Jelani, a 16-year-old Occupy Wall Street protester

[Video Link]

Turnstyle News from Oakland, CA interviewed Jelani, a 16-year-old protester who traveled with his grandmother from Pontiac, Michigan to New York City for the Occupy Wall Street protests. "I had never slept on the street before," he says. His mom said it was okay to take time out from school, because he has a 4.0 GPA. What a cool kid, and what a cool mom and grandmother he has.

(Thanks, Alejandro De La Cruz)


  1. Holy crap, someone else from Pontiac who can speak English and went to school. Not being mean, its just how it is here.

  2. his mom sure is going to regret that when his GPA drops to a 3.9 and ruins his chances of getting into an ivy league school forever. /snark

    1. I think anyone that honestly earned that GPA would have brains enough not to waste money on an Ivy League school anyways.

    2. “So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

      Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

      — Steve Jobs

    3. Never mind, what is more important, he will probably improve his chances of getting laid by 100%! That is something he cannot improve on wherever he goes to university.

  3. I hear people complaining about the “younger generation” all the time, but as a mother who is in tune with her twenty something son and his friends I can honestly say that they have what it takes to turn things around for this country.  They have the knowledge and skills, they have the courage, and they have the determination to take what’s being left for them and make this world a better place.  No matter what it may look like at the moment, I think the future is bright.

  4. Gedsudski, I’m not sure what you exactly mean by your Ivy League comment. Unless your children don’t intend to attend college at all, the Ivy League is a far more compelling value than the options of: (i) a private school with the same tuition and looser academic standards and reputation, or (ii) the education from a public school which with rare exception will provide little more than the quality of education of high schools of yesteryear (you know, back when our society considered educating its children a duty). Since you used this forum to express an out-of-place dig on the Ivy League, I thought I’d use it to let you know you speak nonsense.

    1. you should find the we are the 99% tumblr, and count the number of people with MBAs some from Ivy league schools who after all of that hard work at best can get part time work in a Starbucks.  They have huge amounts of debt the can never hope to pay off, because someone filled their head with the wacky idea if you go to this school you will be better off.

      The debt follows them forever, and if they hit the lottery and can sue a 1% for hurting them, the lender gets first dibs on the settlement.

      So yes, hopefully he doesn’t fall into the trap of higher education at the Ivy League is the ONLY way to get ahead.  Your hallowed halls gave us Zuckerberg, your argument is irrelevant.

      1. Again, if that’s what OWS is about, then there’s a fair amount of irony that many these Ivy MBAs levered up their personal balance sheets in student loan debt on the risky proposition that they could graduate and make oversized  bonuses from the very firms they now protest. “Where’s my bailout?!!!” Waaa.
        I hope people are sleeping in the streets to deliver a better message than that.

        1. It is the idea that education was sold as an amazing thing, and then they allowed private business into the deal.  The private lenders are for lack a of better term, evil.
          Not everyone on the we are the 99% tumblr is an ivy league MBA, but we have been sold in this country a bill of goods and we were lied to.  Risky investments were made and yes stupid people got loans, but they were being told by the little banker on their shoulder this we can roll into another lower interest loan before it balloons.
          Then the shit hit the fan.
          And the bankers, who lied, cheated, and stole… got bailed out on our dime.
          The people, got crap.
          Oh and then because that was not good enough, the bankers are now using forged documents to seize these properties from the people in court, and making sure to not file that they are the owners while the property sits vacant.
          They are delinquent on the tax rolls, they are eye sores, we handed them EVEN MORE money to try and convert some of these loans into reasonable things that people were willing to continue to pay, and they still evict, foreclose, and let them rot destroying neighborhoods.

          There is currently a bill working its way thru congress to give the corporations a tax holiday to bring back assets from foriegn accounts, because letting them do this will create jobs… except last time they did that for them all of the corps used that cash to buy back stock and raise their valuation.  Seems like a bad use of the government of the people for the people.

          And there are many more of us in the 99% who are 1 paycheck away from loosing it all, because the bank needed new fees after ass fucking us the first time.  Because they have turned us on each other rather than on the 1% who cried when we threatened to void their contracts giving them bonuses for collapsing the economy… and then paid to have elected flunkies destroy other contracts because those people are not paying their fair share…

          There is much out there that is wrong, but the one salient point in all of this is… we are the 99% and we are tired of getting fucked so the 1% can get richer.

    2. looser academic standards? The most difficult thing about the ivies: getting your foot in the door. Not saying that they are sucky schools, but still. I know some wicked smaht peeps who went to ivies, and some real fn idiots. And some really smart people who were rejected. Two individuals come to mind: a complete idiot from my high school… on his first go at the SATS got something around a 600 combined score (of course, I also question those tests, as I have known some really smart people who received terrible or mediocre scores, due to learning disabilities)… BUT he also made a NYS record in the pole vault… seemed that Brown needed to beef up their track team. So he got in, while his straight A classmate who was also a piano prodigy and genuinely brilliant (and an all around swell guy)…. didn’t. Then there was the idiot with a crack cocaine problem and a serious sense of entitlement who went to a particular Crimson Institute. Not sure if it was his Tennis skill, or the fact that his father is a ridiculously wealthy guy who runs a chain of US Amusement Parks… either way he was a shoe-in!   Hey, if I had gotten into one, I would have absolutely gone! Because they are a club, and once you are in, you are in a sense taken care of, and more doors are opened to you than might normally be otherwise.

      1. Is that what OWS is about? I thought it was about fighting corporate greed and  the social injustice of disparity of wealth. I didn’t realize it was a forum for Ivy MBAs to whine that they didn’t get the $300,000/year job they were told they were entitled to when they enrolled in the program. It’d probably be a more effective experience for those folks to go home and look in the mirror.

  5. For reals, people? It was Ivy League schooled people who staffed Goldman Sachs and destroyed our economy.

  6. I am in New York City, and the atmosphere around the city is probably just overshadowed by our beloved Steve Jobs. I hope there is something out of this protest as well. We are not sure if Wall Street’s greed has cost Steve’s life as well.

    1. re: “We are not sure if Wall Street’s greed has cost Steve’s life as well.”

      Is this a sincere statement? How would Wall Street affect Job’s life?

      Well… other than helping make his ass super rich, which afforded him the best care in the world.

  7. Wait, I don’t understand… Bill O’Reilley told me that the protesters were just lazy hippies who didn’t want to work, and could get jobs if only they got a shower. This video is causing me cognitive dissonance, so I will disregard it. GET A JOB, HIPPIE!

  8. As requested by Adele Pham (originator of the Vimeo video), I’ve put this up on YouTube as well here to hopefully get this video more exposure:

  9. I live in Phoenix AZ. Big news here is about a squirrel in St Louis. Just thought I’d let you all know you’re missing the good stuff. 

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