough to afford a new high-mileage Japanese vehicle got money to have their old cars crushed, and suddenly I was out of work."
Seattle conceptual artist Mimi Allin, who said her greatest artistic accomplishment was lying on the ground repeatedly in a circle around Mount Rainier, told radio host Michael Medved that she would have gone to the Wall Street protests but doesn't have enough time or money, despite having received $5,800 in taxpayer funds for redecorating a "big green thing," a city statue that she covered with blue butterflies fashioned from silk.
"Wall Street enables companies to make unnecessary materialistic things — things we don't need," she said. "Noise polluters like radios and Ipods, global warming polluters such as motorized automobiles, and sight polluters such as televisions. We must stop what some like to call progress so that we all can get back to nature."
Wisconsin second-grade public school teacher Miss Inga Page said she received money from her union to attend the protest in New York.
"The biggest enemy of public education is private education," she said, "Most Wall Street types are rich enough to send their kids to private schools. So I'm for shutting down Wall Street."
Page said she supports Obama's move to replace "No Child Left Behind" with "Leave Dumb Kids Behind."
Underemployed instrumentalist Amanda Lynn was in tears as Skinnyreporter approached her at Utah's version of Occupy Wall Street, called Occupy SLC, which attracted about 200 anti-capitalists, one for every 15,000 residents of the state.
"I just found out Steve Jobs died," she wailed. "He did so much for my generation. I'm sure he would have been on our side."
She explained that demand for her services as a mandolin player has declined because many people illegally download music with technology invented by huge corporations.
"If it weren't for Wall Street and the bailed-out banks," she said, "people would still have to buy CDs, and I could make enough to live on."
Self-described starving student Nita Mehl said she joined the protest because she can't find a bank that will give her a student loan.
"Every single bank just gives me the runaround," she said. "Most of them tell me they don't give student loans anymore because the Democrats won't let them. And they expect me to believe that! Down with banks!"
City of New York business student C. Ken Cash, who has been paying for his tuition with profits from his growing T-shirt silkscreening business, said he joined the protest because he is angry that his future Social Security tax payments already have been spent to bail out large banks, the Government Motor Company (GMC) and other businesses too large to fail.
"The government is too big, there's too much corruption, big corporations buy too much influence, federal spending is out of control, and the government is trying to control everything in my life," he said. "I thought Occupy Wall Street was the best way to express my frustration, but then I ran into a correspondent for Sean Hannity, who got me interviewed by Mr. Hannity on national radio. I was surprised to find out that he believes the same things that I do, so I'm leaving to join the Tea Party."
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