Was Occupy Wall Street just a dream? The fall of 2011 was one of the most exciting and optimistic times of my life as a progressive. Seeing thousands of young people all over the country flock to their local occupations was truly amazing and historic. I felt that we were in the middle of a cultural awakening and that a huge radical change was just on the brink.
The other weekend I went to New York City to see where it all began up close and in person. I walked to Wall Street to find Zuccotti Park and literally walked right past it. Quite naively I expected a huge space with progressive activists still meeting and planning the revolution, but found no one. In fact, Zuccotti Park is a tiny little plaza where tourists rest after visiting Ground Zero and taking pictures of the Wall Street bull sculpture. On the subway back to my friend’s house,
It seems that many members of the newest generation of fiction writers have difficulty creating political works that are accessible and appeal to a wide audience. Author J.L. Morin, however, has overcome these obstacles with her novel Trading Dreams, a compelling mystery that is also a story of personal discovery – as well as an in-depth analysis of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the factors that have created our economic kerfuffle. As I interviewed this amazing woman, her answers shed even further light on the extensive thought that went into crafting this story.
Frying Pan News: An interesting aspect of this book was the murderer storyline coexists with the plot dealing with the corruption on Wall Street. What caused you to write a story that was both a mystery and a political statement?
J.L. Morin: Growing up in Detroit when it was the murder capital of the U.S.
Who says that Occupy Wall Street – whose national protests so changed the American conversation about economic inequality — was a passing fad? Today, to mark the one-year anniversary of the takeover of Zuccotti Park, where OWS was born, demonstrators gathered in New York’s financial district to sing the movement Happy Birthday – and to get arrested.
Reports the New York Daily News:
“A crowd of about 50 barged into the lobby of the JPMorgan Chase building and demanded to speak to bank officials. About eight of them were arrested.
‘We’re here protesting financial terrorism. The financial mafia,’ said Yates McKee, 32, as he was loaded into the back of a police van.”
And, in the spirit of OWS’s not-for-profit anniversary, author Charles Degelman tells Frying Pan News he is offering Kindle downloads of his 1960s-protest novel, Gages of Eden,
On Tuesday the Occupy L.A. encampment on City Hall’s narrow north lawn along Temple St. entered its fourth day. The camp first arose on the large commons on the hall’s First St. side, but like nearly all things in the city had to give way to the filming of a movie. That film, Gangster Squad, is about racket busters in the Los Angeles of the 1940s and ’50s, an era with almost nothing in common with the present city – except its growing popular dissatisfaction with the direction of the economy.
Some of the hundred or so participants this late, gray afternoon stood on sidewalks with signs (“Restore Glass-Steagall”), while engaging passersby – some from the Conrad Murray trial up the block — or taking the salute of car drivers honking their horns. Others debated among themselves on the lawn, while some kicked back in their small nylon tents.