Brought to you by the people who occupy wall street. Why will YOU occupy?
OccupyWallSt.org Occupytogether.org somosel99por-ciento.tumblr.com wearethe99percentuk.tumblr.com westandwiththe99percent.tumblr.com
ATTENTION: Documentary filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart is looking to connect with people who have submitted their stories to We Are the 99 Percent. She would like to bring your stories to life in a new feature documentary film. You can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more and explore being interviewed on camera.
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I got part of a programming degree before the bottom fell out of the tech industry and all of an AS in electrical design that cost me $60k in debt.
I got laid off 4 months ago. Because I refused to work 60+ hour weeks, I can’t get my old managers to call me back. As a 5-year industry veteran with no industry references, I can’t get hiring managers to call me back.
I’ve gone bankrupt to escape credit cards, but student loans are for life.
I have an ER bill I can’t pay, an untreated skin condition I can’t see anyone about, wisdom teeth coming in sideways I can’t get corrected, and asthma I treat with coffee to save the inhaler for emergencies.
I live on unemployment in two spare bedrooms in my mother’s double-wide.
I’m wiring books in the hopes of one day living on a skill I possess again.
And, if I’m very lucky I’ll be able to get a job in the fall working on a janitor crew a friend manages.
I AM THE 99%
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I am a 56-year-old woman. I worked for Lockheed Martin for 35 years. I was laid-off just 3.5 years short from being able to collect a full pension. For each year before I am 59.5 years old my pension drops 5%, so if I put in for my retirement benefits now and draw my pension I would loose 15.5% of my pension. I worked 35 years, at the same time I went to college, graduated, and earned my bachelor’s degree. For what?! I now have to try and find a job at age 56.
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I am the 99% - I am a good man who has been taken to the edge of sanity by the world I live in. a world where people are rewarded disproportionately to their contribution to their fellow man. a world where a soccer player can earn enough in a week to buy a house, but where a nurse who saves and nurtures the lives of others is made to survive on a subsistence wage. I am the 99% and the time has come for us to take back our world.
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I know I’m just a kid, but I have no future, and it freaks me out. I’m sorry if it looks like I’m just spoiled and petulant.
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This is the sign I made today, and plan to stand at a busy corner in the rain. I do not live in Oregon, or Washington state. I am disabled, my husband lost his job due to illnesses which include Stiff Person Syndrome, scaring on his brain (could be MS) hypothyroid, sick sinus syndrome (requiring a pacemaker at 37), and now something showing up on his liver.
We believed that it would only be a short time before he would be better and be able to get back to work. That was two years ago. His unemployment benefits have run out, and now with all his diagnosis we are able to finally pursue disability for him. My SSDI and child support come to a monthly total of $2346.00 monthly. Our rent - we can’t afford to buy - is $1150.00 a month. We are currently $195.00 overdrawn, and the overdraft protection has been turned off by the bank. We have no more gas in our car. I will get the last half of child support next week; coincidentally that is exactly $195.00. The next SSDI check won’t be here until June 1st.
We have not paid our utilities, or car payment in two months. We have a six month old who needs diapers. He was our 1% miracle - as in birth control is only 99% effective. Go figure. If my husband’s disability is not approved soon we will be homeless by July. Because our situation is dire now, we have written letters through his SSDI attorney for compassionate allowances. However, once we are homeless our situation is no longer considered “dire”.
We will survive this. Our marriage will survive this. But, I am putting my country on notice. I will not accept this any longer, I will not back down, I will not forgive, and I will not forget. I will fight for change, I will fight this oppression. My family is the 99%, and I am PISSED OFF!!!
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I got my first job mowing lawns when I was 13. I went to work for the Federal government, laying fences, when I was 15. At 17, I left home and put myself through college and law school, without my parents’ help. Yes, I had student loans, and yes, I paid them.
I lost my job in 2009. Despite hundreds of phone calls, resumes, and a few interviews, it seems I am now “overqualified,” at age 50, to be employed. I am coming to grip with the fact that I will never earn what I took for granted, just a few years ago.
I have run through my savings, my investments, and my retirement accounts. I lost my house. My wife left me a year ago, and cancelled my health insurance. My heart medications, insulin, and related supplies, not to mention ADD meds for my teenager, total $3500 a month. I don’t have $3500 to spend on meds, so I take a daily aspirin, and my kid is suffering in school. I’m waiting on the word that I have renal failure. A vial of insulin, that used to cost $15 a few years ago, now costs $80. Big pharma is gouging.
Now, I am facing eviction. My two children have never seen daddy without money. I am facing the grim fact that my life insurance policy and social security death benefits may provide my kids better financial security than I can. Like George Bailey, I am “worth more dead than alive.” I AM THE 99%
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My partner has no health insurance, and they keep cutting hours at his supposedly full time job. I have health insurance because my mom would lose hers if she took me off it.
I am going back to nursing school full time to get a job that was supposed to be stable and in demand, but no one is hiring anymore.
We want to get married, but we keep trying and failing to get on our financial feet. I’m not sure that will ever happen.
I am afraid of my sick father-in-law dying. His family would have nowhere to go but us or the streets, but how could we support his disabled mom, disabled brother, and kid sister when we can barely make ends meet in our one room studio apartment?
Recently, someone told me they got a 20,000 dollar raise. I laughed because it would be too painful to cry. Most of my friends are unemployed. The most my partner and I have ever made combined was 24,000 USD. That was a great year.
We are the 99%. Occupywallst.org Occupyberkeley.org
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I earn 1700$ a month after taxes. Half my income is from working 15 hours a week as a student assistant in research. The other half is government support for my education. When my last bill is paid, I have a 1000$. I am studying a master’s degree in social science at the university for free. I do pay 40-45% in taxes and groceries are 30-50% more expensive than in the US. I do have government subsidized student loans.
Monthly I donate money to charities, and I’ve recently starting paying back my loans, due to an increased income from work. My real wage was cut 1% this year, but I’ll make it. I only pay for 50% of the cost for my medicine for a chronic illness, and I have free healthcare. A broken leg will only cost me the price of painkillers.
In my country’s economic and social context I am far from rich. I can go to the cinema, maybe travel, buy healthy food, and I can go out. I am far but privileged. I am a regular student with a part time job. I am not lucky. This is the results of my parents and their parents’ struggle for economic justice, and a welfare society with equal opportunities. My country is not going bankrupt. In spite of economic crises it has a strong economy, and we do quite well.
This is the result of a struggle for human dignity and social and economic justice – not good luck. I live in what American pundits call a socialist nightmare.
I feel for the people of the US, Greece and the 99%. I support your struggle, politically and economically. In Denmark I am the 99%. I hope you one day can be as privileged as me.
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