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article imageOp-Ed: Joining the one per cent. Wall Street fights back

By Ken Hanly     Aug 24, 2012 in Business
Toronto - While the Occupy Wall Street movement has almost disappeared from the media scene one enterprising brokerage company has kept memories of the movement alive by an ad that encourages clients to join the one per cent.
It will soon be a year since the Occupy Wall Street movement on September 17, 2011 occupied Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street financial district of New York. The original source of the movement can be traced to the Canadian activist group Adbusters. The movement soon spread globally to numerous cities both in the U.S. and elsewhere. President Obama voiced support for the movement in a press conference on October 6, 2011: "I think it expresses the frustrations the American people feel, that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country ... and yet you're still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on the abusive practices that got us into this in the first place."
At first Mitt Romney said the protests were dangerous and promoted class warfare but he later recanted somewhat saying:"I look at what's happening on Wall Street and my view is, boy, I understand how those people feel."
The movement targets such issues as inequality, greed, and the undue influence of corporations on government. The OWS(Occupy Wall Street slogan claimed that they they were the 99% opposed to the ultra-rich one per cent. By November 15, 2011, protesters had been forced out of Zuccotti Park. Over time Occupy encampments in U.S.cities and other cities around the world were closed down. The Movement faded from the media radar.
However, one enterprising brokerage firm, Interactive Brokers, has kept the memory of the movement alive by using the technique of turning an opponent's own highly visible recognition by the public to exactly opposite ends to that of the original movement. I saw the ad on BNN the Business News Network but no doubt it runs other places as well.The ad pictures a protest by stylized figures but the protest is about high brokerage commissions and other issues that concern investors in the stock market. The protesters demand more services, better execution, and lower stock loan rates. The ad promises that you can join the one per cent!
Even the embed code is clever. You get to see, whether you like it or not it would seem, a series of several ads for Interactive Brokers. Fortunately the ad this article is about comes first. Perhaps I should note that I have no connection with Interactive Brokers nor with the one per cent.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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