Occupy Wall Street—Report
This is a guest post by FogOfWar.
I was originally going to lead with a tongue-in-cheek comment (later in the post now), but then the NYPD did something colossally stupid. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the video from this last weekend. It pretty much speaks for itself.
There’s a lot to be said about freedom of expression and police overreaction. I’ve been to see the protests a number of times, and they’ve never been violent and in fact seem pretty well trained in the confines of freedom of assembly in the US legal system. Using mace against an imminent threat of violence is OK for the police, but the video seems to show no threatening moves made at all (and it runs for a good period before the police attack so it wasn’t edited out).
I’d suggest the NYPD be shown the following video (taken from the protests in Greece) to demonstrate when things reach a level where force might be an appropriate response. Note that the crowd is attacking with sticks, Molotov cocktails and a fucking bowling ball. In contrast, the NYPD appears to be pepper spraying people for just holding signs and walking down the street. What the fuck?
There are maybe a few hundred people consistently protesting at “Occupy Wall Street” for about 10 days now. It’s got a definite crunchy vibe to the center. Drumming and Mohawks are mandatory:
But also a (growing?) contingent of more mainstream participants like this one:
Here’s a crowd shot for scale:
And some people painting signs:
And then of course, there’s the dreaded “consensus circle”:
It’s hard to tell what they really want to happen—this was up at one of the information booths (but then down the next time I went):
Misspelled “derivatives”, and there are some things on that list that are spot on and then others that are just weird and irrelevant (DTC? Really?). I don’t think you can hold that against them though. I work in the industry, and I’ve been spending the last three years thinking about this stuff and I still find it confusing and hard to come up with a cohesive plan of what I think should be done. At least these people are doing something, even if it’s a bit incoherent at times.
I have to end with my all time favorite sign from the protest. Someone was looking for good cardboard and inadvertently came up with the following:
“Delicious pizza to pay off the taxpayers”. Now that’s a slogan I think we can all rally behind!