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Fairfield Sounds Off on Occupy Wall Street

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield has long had ties to Wall Street as a commuter town with many residents working in New York City. But over the past month, the whole country has felt a pull to the southern tip of Manhattan with the Occupy Wall Street movement gaining traction. We couldn’t reach any of Fairfield’s Wall Street-bound commuters. But at least a few in Fairfield and across the state sympathize with the protestors.

“This is free speech,” reader Tom Reilly said on TheDailyFairfield’s Facebook page . “Like it or leave.”

Thousands of protestors began camping out in New York City parks along Wall Street in late September. Dubbed Occupy Wall Street, the movement’s supporters have been venting frustration with the poor economy and the country’s financial institutions.

The protests hit Connecticut directly this week as Occupy Hartford took to the state capital Oct. 5. Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced Wednesday he would not interfere with protestors during the day but would not allow them to set up tents for overnight stays.

A group is also planning to protest in New Haven on Saturday. The event’s organizers state their mission as: “To fight corporate power in government with peaceful protest.”

“To break it down, we have agreed that this will be a peaceful protest, we can all agree on that part of it,” the organizers say.

Michael Tucker, a professor of Finance at Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business, offered his views on the protests. Tucker specializes in microfinance, or investing in small businesses, and advises a group of students who invest in the stock market and other areas. He said the protestors have “legitimate concerns.”

“Our economic system was built on the idea that investors could provide funding for businesses and in turn receive a risk-adjusted rate of return,” Tucker said Thursday. “As the financial system expanded that concept was lost and the financial firms became the tail that wags the dog.”

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