What began as a small group of protesters expressing their grievances about economic inequities last month from a park in New York City has evolved into an online conversation that is spreading across the country on social media platforms.
Inspired by the populist message of the group known as Occupy Wall Street, more than 200 Facebook pages and Twitter accounts have sprung up in dozens of cities during the past week, seeking volunteers for local protests and fostering discussion about the group’s concerns.
Some 900 events have been set up on Meetup.com, and blog posts and photographs from all over the country are popping up on the WeArethe99Percent blog on Tumblr from people who see themselves as victims of not just a sagging economy but economic injustice.
“I don’t want to be rich. I don’t want to live a lavish lifestyle,” said a woman on Tumblr, describing herself as a college student worried about the burden of student debt. “I’m worried. I’m scared, thinking about the future shakes me. I hope this works. I really hope this works.”
The online conversation has grown at the same time that street protests have taken place in several other cities last week, including Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington. A Web site, Occupy Together, is trying to aggregate the online conversations and the off-line activities.