Occupying Wall Street On A Saturday Afternoon

A Report from A Front That May Soon Be Shut Down

Before you read on, watch this: a video from the base camp of the #OccupyWall Street protest that is now in its seventh day. It’s called “No One Can Predict the Moment of Revolution.”  (The video was produced by Martyna Starosta and her friend Iva)

These are the faces of a wannabe revolution, more than a protest but not yet quite a major movement. The spirit is infectious perhaps because of the sincerity of the participants and their obvious commitment to their ideals.

Occupy Wall Street is more than a protest; it is as much an exercise in building a leaderless, bottom-up resistance community with a more democratic approach to challenging the system where everyone is encouraged to have a say.

But saying that also leads to a conflict between my emotional identification with the kids that have rallied in this small park/public space on Liberty Street to exercise some liberty,  with a despairing analysis that wishes this enterprise well but harbors deep doubts about its staying power and impact.

This privately owned park, devastated by debris on 9/11 and then rebuilt by a real estate magnate who named it after himself, is also a place that is under 24 hour surveillance from a hostile New York City Police Department which has put up a fence on one side of the park, and brought down a spy tower from Times Square to track the participants from on high, sprinkled infiltrators into the crowd.

By the time I left, late on Saturday afternoon, the police arrested 70 people who had joined a march that went from Wall Street to Union Square, New York’s traditional gathering place for political rallies for nearly l00 years.

You can watch it all on a live stream.

http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution

In many ways this is a 2011 style protest modeled after Tahrir Square in Cairo. It is non-violent, organized around what’s called a “General Assembly” where the community meets daily to debate its political direction and discuss how it sees itself. There are no formal leaders or spokespeople, no written down political agenda and no shared demands.

They focus on using social media. Twitter is their megaphone.’

They have no sound system. When participants want to make an announcement, they yell “Mike Check” which is repeated by the whole crowd. They also repeat the announcement, a few words at a time so everyone can hear it.

This bottom-up anarchist sensibility and ideology conflicts with the mass mobilizations of old where an organization issues a call and a coalition of groups carries it out.

I ran into some of yesterday’s movement leaders, Leslie Cagan who ran United for Peace and Justice and organized the massive anti-Iraq war protests and marches in New York and Washington before and after. She was as intrigued as I was about this gathering of the committed. She found the focus a bit vague but seemed willing to give it a chance to grow and learn by making its own mistakes.

Other ’60s activists like Aron Kay, known as the “pie man” for all the famous and infamous people he pied in the face to protest their crimes and misdemeanors—including Andy Warhol for dining with the Shah of Iran—was also showing his solidarity by turning up and squatting in the park.

Lower Manhattan on a Saturday is usually a Mosque less Mecca for tourists visiting Ground Zero, a crime scene if there ever was one. It is a symbol of a national failure to defend this country as well.

It’s also the place where the 9/11 Truth Movement shares its findings weekly about what “really happened” with visitors

Just a few blocks away is another crime scene: Wall Street, which symbolizes an ongoing economic failure. In this past week, access has been limited and in this free country of ours protestors could not parade in front of the NY Stock Exchange, another privately run financial institution. That led Yves Smith of the Naked Capitalism blog to opine, “I’m beginning to wonder whether the right to assemble is effectively dead in the US.”

Many banks like Chase doubled their security forces and put up fences to protect themselves from the people the NY media has labeled “kids and aging hippies.”

The panic in the exchange is mirrored in the insecurity in the streets where surveillance cameras, private police forces and NY cops defend the bastions of privilege.

The police went on the offensive Saturday with mass arrests of activists. Scott Galindez filed this report on Reader Supported News:

While the live feeds were up I witnessed a very powerful arrest of a law student whose parents were recently evicted from their home. He dropped to his knees and gave an impassioned plea for the American people to wake up! There are reports of police kettling protesters with a big orange net, at least five maced, and police using tasers.

There were also reports of the use of mace, tear gas and pepper spray, which hit four women. We are so used to these storm trooper tactics that most expect them. There had been fewer arrests last week although the police seem to now have identified key organizers and are singling them out

On Saturday, police gave out a notice saying that it is now illegal to sleep in the park. They then put up a sign on a park wall. I watched a member of the police command, a “white shirt” named Timoney, marched into the park and gruffly ordered the communications team that spends most of its time tweeting out the latest news, to take down some large umbrellas the activists were using to protect their computers from rain.

