POLL: Why Didn't You Occupy, Stamford?

The city of Stamford may be devoid of organized Occupy Wall Street movements for one very good reason.

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.

Glen K Dunbar December 01, 2011 at 03:12 PM
I think Stamford, CT being the wonderful town it is should stand up to the rich. The rich will contiue to wipe their feet on us till we politely take a stand I wish they would come here to New Canaan where I am unfortunately residing till my ship comes in or somebody bails me out The time has come for the rich to taste poverty and us poor people to enjoy life. Take a stand folks....politely of course GLEN
David V December 02, 2011 at 12:03 AM
Funny, there's an occupy Stamford meetup happening right now, within 12 hrs of your article. I'll be sure to read it to those who show up.
Catherine December 02, 2011 at 03:24 PM
Thanks for your article, Jamal. Not every town has an occupy encampment. But every town has people who object to corporate money in politics, big pharma, big agriculture, big banks, wealth disparity, foreclosures, bailouts, austerity measures, and many other social ills. The occupy spirit is energizing people to get talking with each other and empower themselves in whatever form that may take.
Mike December 22, 2011 at 03:47 PM
I like "Stamford Patch", it's much better than reading Jeff Morganteens onsided articles on Stamford Advocate which I wouldn't pay 5 cents for. Jamal, could you give Jeff some tips? He needs them.
Jamal Powell December 22, 2011 at 10:06 PM
I like the Advocate. Please, don't say those kinds of things about people here...but thanks so much for the compliment, and for being a reader!


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