… and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage. — John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath. In my spare moments, I have been collecting Christian responses to the Occupy Wall Street movement. A few common themes have emerged.
An eight-day protest on the rooftop at the Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) in Darwin ended shortly before five refugees “locked themselves in a room … where one man took an overdose of sleeping pills while the other four began cutting themselves,” the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) said on November 2. Serco guards broke down the door and one man was taken to hospital. Two other refugees later tried to hang themselves.
Elena Ortega speaking at Occupy Sydney

Occupy Sydney activist Elena Ortega gave the speech below at an October 22 rally in Sydney’s Martin Place. Earlier this year, Ortega took part in Spain’s indignado movement, which has involved huge protests and occupations against corporate power across the country since May 15.

What if rising sea levels are yet another measure of inequality? What if the degradation of our planet’s life-support systems — its atmosphere, oceans and biosphere — goes hand in hand with the accumulation of wealth, power and control by that corrupt and greedy 1% we are hearing about from Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park? What if the assault on the US's middle class and the assault on the environment are one and the same? Money rules
On October 18, about 200 students held a “Save Political Economy” demonstration at the University of Sydney, organised by the Political Economy Students Society (EcopSoc). The university administration is considering abolishing political economy as a separate department. The department was established in the 1970s after a big campaign of protests and occupations by students and staff who wanted economics courses that taught a wide range of theories — not just the right-wing orthodoxy.
The decision by Qantas management to ground the airline's fleet and look out its workforce has caused uproar around the country. However, the mainstream media have overwhelmingly focused on the position and arguments publicly put by Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
Warren Smith

Warren Smith, assistant secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, addressed Occupy Sydney at Martin Place on October 22.

Some conservative commentators have declared the global Occupy movement to be “socialist”. Right-wing activist and musician Ted Nugent said in the Washington Times on October 14: “Occupy Wall Street is nothing more than anti-American socialism on parade... “These useful idiots are clamoring for social justice, as if they don’t have enough of that already.”
Occupy Wall Street protester

Renowned political theorist and writer Noam Chomsky spoke to Occupy Boston on October 22. Below is an abridged transcript of his comments. See all of Green Left's extensive Occupy coverage here.

See all of Green Left's extensive Occupy coverage here The global Occupy movement has inspired huge numbers of Australians who have grown chronically disengaged with the political game-playing of the two big parties and an economic system that puts profit before people and the planet.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on October 26 to discuss allegations of human rights abuses. The meeting took place just hours after a young Tamil refugee killed himself inside Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.
Occupy Sydney

I joined Resistance just over a month ago and when I heard Sydney would join the Occupy Together movement, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.