The police consider these “structures” and prohibit them. Earlier in the week, they arrested people for using tarps to protect their gear. (They don’t see the irony in that term given the way the TARP law bailed out the banksters.)

Many of the people in park believe the end may becoming with the police eager to end what they see as a Woodstock on Wall Street complete with topless teens and long haired

militants. This assemblage clearly affects their macho

Identity as upholders of law and order, as they define it.  The probably agree with the right wing Red State website that calls the protesters a “menagerie.”

I wouldn’t rule out mass arrests once a provocation, theirs or the protests, provides the pretext.

Will the Occupy Wall Street collectives be able to continue to occupy a zone that has been occupied for years by the greedsters of the finance world?

More importantly, will the issues they are trying to draw attention to, however symbolically, be taken up by others?

Will it take more cracked heads or even a police killing to move New Yorkers to support a campaign to rein in Wall Street?

Where are the unions and New York’s progressive democrats and organizations?  Why aren’t they in the streets?

Why don’t they realize that economic justice issues are essential to transforming this oligarch driven country?

I having been calling for years for more protests on Wall Street to put the issues of Wall Street crime on the agenda, But with media barely covering this “occupation,” with the activists being denigrated for their youth and inexperience, will this one have the impact I was hoping for.

It seems unlikely.

Filmmaker and News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org. For more on his film Plunder: The Crime of Our Time and companion book The Crime Of Our Time: Why Wall Street Is Not Too Big To Jail, visit plunderthecrimeofourtime

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  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I spent yesterday pissed off after watching the NYPD pepper spray some hippie chicks they had corralled. A police supervisor of some sort just walks up, pepper sprays them, and tries to slip off into the crowd.

    Camera catches it.

    You can find the video over on Common Dreams if you’re interested.

    Anyhow, I gave the NYPD a call and piece of my mind. Yeah buddy, I can talk to you like that, even if you are a police officer.

    If you want to do the same, here’s their contact info.

    NYPD Switchboard: 1-646-610-5000

    Gotta let these cockroaches know that if they hurt us, they’re gonna get squashed.

    Speaking of cockroaches, here’s the # for Goldman Sachs as well: 1-212-902-0300.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I spent yesterday pissed off after watching the NYPD pepper spray some hippie chicks they had corralled. A police supervisor of some sort just walks up, pepper sprays them, and tries to slip off into the crowd.

    Camera catches it.

    You can find the video over on Common Dreams if you’re interested.

    Anyhow, I gave the NYPD a call and piece of my mind. Yeah buddy, I can talk to you like that, even if you are a police officer.

    If you want to do the same, here’s there contact info.

    NYPD Switchboard: 1-646-610-5000

    Gotta let these cockroaches know that if they hurt us, they’re gonna get squashed.

    Speaking of cockroaches, here’s the # for Goldman Sachs as well: 1-212-902-0300.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I spent yesterday pissed off after watching the NYPD pepper spray some hippie chicks they had corralled. A police supervisor of some sort just walks up, pepper sprays them, and tries to slip off into the crowd.

    Camera catches it.

    You can find the video over on Common Dreams if you’re interested.

    Anyhow, I gave the NYPD a call and piece of my mind. Yeah buddy, I can talk to you like that, even if you are a police officer.

    If you want to do the same, here’s there contact info.

    NYPD Switchboard: 1-646-610-5000

    Gotta let these cockroaches know that if they hurt us, they’re gonna get squashed.

    Speaking of cockroaches, here’s the # for Goldman Sachs as well: 1-212-902-0300.

  • Wendell

    Gostei. Muito interessante. Muitos países podiam ter ações semelhantes.

  • Wendell

    Gostei. Muito interessante. Muitos países podiam ter ações semelhantes.

  • Wanooski

    “A Report from A Front That May Soon Be Shut Down”Nut if those people have any guts at all. If they’re gonna be called let the fascists call them “militant” and crap like that, maybe they should show them what militant really is. 

  • Anarchy Pony

    “A Report from A Front That May Soon Be Shut Down”Nut if those people have any guts at all. If they’re gonna be called let the fascists call them “militant” and crap like that, maybe they should show them what militant really is. 

    • Anarchy Pony

      Damn, I wish I could edit that. That was a little sloppy.

    • Pb

      Yeah, well, good luck with that.  NYPD revealed today they have anti-aircraft capabilities.. guess how far some “militant” action from a group of protestors is going to get.  Wall Street is open for business, deal with it.

  • Wanooski

    Damn, I wish I could edit that. That was a little sloppy.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    First they ignore you, then they discredit you, then they fight you, then you win.

