Courtesy of The Nation
Photographer: Allison Kilkenny
The Boulder of Sisyphus, N.Y.C., October 13, 2012
at Columbus Circle on Global Noise Day
News in on Global Noise Day, announced earlier by Occupy Wall Street. Protesters took the streets worldwide on Saturday, clanging pots and pans against austerity. N.Y.C. activists created and pushed a giant boulder symbolizing the crushing level of debt many face. As Occupy activist Dominc Ryan explains in the youtube below,
"This boulder is supposed to remind people of the Greek myth of Sisyphus who was doomed to an eternity in hell having to forever push a boulder up a mountain. Once he gets up to the top, it just falls back down, and he just has to start pushing it up again. So our debts that we'll never be able to pay off, it's like that burden. If you look closely at the boulder, we've had people write all over it. They'll write how much they owe, how long they think it's going to take them to pay off their debt, if they think they're going to be able to -- in many cases, it's forever-- or just a message to their bank, their creditors, and it's sort of a group therapy. People can look at this and see that they're not alone, this isn't just an individual problem, it's a problem that's systemic."Marchers also target Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, heading over to luxury apartments at 15 Central Park West, banging pots and pans and mic checking outside about his role in selling risky mortgages and profiting when the market later collapses.
From Alison Killkeny at The Nation:
Strike Debt and Occupy Wall Street handed out copies of the Debt Resistor’s Operations Manual, a project of the wonkier sect of Occupy that seeks to educate citizens, specifically about how debt affects everyone, the history of things like housing debt and what they can do to protect themselves if they’re currently in debt, and also gives them the tools to create a credit system that serves the people and not just the obscenely wealthy. (The manual is available as a PDF here.)
Speakers representing countries from around the world addressed the crowd before the march began, including activists from Mexico’s Yo Soy 132, Japan’s Occupy movement and the Canadian debt resistance.
One speaker received strong support from the crowd when she remarked, “debt is the new colonialism.” Another protester, in talking about the ongoing austerity protests in the United States, Canada, Egypt, Spain and Greece said, “All our grievances are connected.”
Photo credit as above/Alison Killkeny/The Nation