Tazi Phillips, Global Animal
Whether you are reading news stories or blogs, viewing video footage or pictures, or making your presence known in the streets, it’s impossible not to notice that something revolutionary is in the works in the U.S. Around the country, American citizens have gathered in public spaces for Occupy Wall Street, a public demonstration to protest massive corporations that have destroyed the U.S. economy and placed the country in financial debt.
However, there is a part of the Occupy Wall Street manifesto that seems to have travelled under the radar. As people are protesting against the injustices against themselves from the corporate greed that has engrained itself into the fundamental aspects of the U.S. democracy, an important population without a voice is also striving to be heard. Protesters have brought their pets into the streets in order to gather attention for the 99 Percent Movement, a protest against a mass injustice that includes our furry friends.
A declaration in the mission statement of Occupy Wall Street states that, “[Corporations] have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.” This maltreatment includes animal testing, circuses, zoos and marine entertainment parks, among many others that have long exploited animals for an economic profit. Laws and regulations are only recently coming into effect that protect animal rights. 
There is also a more subtle encroachment on animal rights that goes hand-in-hand with the rights of America citizens – for so long wealth has been shoveled upwards while the lower and middle classes suffer. If people can’t provide for themselves, how can they do so for their pets? Shelters are overcrowded with animals that have been reluctantly surrendered, often with great heartache. 
Occupy Wall Street declares a simple mission, “to restore democracy in America.” This means taking the money out of politics, a daunting task. But animals and their guardians are sending a message that is being adopted and gaining strength not only in the U.S., but worldwide. Protect your rights. Find your spot. Sniff it out. Curl up and occupy it. And make a change. — Global Animal

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators at Zuccotti Park on Friday October 14, 2011. Photo credit: New York Daily News
Occupy Wall Street San Diego. Photo credit: sdcitybeat.com
Photo credit: www.describetheruckus.com
Occupy Wall Street San Diego. Photo credit: sdcitybeat.com
Photo credit: describetheruckus.com
A dog relaxes while at an Occupy Indianapolis rally at the weekend, wearing words of protest. Photo credit: Brian Christopher
An Occupy Wall Street protester and her dog asleep at Zucotti Park in New York. Photo credit: Flickr
Occupy Wall Street San Diego. Photo credit: sdcitybeat.com
Diane McEachern poses with her dogs Mr. Snickers, left, Seabiscuit, and Ruffian, right, on the tundra in October 2011 near Bethel, Alaska. Photo credit: Diane McEachern via The Associated Press
This little guy goes along for the ride. Photo credit: describetheruckus.com
Photo credit: Emanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
Even some furry felines make it out to the protests. Photo credit: describetheruckus.com
Photo credit: crystalchang.tumblr.com
"I Support the 99%" declaration. Photo credit: cutecubed.com
A dog in a pile of sleeping bags at Zuccotti Park Thursday, October 13, 2011 in Manhattan, New York. Photo credit: Photo credit: New York Daily News