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A German Take On Why The Wall Street Protesters Make Sense, Despite Themselves

Op-Ed: The demonstrations are chaotic and their messages tangled, but the Occupy Wall Street protesters are anything but crazy. In drawing attention to the gaping chasm between America's haves and have-nots, they have correctly identified a situa

A German Take On Why The Wall Street Protesters Make Sense, Despite Themselves

They don't have any leaders or specific goals – only the feeling of belonging to the same majority. "We are the 99%," read the placards (and Internet blog) of predominantly young Americans who for two weeks, under the slogan "Occupy Wall Street," have been out on the streets of New York City. Their protest may not be well organized. Nor is it exactly clear what they hope to acheive. But it would be wrong to write them off. They are calling our attention to the split between rich and poor in the United States, and for that alone they deserve respect.

Here are some of the things "We are the 99%" protesters denounce: no longer being able to pay their mortgages; the fear of losing their jobs; student debts. These are problems the other 1% doesn't have to deal with. The super-rich control 90% of the country's wealth. The disparity between them and the rest of the population is comparable to the days of the railroad tycoons in the 19th century.

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Ukrainian protestors stand at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to mark Vyshyvanka Day, an International day to celebrate Ukrainian heritage and traditions

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger.

👋 Guten Tag!*

Welcome to Friday, where Russia intensifies shelling in eastern Ukraine, Biden lands in South Korea, and a Mercedes becomes the most expensive car ever sold. Meanwhile, for German daily die Welt, Cosima Lutz explores the sizzling question of the skyrocketing price of cooking oils.

[*German]

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