Occupy Wall Street: World reactions

The anti-bank protest movement has spread around the globe — but newspapers in countries from Iran to Japan have a variety of takes on OWS

Occupy Wall Street
(Image credit: Arne Dedert/dpa/Corbis)

The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread far beyond New York's financial district, occupying dozens of cities across the U.S., and even much of the world. But that doesn't mean that the American protesters' stand for the "99 percent" (and against Wall Street greed and excessive power) is seen the same way in every country. Here, a sampling of how other nations view the movement:


The protesters hit a global nerve: "When I first heard of it," I gave Occupy Wall Street a few days to fizzle out, tops, says Joost Lagendijk at Al Arabiya. But the movement grew, and its demands became more specific. When the EU took a page from the OWS playbook and proposed taxing the top 1 percent, currency trades, and financial transactions, "it signaled that the Wall Street occupiers were not totally out of touch with reality." I guess you don't have to be "a loony liberal or leftist," or even American, to be outraged by "unlimited corporate greed."

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"Occupying Wall Street and beyond"


Occupy Wall Street insults the working man: The vaunted "gaggle of hipsters and leftists" in New York would be fun to mock if they weren't so scornful, says Brendan O'Neill at The Australian. They claim to represent the "99 percent," but in fact "enjoy nothing more than pouring bile on everyday Yanks," who the protesters view as consumerist rubes. As the demonstrators' "pseudo-political yelp of adolescent outrage" spreads overseas, don't insult generations of working people by describing "this internationally contagious middle-class miserabilism as a 'return of working-class anger.'"

"Wall Street occupiers are an insult to the workers"


OWS is a victory for Islam: While everyone else was watching the Arab Spring unfold in the Mideast, only Ayatollah Khamenei predicted "the imminent awakening at the heart of the West," says Hussein Shariatmadari in Kayhan, via WorldMeet.us. So it makes sense that the New York protesters "are calling Wall Street and Manhattan their 'Tahrir Square,'" and shouting that "capitalism is our main problem." This is a revolution inspired by what happened in the Islamic world.

"Wall Street uprisings herald victory of Islam and Iran!"


Don't expect Japan to be Occupied: The Japanese are struggling, too, but what protests we have are mostly against nuclear power, says The Japan Times in an editorial. Part of the reason "there is little sign of a larger movement to occupy anywhere in Japan" is that our CEO pay isn't as "outrageously high, nor as flaunted," and there isn't a mortgage or student-loan crisis. But there's room for growth: The Japanese, like OWS protesters around the world, are demanding more fairness, and reminding the people in power that there are more "little guys" than fat cats.

"Occupy where? Kasumigaseki?"