    • Anarchy Pony

      As long as you’re brutal, and relentless. Otherwise you’ll get squished like all the other failed revolutions throughout history.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    First they ignore you, then they discredit you, then they fight you, then you win.

  • WilliamRedvarg

    When will the american people open eyes to the fact that you achieve absolutely Nothing by doing these insignificant protests. This does nothing to those who they are “standing up against”. As far as the fat cats on wall street are  concerned they are there to entertain them. You think anyone in power cares even in the slightest? This country reacts to actions,not words. And all these kids ever have is words. 

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      Well, here’s how it works…

      We protest, then they send the cops down and brutalize a few people. That gets news coverage which raises awareness of the problem.

      Or the cops brutalize some people and then the people brutalize the cops back. Then we all, humans and cops, turn around and brutalize the bankers.

      Or at least that’s the hope.

      • Anarchy Pony

        You can’t negotiate with the elites and oligarchs. There’s nothing we can give them, they have it all, mostly through legal theft, as well as what is essentially the magicking into existence of money out of satan’s butthole, the only real recourse is violence or the threat there of. And really, most of us seek a world that is irreconcilable with the world the elites are trying to make for themselves. Both groups cannot truly coexist, one seeks domination and control to maintain insane and unsustainable levels of material wealth, the other does not put a premium on material wealth and values equality and personal rather than economic freedoms. You try explaining this to some broker or hedgie, trying to be rational and decent and they’ll laugh in your face and call you a hippie faggot liberal pinko commie socialist. I’d rather just put a brick through their face and burn down the stock exchange. 

        • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

          Who said anything about being “rational”, “decent” or “non-violent”?

          I’m suggesting that the best outcome would be for the humans and cops to brutalize the bankers.

          The only legal changes I’d like to see are ones that would let us legally brutalize them.

          They’re already brutalizing us.

          • Anarchy Pony

            Well that wasn’t entirely directed at you, really I should have just posted it stand alone. But I started making a point, then I revised it, then I kind of went of on a tangent…

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

            No problem.

            We’re good, as long as you’re up for mashing some bankers once we make it all nice and legal like.

          • Anarchy Pony

            Sounds like fun.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      I wanna know when people will realize that this is in fact the boogeyman that the oligarchy is terrified of. They knew it was gunna happen, just not when. This is the zombie apocalypse mythos; it is simply a dehumanization of the masses being fed up with their masters… Dehumanizing enough for police to have no qualms about macing innocent women, because of course, they are just rebelling zombies, and need to go back to their repetitive tasks.

  • WilliamRedvarg

    When will the american people open eyes to the fact that you achieve absolutely Nothing by doing these insignificant protests. This does nothing to those who they are “standing up against”. As far as the fat cats on wall street are  concerned they are there to entertain them. You think anyone in power cares even in the slightest? This country reacts to actions,not words. And all these kids ever have is words. 

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Well, here’s how it works…

    We protest, then they send the cops down and brutalize a few people. That gets news coverage which raises awareness of the problem.

    Or the cops brutalize some people and then the people brutalize the cops back. Then we all, humans and cops, turn around and brutalize the bankers.

    Or at least that’s the hope.

  • Wanooski

    You can’t negotiate with the elites and oligarchs. There’s nothing we can give them, they have it all, mostly through legal theft, as well as what is essentially the magicking into existence of money out of satan’s butthole, the only real recourse is violence or the threat there of. And really, most of us seek a world that is irreconcilable with the world the elites are trying to make for themselves. Both groups cannot truly coexist, one seeks domination and control to maintain insane and unsustainable levels of material wealth, the other does not put a premium on material wealth and values equality and personal rather than economic freedoms. You try explaining this to some broker or hedgie, trying to be rational and decent and they’ll laugh in your face and call you a hippie faggot liberal pinko commie socialist. I’d rather just put a brick through their face and burn down the stock exchange. 

  • Wanooski

    As long as you’re brutal, and relentless. Otherwise you’ll get squished like all the other failed revolutions throughout history.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Who said anything about being “rational”, “decent” or “non-violent”?

    I’m suggesting that the best outcome would be for the humans and cops to brutalize the bankers.

    The only legal changes I’d like to see are ones that would let us legally brutalize them.

    They’re already brutalizing us.

