Occupy Wall Street Dominates Morgan Stanley’s Shareholder Meeting

Raging against Morgan Stanley. Photo: Mario Tama

Occupy Wall Street held a day of action Tuesday, part of a larger weeklong schedule of protests that coincidentally aligns with Internet Week in New York. First up on Occupy’s agenda yesterday morning: a protest at Morgan Stanley’s annual shareholder’s meeting.

The Morgan Stanley protest made headlines with the Wall Street Journal and Reuters with tactics that were very effective. Occupy protesters streamed into the shareholders’ meeting unannounced and proceeded to directly engage CEO James Gorman and corporate secretary Martin Cohen as they waded through what are generally routine proceedings.

The Wall Street Journal notes that of all public attendees present at the meeting fully half of them were Occupy protesters, and “Gorman faced more than a dozen questions from OWS members and only a few from supportive shareholders.”

This is a new strategy for Occupy—directly confronting CEOs and demanding more equitable wealth disbursement in America.

Of course Gorman pushed back, declaring, “I take umbrage at the suggestion that our board did anything unethical,” and saying of the industry’s policies that lead to the ’08 crash, “I don’t regard those as immoral or unethical.” Gorman also insisted JP Morgan’s recent $2 billion loss won’t be repeated at Morgan Stanley.

According to reports the protesters engaged Gorman with specific questions for over an hour. But of course, neither WSJ nor Reuters bothered to report on the content of those questions or Gorman’s answers. Reuters does express express the sentiment of one shareholder, who said, “I want the stock to go back to where it was – that’s all I want.” Nice.

Using a tactic of interrupting the corporate secretary’s announcement of the shareholder vote on executive pay, the protesters got their message across as they chanted, “We will not be quiet until we create a system that prevents the 1 percent from ripping off the 99 percent.”

A version of this article was originally published on Death and Taxes.

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