Anya Gage and a friend were walking down Elm Street past the nightly Occupy Manchester protest and asked what was going on. “Are you familiar with the Occupy Wall Street movement,” I asked?” They nodded. “Well,” I said, “what do you think?”
Ms. Gage proceeded to tell me she was laid off six months ago from a computer assembly job, at which she had been placed through a temp agency. She can’t find a local job in the field for which she was trained, so she decided to try self-employment. But when she stopped actively looking for work, she lost her unemployment benefits. Now she’s just barely scraping by.
Her friend is also out of work, having been laid off from a call center job.
A crew from WMUR-TV, covering the protest, was glad to interview a passerby, and Anya Gage was happy for the chance to share her story with the TV audience. It’s an example of how the protests have shaken up public discussion, creating a space for ordinary people to articulate their views that the economic and political systems are not working for people like them.
Yes, Anya Gage gets the point of the Occupy protests. “It’s great that people are doing something,” she said.