Inside NYSE: One Activist Got In and Left a Message for the 1%
Michael Kink, Executive Director of Strong Economy for All Coalition, a labor and community coalition fighting for economic justice, left the New York Stock Exchange an Occupy Wall Street-themed gift this morning when he stopped in to do a quick hit on CNBC. When the picture showed up in my email, I had to talk to him and get his story.
Sarah Jaffe: What was the mood like inside the NYSE? How did you come to be there?
Michael Kink: There was no question that everybody in there was talking about Occupy, talking about the morning. But I was in there for a scheduled appearance, it wasn't an ACT-UP style taking over the newscast.
SJ: I heard reports from people watching CNBC that it seemed pretty thin on the trading floor. We know the bell went off on time, but what was the impact?
MK: I think there were a lot of delays, the protest had an impact, the direct action had an impact. It's clear that they disrupted business as usual, they made their point.
SJ: How do you think the movement is doing this morning?
MK: It was pretty great in Zuccotti, they were moving the barricades, there were no bag checks, it was a festive atmosphere.
I was on with the morning crowd on CNBC. I think it was actually very positive. It was emblematic of the kind of things that have been going on. One of the guys did a documentary a couple of years ago on the ostentatious consumption of Wall Street types, he was bummed out that people took it as a think to aspire to. People have been working on these issues for a long time.
I felt like they gave me room to talk. They asked me a few questions here and there, sort of astroturf questions. I'm very explicit, the people that occupy the parks, people like me have a chance to talk because they're doing it. Because they put their bodies on the line there's a broader discussion.