10 Things in Politics: Post-Occupy Wall Street inequality keeps growing

·6 min read

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Here's what we're talking about:

With Phil Rosen.

A man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask stands outside of a Chase Bank in Manhattan during the Occupy Wall Street protest.
The Occupy Wall Street protest kicked off September 17, 2011, in lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park. Reuters

1. LOOKING BACK: Occupy Wall Street protesters had big goals. Their movement started with a single striking image and ended with a 60-day takeover of lower Manhattan that spawned similar efforts across the US and around the world. Ten years later, Insider talked to participants and observers of the movement about its legacy.

Here's a peek at the massive story:

Income inequality remains a problem: Occupiers helped make the language of the 99% the lingua franca of the American left. But inequality very much remains. The growing gap was highlighted by the split screen of a pandemic-induced economic crisis that saw tens of millions of Americans struggle - some to this day - while others amassed staggering sums.

  • Failing to agree on demands helped fuel these struggles: "​​So we came up with 1%, 99% - we came up with a few slogans. But we never came up with one demand. And I think that was the one big failure of Occupy Wall Street, despite the fact that we politicized a whole generation of people," said Kalle Lasn, one of the original organizers of Occupy Wall Street.

Going from occupying to Occupy posed some major challenges: Protesters involved early on describe a loose, committed group that barely took up Zuccotti Park. The attention they gained soon brought in more people, money, and even celebrity speakers.

  • Key quote: "When we had nothing, people were much nicer to each other. But then, when we had money all of a sudden, there was a discussion of maybe renting a space instead of occupying the space. The whole ethos changes," said Marisa Holmes, an organizer with New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts.

There's no denying how the protest changed politics: "The top elected officials were talking about the 1%, about economic inequality - and that came out of Occupy Wall Street," said Wylie Stecklow, an attorney who worked for the movement.

Read more about Occupy Wall Street's legacy and what it was like for those who took over Zuccotti Park.

2. Senate parliamentarian says Dems can't include immigration in their $3.5 trillion plan: Democrats have suffered a major setback after learning they won't be allowed to include a pathway to citizenship for as many as 8 million unauthorized immigrants, The Washington Post reports. Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate's nonpartisan rules official, is in charge of deciding which policies are allowed in the budget process by which Democrats are seeking to pass their gigantic package without any Republican votes. Pressure is increasing on Democrats to overrule the parliamentarian.

3. Macron and Biden to talk amid diplomatic crisis: President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron are set to speak in the coming days following French outrage over a submarine deal involving the US, the UK, and Australia at the expense of France, the Associated Press reports. Biden requested the call over what the French have deemed a "grave crisis." France recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia last week, a sign of just how angry it is. Here's where things stand.

4. US is moving to deport Haitians camped out along the border: Officials expect to deport many of the more than 12,000 migrants camped out in a Texas border town, the AP reports. More than 320 migrants arrived in Port-au-Prince on Sunday, and six more flights are expected to land there Tuesday. This is shaping up to be one of the US's quickest large-scale expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades.

5. Top health official still expects boosters to be OK'd for more people: The National Institutes of Health's director, Dr. Francis Collins, said he'd be "surprised" if coronavirus booster shots were not recommended for other Americans in the coming weeks. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday recommended the third dose only for older adults and those considered most at risk. More on the booster-shot confusion.

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito. North Port Police Department

6. The FBI thinks it found the remains of Gabby Petito: Authorities said they found remains "consistent with the description" of Petito near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. They are waiting on forensic testing for confirmation. Petito was reported missing September 11 while on a cross-country with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. The police are searching for Laundrie, who returned home to Florida 10 days before Petito was reported missing but then vanished days ago. The case has drawn national attention.

7. Supply-chain issues are already causing holiday-shopping hiccups: The freight backlog is hammering small and midsize businesses in particular, as they contend with a double whammy of delayed cargo and explosively high freight prices. There's also a struggle on how businesses can bear increased costs and when they should be passed on to customers.

8. Federal regulators are frustrated by Tesla's self-driving claims: Jennifer Homendy, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board, said CEO Elon Musk and his company shouldn't rush the rollout of a "Full Self-Driving Capability" before addressing issues with the technology. Homendy also told The Wall Street Journal that she had concerns with the way Tesla tested its software on public roadways. More on Tesla's struggle to balance Wall Street's expectations with regulators' wishes.

9. Boxer Manny Pacquiao is running for president in the Philippines: Pacquiao is a Philippine senator and a member of the same political party as President Rodrigo Duterte. But the two hail from opposite factions and have an icy relationship. Duterte is term-limited out of the top job, but he has already been nominated to be his faction's vice-presidential candidate for elections later this year. More on the news.

Ted Lasso cast celebrates at the Emmys
Hannah Waddingham, third from left, Jason Sudeikis, Juno Temple, and the team from "Ted Lasso" with their Emmys. Danny Moloshok/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

10. "Ted Lasso" and "The Crown" dominate the Emmys: Netflix's dramatic retelling of the British royal family's history dominated the night with seven Emmy wins. Apple TV's lighthearted "Ted Lasso" took home four awards, including Jason Sudeikis' first Emmy. Here are the winners of all the biggest categories.

Today's trivia question: US-Franco relations have hit rough patches before. In 1794, Congress spurred the creation of the Navy by commissioning six frigates to take on the French in what is now known as the Quasi-War. Incredibly, one of those ships is still around. What is the name of that ship? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

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