Occupy Wall Street: An interview with Kalle Lasn, the man behind it all
Back in July, an idea by Kalle Lasn and his colleagues at Adbusters, a nonprofit magazine run by social activists, had started to come together.
For months, Lasn had noticed among his 120,000 readers an unresolved anger that wasn’t finding expression. He observed that young people were starting to say they worried about having a “black hole future” ahead of them, and it suddenly felt, he said, “like a Tahrir moment in America was eminently possible.”
So the Adbusters team tried something out. They put out feelers for a small protest on Wall Street on Sept. 17. They started a hashtag to go with it, the catchy-sounding #OccupyWallStreet. They ran a poster in the magazine to advertise it (see above).
And before they knew it, the protests had taken on a life of their own:
Occupy Wall Street protesters join a labor union rally in Foley Square before marching on Zuccotti Park in New York. (Jason DeCrow - AP) Adbusters’ idea of protesting corporate greed and what they saw as the United States’ corrupt political system struck such a chord that the demonstrations have now spread to dozens of cities and towns across the country. Unions, students, rights groups and others have joined in. The national media cover the protests daily.
But as winter sets in, Occupy Wall Street is at a pivotal moment — will the protests grow larger and bring about real change, or will they fade with the fall?
Kalle Lasn. (Adbusters) We spoke to Kalle Lasn, editor and founder of Adbusters, by phone Wednesday to get some perspective from the man who started it all.