  • Me

    _________       ___.   .__       _________       ________        
    _   ___ _____ _ |__ |__| ____ _   ___ ___________  _  _  __
    /      /__  | __ |  |/    /      /_  __ _(__  < / / /
         ____/ __ | _   |   |       ____|  | /            /
     ______  (____  /___  /__|___|  /______  /|__| /______  //_/ 
            /     /    /        /        /             /      

    As we watched your officers kettle innocent women, we observed you barberically pepper spray wildly into the group of kettled women.  We were shocked and disgusted by your behavior.  You know who the innocent women were, now they will have the chance to know who you are.  Before you commit atrocities against innocent people, think twice. WE ARE WATCHING!!! Expect Us!

    ———————-TARGET

    Anthony Bologna D0x
    NYPD Deputy Inspector
    Patrol Boro Manhattan South – 212-477-6181

    -WAS Commanding Officer of the First Precinct for the past 5 years
    ———————-Personal

    -Possible phone number: (518) 989-9051

    ———————-Reason for D0x'ing

    http://davidscameracraft.blogspot.com/2011/09/occupy-wall-street-march-violence.html

    ———————-Relatives

    Anthony Linda Bologna
    Anthony V Bologna
    Anthony Jennings Bologna
    Linda S Bologna (family)
    Dana M Bologna (family)
    Jenna Angelina Bologna (family)
    J Bologna (family)
    Angelina Bologna (family)
    Joanne A Bologna (family)
    Anthony C Bologna (family)

    ———————-Schools

    St. Paul's High School (1970-1974)

    ———————-Last Known Addresses

    5 Sawyer Ave, Unit A, Staten Island, NY, US
    119 Slater Blvd, Staten Island, NY, US
    5 Sawyer Ave, Staten Island, NY, US
    1309 Lake Ave, Metairie, LA, US
    Jennings Hill Rd, West Kill, NY, US
    Catskill, NY, US
    Lexington, NY, US
    New York, NY, US
    5314 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY, US
    236 E Gibson St, Covington, LA, US
    134 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA, US
    22072 8th St, Abita Springs, LA, US
    6 Saint Jean De Luz, Mandeville, LA, US
    1000 53rd St, Brooklyn, NY, US
    1224 Lake Ave, Apt 205, Metairie, LA, US
    10122 Lakewood St, New Orleans, LA, US
    24 Claudia Dr, Covington, LA, US
    6906 13th Ave, Unit 2f, Brooklyn, NY, US

    —————————Legal Trouble

    Plaintiff:    Posr A. Posr
    Defendants:    Tulio Camejo, Anthony Bologna, Michael R. Bloomberg, Raymond W. Kelly, Joseph J. Esposito, The City of New York and Connie Fishman
     
    Case Number:    1:2007cv07583
    Filed:    August 27, 2007
     
    Court:    New York Southern District Court
    Office:    Foley Square Office
    County:    NewYork
    Presiding Judge:    Judge P. Kevin Castel
     
    Nature of Suit:    Civil Rights – Other Civil Rights
    Cause:    42:1983 Civil Rights Act
    Jurisdiction:    Federal Question
    Jury Demanded By:    Plaintiff

    ——————————-Until Next Time Folks…

     

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      Very nice, assuming it’s an accurate dox.

      The precinct isn’t answering and the personal number goes to a voicemail.

      I think we should keep trying both numbers though. ;)

  • Me

    _________       ___.   .__       _________       ________        
    _   ___ _____ _ |__ |__| ____ _   ___ ___________  _  _  __
    /      /__  | __ |  |/    /      /_  __ _(__  < / / /
         ____/ __ | _   |   |       ____|  | /            /
     ______  (____  /___  /__|___|  /______  /|__| /______  //_/ 
            /     /    /        /        /             /      

    As we watched your officers kettle innocent women, we observed you barberically pepper spray wildly into the group of kettled women.  We were shocked and disgusted by your behavior.  You know who the innocent women were, now they will have the chance to know who you are.  Before you commit atrocities against innocent people, think twice. WE ARE WATCHING!!! Expect Us!

