When the Occupy Wall Street movement spread across the country, I was certain that the movement was going to spread to Stamford, and for a few good reasons.
I expected to see at least a small camp outside of either UBS or RBS buildings; if only because they represent the great wealth that the Occupy movement stands against. When I didn't see any significant attempt to Occupy Stamford during October or November, I began theorizing as to why.
My first answer was one that could be obvious to anyone. With UBS, RBS, and GE among some of the top employers in Stamford, chances are that you're not occupying a corporate headquarters because you already work there. A Stamford Patch article from last month even supports that notion as .
My second answer was in regards to the Occupy movement's goal -- they don't seem to have a specific one, and Stamford residents aren't the type to suffer discomfort unless there's a good reason, not with the way Stamford was worked up over the power outages following Hurricane Irene and Winter Storm Alfred.
With no clear answer, I asked myself why would anyone really want to Occupy Stamford, and those answers came to me rather fast. Some Stamford residents, working below the city's median income of over $48,000 a year, are finding themselves forced into , even living arrangements, with nearly no discourse if they wish to remain in the city. Doesn't this represent the income gap that the Occupy movement opposes?
Forget the income gap, what about the which may cause people to come up short in the wages department? Between Stamford's housing, income, and educational divides, it became clear to me that indeed, some in the city "had" while others "had not."
Then again, there are quite a few options for individuals seeking to become active in the Occupy movement, though they may not be local. Occupy Hartford may be one of the most tame, organized, and focused Occupy movements in America while avoiding the pitfalls that other Occupations have, such as maintaining crowded, filth-ridden camps.
There is an Occupy Stamford, and while this local movement doesn't seem to be gaining much steam with only 54 likes, at least they're trying.
Last month, protesters the home of GE CEO Jeff Immelt, but that happened in New Canaan, even if GE is in Stamford.
I had to consider that numbers-wise, if one isn't on the higher end of Stamford's achievement or income gaps, they're on the lower end, and Stamford's middle-class was thinning as a result. Through that, I formed one final, rhetorical question to explain why Stamford has never formed its own Occupation.
What if Stamford is part of the 1%?
Comments and feedback welcome! Send your responses to Jamal.Powell@patch.com to be included in next week's Letters to the Editor.