“His nametag read “Senator DeMonet.” He had cash taped to his suit, on the back, a list of sponsors: Visa, Coca Cola, City Group, Texaco. Brant Thomas, a financial analyst from Down•town Brooklyn, came down to demonstrate in Zuccotti for the first time on October 31.
“I’m protesting for a better America,” Thomas said. “One not geared to the rich.” He believes politicians have been pandering at unprecedented levels to moneyed interests. “The Republicans right now have one goal, which is to put more of the wealth in this country in the hands of fewer and fewer people,” he said. “It benefits them totally, and we all suffer.” The movement “has raised awareness,” Thomas said, “I think the timing is very good.”
Sierra was helping out at the comfort station when we talked to her. She’s a student who grew up in Brownsville and had been staying in the park in a tent for three weeks. The experience has been good for her, and Sierra has been pleasantly surprised by the make-up of the protest: “There are people from other countries who’ve come here and donated clothes!” She’d originally come down because she had friends in Zuccotti and soon made more and thought, “’I really like this: I’m going to stay.’ So many different people care and everybody is so nice. It’s exciting, eye-opening.”
She had been in Zuccotti for five days when we spoke to her, on her first day sporting a picket sign. It was Halloween and the sign read, “Psychopaths are our real Monsters.”
“While there are compassionate people left on the planet,” she said, “it’s time to address those who have lost touch with humanity.” Someone doesn’t necessarily have to have gone through the same tribulations as others, she says, to be able to feel a connection. She calls the movement a “giant spotlight” on where we are as a species, “identifying the underlying reasons why things have become so out of touch and dehumanizing.”