Friday, October 28, 2011

Rain and raid

After our march for solidarity with Occupy Oakland, the police have been hanging out more and more around Zuccotti. They're gathered in riot gear in the pictures below.

This morning, some police, along with the fire department, came through camp and confiscated two of our generators. One of which, I believe, powered our media station.

The weather has been miserable for the past 36-hours. Blistering winds have uprooted tents, it rained almost all day yesterday, and the temperature got as low as 37 degrees.

Here's my tent, soaked. I'd laid down cardboard and a tarp to keep the floor of my tent waterproof, but it's almost impossible to keep things dry when sleeping on asphalt since the water has no where to drain. My sleeping bag and clothes have been soaked for the past few days. From the comfort station, I borrowed three emergency blankets and a woman's cardigan sweater, the sort that has those big folded sleeves around the wrists.

Just stretching out the walls of the tent is difficult since there's nowhere to put down stakes and because the place is so crowded. Here' I've tied a rope to a stack of sopping wet cardboard that stretches one side of my tent taut.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Solidarity with Occupy Oakland

On Tuesday October 25th, about one hundred demonstrators of "Occupy Oakland" were arrested and their encampment was torn down. Several were injured including Scott Olsen, an Iraq war veteran, who is in now in critical condition after being struck in the head with a tear gas canister, rubber bullet, or some other implement fired from riot police.

Last night at 9 p.m., Occupy Wall Street marched up Broadway to Union Square as a symbol of solidarity with those who were violently evicted. (We also allocated one hundred tents and $20,000 of our funds to pay for bail, and medical services.)

The march was mostly peaceful, but the crowd was far from docile. When the NYPD attempted to cordon us off with orange netting, many protesters barged through, lifting and ducking under the orange netting. I watched a crowd of protesters wrest a fellow protester from the hands of a cop. There were a dozen arrests.

A tour of Zuccotti Park (Part II)

In the week I've been here, the site of the occupation has changed considerably. There are now street signs (Bakunin Ave, Jefferson, Trotsky, etc.), there is a "Kids Safe Zone" and now almost everyone is sleeping in tents, rather than in sleeping bags with tarps pulled over.  Anyway, here are a few more pics of the park.

Comfort station: offering everything from toothpaste, sleeping bags, and tarps to clothes.

The empathy booth advises on how to deal with problems in a non-confrontational manner.

 The cigarette rolling station.

The anarchist booth.

The community rules. (Click on picture to enlarge.)

The kitchen, now with tarp cover.

 Sanitation department. Lots of cleaning supplies: brooms, mops, buckets, etc.

 There is now a children's safe zone.

Lots of cool technology. There is a live stream of video and audio of the park, which you can check out here: They also put up a twitter feed on a large screen via a projector, so we can read what's being said at the General Assembly meetings.

Info booth.

The Occupied Wall Street Journal. You can download a copy here. 

Press team.

When the real Fox News shows up, much of the crowd chants, "Fox New Lies! Fox News Lies" I heard a couple people mutter something about tarring and feathering Geraldo Rivera when he came through.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The many initiatives of Occupy Wall Street

It seems like everyone is here for a different reason: for better treatment of animals, for better education, for climate change, for the end of wars, etc., etc. While everyone may know what they're here to accomplish, as a whole, there is no clear message, no clear agenda, and no clear solution. I have more thoughts on the matter, but for now, here are some of today's signs.

While I do sympathize with this movement (and did feel some desire to cull out some of the more asinine signs), I want, more than anything, to give as accurate a picture of this movement as possible. So here they are, uncensored.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stopping "stop and frisk"

The Occupy Wall Street Movement--initially written off as a bunch of white hipsters--has joined forces with black leaders and religious leaders in New York City. Together, they marched in solidarity with one another in order to raise awareness about the NYPD's outrageous "stopping and frisking" policy, in which police officers stop and frisk young men of color for no clear reason.

John, a 25-year-old Navy veteran, spoke to a crowd at Zuccotti about his experiences with "stop and frisk." While going to get Chinese food with friends, he was pulled over, handcuffed, and asked to perform a dance by the NYPD called the "Chicken Noodle Soup." The leaders claimed that the NYPD is on pace to stop and frisk 700,000 this year in NY. 85 percent will be blacks and latinos, and 92 percent of them will have done nothing wrong.

Because of situations like John's, Dr. Cornell West and Carl Dix, a spokeman for the Revolutionary Communist Party, led a march to a local police precinct in Harlem. With religious leaders and OWS protesters, they linked arms in front of the police station as an act of nonviolent civil disobedience. They were all arrested.