    ———————-TARGET

    Anthony Bologna D0x
    NYPD Deputy Inspector
    Patrol Boro Manhattan South – 212-477-6181

    -WAS Commanding Officer of the First Precinct for the past 5 years
    ———————-Personal

    -Possible phone number: (518) 989-9051

    ———————-Reason for D0x'ing

    http://davidscameracraft.blogspot.com/2011/09/occupy-wall-street-march-violence.html

    ———————-Relatives

    Anthony Linda Bologna
    Anthony V Bologna
    Anthony Jennings Bologna
    Linda S Bologna (family)
    Dana M Bologna (family)
    Jenna Angelina Bologna (family)
    J Bologna (family)
    Angelina Bologna (family)
    Joanne A Bologna (family)
    Anthony C Bologna (family)

    ———————-Schools

    St. Paul's High School (1970-1974)

    ———————-Last Known Addresses

    5 Sawyer Ave, Unit A, Staten Island, NY, US
    119 Slater Blvd, Staten Island, NY, US
    5 Sawyer Ave, Staten Island, NY, US
    1309 Lake Ave, Metairie, LA, US
    Jennings Hill Rd, West Kill, NY, US
    Catskill, NY, US
    Lexington, NY, US
    New York, NY, US
    5314 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY, US
    236 E Gibson St, Covington, LA, US
    134 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA, US
    22072 8th St, Abita Springs, LA, US
    6 Saint Jean De Luz, Mandeville, LA, US
    1000 53rd St, Brooklyn, NY, US
    1224 Lake Ave, Apt 205, Metairie, LA, US
    10122 Lakewood St, New Orleans, LA, US
    24 Claudia Dr, Covington, LA, US
    6906 13th Ave, Unit 2f, Brooklyn, NY, US

    —————————Legal Trouble

    Plaintiff:    Posr A. Posr
    Defendants:    Tulio Camejo, Anthony Bologna, Michael R. Bloomberg, Raymond W. Kelly, Joseph J. Esposito, The City of New York and Connie Fishman
     
    Case Number:    1:2007cv07583
    Filed:    August 27, 2007
     
    Court:    New York Southern District Court
    Office:    Foley Square Office
    County:    NewYork
    Presiding Judge:    Judge P. Kevin Castel
     
    Nature of Suit:    Civil Rights – Other Civil Rights
    Cause:    42:1983 Civil Rights Act
    Jurisdiction:    Federal Question
    Jury Demanded By:    Plaintiff

    ——————————-Until Next Time Folks…

     

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Very nice, assuming it’s an accurate dox.

  • Wanooski

    Well that wasn’t entirely directed at you, really I should have just posted it stand alone. But I started making a point, then I revised it, then I kind of went of on a tangent…

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    No problem.

    We’re good, as long as you’re up for mashing some bankers once we make it all nice and legal like.

  • Wanooski

    Sounds like fun.

  • Wanooski

    Sounds like fun.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I wanna know when people will realize that this is in fact the boogeyman that the oligarchy is terrified of. They knew it was gunna happen, just not when. This is the zombie apocalypse mythos; it is simply a dehumanization of the masses being fed up with their masters… Dehumanizing enough for police to have no qualms about macing innocent women, because of course, they are just rebelling zombies, and need to go back to their repetitive tasks.

  • Pb

    Yeah, well, good luck with that.  NYPD revealed today they have anti-aircraft capabilities.. guess how far some “militant” action from a group of protestors is going to get.  Wall Street is open for business, deal with it.

  • Devil’s Advocate

    “Right now we are proving we don’t need corporations!  We don’t need money!  This will become a commune were everyone just helps each other.  We’ll have like one guy that makes bread, and like another guy that looks out for people’s safety.  Can’t you image a world were people live together and provide services for each other in exchange for their services?”

  • Devil’s Advocate

    “Right now we are proving we don’t need corporations!  We don’t need money!  This will become a commune were everyone just helps each other.  We’ll have like one guy that makes bread, and like another guy that looks out for people’s safety.  Can’t you image a world were people live together and provide services for each other in exchange for their services?”

  • Meh

    Why so negative?

  • Meh

    Why so negative?

  • Pingback: An Undifferentiated Mass of Human Dignity | Disinformation()

  • Anonymous

    The movement is organic. It has not been pre-planned by committee the way many other “grass roots” movements have.
    But from what i can see it boils down to this:

    A criminal investigation into a ?deliberate? crashing of America’s Economy.

    Reinstate Glass Stegal act. Un- de- regulate banks.

    Audit the Federal Reserve.

    Reverse 08-205 by amendment. End corporate person hood.

    And overhaul the 1% Corporate tax code.

  • samthor

    The movement is organic. It has not been pre-planned by committee the way many other “grass roots” movements have.
    But from what i can see it boils down to this:

    A criminal investigation into a ?deliberate? crashing of America’s Economy.

    Reinstate Glass Stegal act. Un- de- regulate banks.

    Audit the Federal Reserve.

    Reverse 08-205 by amendment. End corporate person hood.

    And overhaul the 1% Corporate tax code.

21