Occupy Wall Street, week three going into the forth as more groups and people join in. In addition to the presence in Liberty park and the marches, there's lots of work behind the scenes. For example, today there were several meetings of working groups that facilitate this protest and get the message out. I attended a couple of them. For me the whole thing is a study of how reasonable individuals come together to create a movement. There are advantages of having a "horizontal organization" rather than a vertical one when creating a democratic movement but sometimes coordination and quick responses don't come easy.
I am interested in political movements and how people respond to challenges in a modern, highly institutionalized country. Obviously, there's a need for reform. Many Americans are hurting and see that the system delivers the most for the very few.
I often talk about the importance of the narrative--the story we (a society) tell ourselves. Unfortunately, we suffer from a "plantation mentality" as Bill Moyers has put it. In a plantation it was the master who wrote the history and commanded the narrative. The media have been playing along, not serving the public good. I don't know if "the bargain" the conservatives especially have sold to the underprivileged is so powerful that the latter willingly vote against their own economic interests. I said the same to some tv newsperson the other day: we must destroy the conservative narrative that the status quo is working for the working people.
This is a great video, short and to the point. Anyone (well, except the known suspects) can relate to the people who appear in this video.
The NYC police are guarding the Stock Exchange on Wall Street, but right across it, at #23, there's a huge space available to the Occupy Wall Street movement. As you can see from the pictures I took, it's a hub of organizing activities and art depicting this conflict.
Again, I encourage anyone to visit #23 on Wall Street, Liberty Square (Zuccotti park), and participate in the activities or help in other ways. Donations of all sorts are pouring in, and there are volunteer positions for all things, from the kitchen to the medics to the library, the graphic design, media and internet teams. It's absolutely safe. Most marches have permits and you don't have to participate in a situation that may lead to an arrest. I understand, many of us have day jobs that can't afford to lose.
|Guarding the Stock Exchange|
|Silk screening t-shirts @ 23 Wall St.|
|Art exhibit @ 23 Wall|
|Getting ready to spend the night al fresco|
|Live feed from around the world and peoples' messages expressing solidarity with OWS|
|Latino groups meeting by the "red weird thing" in the square|
|The kitchen looked more organized today and with lots more food available as donations are pouring in.|
|Right across the Stock Exchange on Wall St.|
|Art exhibit.... it's about gambling...|
|I saw better art there than some stuff at the MOMA|