Occupy Wall Street, The 1979 Edition

Over at Mediaite, Nando Di Frino tells us about another mass protest on Wall Street about 32 years ago:

Protesters in 1979 didn’t have fancy things like Tumblr accounts, unlimited text plans, or message boards. Actually, they had message boards — they just involved tape, paper, and cork. But protesters managed to organize themselves without complication to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the 1929 Wall Street crash. They even had a New Orleans-style jazz band playing as stilt-walkers danced.

The Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band posted a short clip of the protest from the movie Early Warnings, which, as far as we can tell, is a documentary dealing with America’s nuclear power obsession.

Here’s the video:

The images of New York circa 1979 are interesting in themselves. I lived in New Jersey in 79 and I can’t say I remember this ever being covered by the media of the day, although I can’t say it’s something that would’ve caught the attention of the average 11 year old.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Hell, in NYC in 1979 there were a lot of things to be verklempt about. The garbage was piled six-feet high. Crime was off the charts. A couple of years earlier we had had that blackout and its ensuing looting and rioting. Not a shining moment. The year prior the city almost literally went bankrupt. Of course like other places in 1979 there were those long lines for gas. The Bronx looked like a war zone in a third-world country. I distinctly remember the burned out shells of buildings. The Carter malaise. I was 10 years old back then and even at that extremely young age I understood we were in very bad shape. If you would have told me then that in 2011 the country even would be in worse shape I would not have believed you. But then Obama, Reid, Geithner and Pelosi came around and the rest as they say is history.

  2. Lomax says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: “Carter malaise”: those were bad years:
    16% mortgage rates, high inflation, high unemployment, high gas prices and gas lines, disaster in Iran, crimes and riots. While I think that personally Carter is a good person, he was not a leader, knew nothing about Washington, and did not get experienced, capable people in his cabinet. Now it appears that history is repeating itself. I have not decided if things are worse yet. I will wait and see. Only in this case, it did not start with Obama, but he sure is not the person to straighten out the problems that began in 2000. Reid and Pelosi are definitely the worst leaders of Congress since the disastrous “Reconstruction” era in which carpetbaggers, lunatics, and criminals were elected and ran the country.