Where the 99 percent tell their stories

Photos by Anna Jacobson.

Since facing off with the NYPD on the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday, the Occupy Wall Street-ers have been getting their chance for the country to read their signs and hear their demands. But what are they, and who’s demanding them? In addition to the Liberty Square camp-out (which Brokelyn snapped shots of), the group is holding a cyber-rally. More than 700 (and growing) people who believe there are snakes on our economic plane have posted hand-written, often heart-wrenching, personal accounts to the group’s Tumblr, WeAreThe99Percent. We’re too busy writing cover letters to rally ourselves, but reading the Tumblr gave us a more focused look at a painful recession, anyway.

Speakers like the woman in magenta told "Occupiers" about the difficulties of being underpaid, overworked - and fired for unionizing

Many contributors are young people who wish they were entering the job market – what the Times called “Generation Limbo.” These are recent graduates with huge student debts and stalled careers that currently wipe tables, tour with punk bands, and/or live with Mom.

But what’s really their issue?

On WeAre99Percent, there are a few eye-roll-worthy teens — like the poster who whines about having to attend City College instead of a “real school.” Most notes, however, are more mature tales of woe: double-majors helping their families while owing six figures and people with master’s degrees who have turned to prostitution.

Those with a job may seem lucky, but aren’t always. There’s an NYC teacher struggling with the rent (we can relate). While we love waiting tables as our down-and-out go-to, we hate seeing someone getting ripped off by not getting paid.

Photo courtesy of

Since the early 70’s, left-wing protestors have typically been had more experience with class warfare and hacky sack than the battlefield. WeAreThe99Percent, however, features many veterans recently home from the war who are still fighting either their PTSD or their APR.

If you’ve got a hanky and some privacy, the site is rapidly filling with personal accounts that are rarely aired. Reading about broke families, retirees, and small business owners will not make a happy afternoon. It will, however, make you thankful that love is still free.

More Occupy Wall Street photos on Anna Leah’s Flickr.

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