Occupy Wall Street: Don't let NY raid derail the movement

November 16, 2011

I'm worried the confrontation between "grim-faced riot police" and the relatively peaceful demonstrators in New York's Zuccotti Park may spell the end to an important movement. Now these crackdowns are occurring in many other places, and I fear the next deployment of anti-Occupy force will be here in Baltimore. Dismantling the movement is certainly in the best interest of those who have wrecked our economy.

Political science professor Michael Heaney urges the protesters to "Institutionalize or die." However, I suggest the Occupy Wall Street movement (along with everyone else who cares about the financial health of the nation) begin an effort to fully reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. Back during the Depression this law established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and introduced banking reforms designed to control speculation.

A crucial part of Glass-Steagall was repealed in 1999, thereby removing the separation that had existed between investment banking and the commercial banks that accepted the insured deposits. Once freed from the constraints of Glass-Steagall, the "masters of the universe" were able to take dangerous risks, and a global, financial meltdown has now occurred. I'm glad I've spent some time at the Occupy Baltimore encampment at McKeldin Square, and even though I viewed the image they presented as poor, it at least got me thinking.

Rosalind Ellis, Baltimore

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