47
   

Two weeks into Occupy Wall Street protests, movement is at a crossroads

 
 
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 10:17 am
This reminds me of the revolt against the Vietnam War in the 1960s. But this revolt is made of people of all ages who are out of work instead of only those who primarily hated the Vietnam draft, African-American freedom struggle, and the Women's movement. I wish them success and their numbers increase to finally to the attention of Congress. ---BBB

September 30, 2011
Two weeks into Occupy Wall Street protests, movement is at a crossroads
by Carolyn Cole - Los Angeles Times

NEW YORK - Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon have dropped in. A seasoned diplomat dispenses free advice. Supporters send everything from boxes of food and clothes to Whole Foods gift cards. They even have their own app, for the legions of fans following them on iPhones and Androids.

NEW YORK - Nearly two weeks into a sit-in at a park in Manhattan's financial district, the "leaderless resistance movement" calling itself Occupy Wall Street is at a crossroads. The number of protesters on scene so far tops out at a few hundred, tiny by Athens or Cairo standards.

But the traction they have gained from run-ins with police, a live feed from their encampment and celebrity visits is upping expectations. How about some specific demands, a long-term strategy, maybe even ... office space?

So far the group has none of those.

"At a certain point, there's a valid criticism in people asking, 'What are you doing here?'" said protester Chris Biemer, 23.

The answer isn't entirely clear as the demonstration wraps up its second week. The group generally defines itself as anti-greed, but also weighs in on a broad range of social issues.

In an exchange that illuminated one of the dilemmas that any movement for change faces, Biemer and protester Victoria Sobel made it clear they had different visions for Occupy Wall Street.

Biemer, who recently moved to New York from Florida with a degree in business administration, says that ideally the group should team up with a nonprofit organization and get office space.

"It's possible to stay here for months or longer, but at some point we're going to become a fixture," he said of their home in Zuccotti Park, a privately owned, publicly accessible plaza dotted with trees and flower beds about midway between the Stock Exchange and the former World Trade Center site.

Sobel, who like Biemer serves on Occupy Wall Street's finance committee, disagrees and said the group's strength lies in its ability to remain highly visible and in a place where anyone can visit and participate. The 21-year-old New York University student happily reported Wednesday that bookshelves had been delivered to the UPS store where the group receives mail. They'll sit beneath a tarp in the park, all part of Sobel's vision to solidify the group's foothold.

"It's a moment of clarifying for us," Sobel said, confident that as autumn's chill turns to winter's subfreezing temperatures, Occupy Wall Street will stay put. "We'll layer," she said with a laugh, when asked how they'll manage the cold.

The protest, which evolved from a network of individuals and groups galvanized by the demonstrations in Egypt last winter, has moved far beyond what it was on Sept. 17, when police barricaded the streets outside the Stock Exchange to prevent a march there to protest corporate greed. A map in Zuccotti Park pinpoints scores of other cities with Occupy Wall Street events either under way or planned, including sit-ins planned for Los Angeles on Saturday and Washington on Oct. 6.

But its proximity to the real Wall Street and its series of high-profile visitors have made the New York protest the focal point. So have inflammatory videos posted online that show a New York police officer using pepper spray on some protesters last Saturday.

Now, its settlement has gelled into an organized community that hums along almost Zen-like, coexisting with the city that rages around it and ignored by many either too busy or too uninterested to stop. Harried commuters seem to barely notice the mishmash of humanity a few feet away as they rush down the sidewalks skirting the park.

Tourists stroll in to snap pictures and read the protest signs scattered across the ground, then wander off to their next sightseeing stop. Executives drop in on lunch breaks to talk politics and economics. Police hang back on the sidewalks, and follow along when groups of protesters stage marches.

Protest numbers vary as people drift in and out of the park. Some live in the area and come by for a few hours each day or week. Others stay there around the clock, their sleeping bags, guitars and clothing bundles spread on the ground. On Wednesday, they included a sleepy-eyed young man in a rumpled T-shirt cuddling a pet rat, and a woman who pranced about in her underwear.

There are committees, including one for finance, food and comfort, which ensures that anyone who needs blankets, dry clothing or perhaps a hug gets it. There are twice-daily meetings where anyone can make a brief announcement. To avoid violating a ban on bullhorns, the crowd obediently repeats in unison every phrase uttered by the main speaker, to ensure everyone hears.

Each morning, protesters stage a "morning bell march" through the neighborhood, to coincide with the clanging at 9:30 a.m. of the bell that marks the start of trading at the Stock Exchange. Most days, a "closing bell" march also takes place in the afternoon.

On its website, Occupy Wall Street describes itself as a "leaderless resistance movement" drawn from people of all backgrounds and political persuasions.

"The one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99 percent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent," the website says. The posters in Zuccotti Park speak to the lack of a narrow platform: "End financial aid to Israel"; "End greed, end poverty, end war"; "No death penalty"; "Tired of racism."

Some supporters of the premise wonder how far Occupy Wall Street can go in galvanizing others if it does not translate its anger into specific demands.

"I see something beautiful here. I've never had a more interesting political debate," said Carne Ross, a former British diplomat. But Ross, who stops by regularly to advise Occupy Wall Street, said it needed "far broader outreach" and a narrower message.

"I'd prefer to see a list of demands," one fan wrote on the Occupation Wall Street Facebook page, echoing the concerns of a woman who tweeted something similar to Moore as he did an MSNBC interview. She asked for "some specific, tangible goals."

Michael T. Heaney, a University of Michigan political science professor, said such groups often bumped up against pressure to become more focused and to build or join other institutions.

"What you're talking about is a degree of buying into a political system," Heaney said. "But the more you use tactics that we recognize as getting you influence, the more you buy into the system, and ... open yourself up to compromise."

In Occupy Wall Street's case, Heaney said, demands could be as vague as simply calling for financial bailout programs to apply to individuals rather than banks.

Most of those in Zuccotti Park, though, don't see the need for a change in tactics. At least not yet.

"There isn't a consolidated message, and I don't think there needs to be," said Andrew Lynn, 34, who drove three hours from his home in Troy, N.Y., to help the demonstrators' media team.

Added Kobi Skolnick, a young Israeli American who by Wednesday was in his ninth day of participating in the protest: "I think the main thing we're doing is knocking on the walls of ignorance in this country so people wake up."

(Tina Susman writes for the Los Angeles Times)

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/09/30/125769/2-weeks-into-anti-greed-protest.html#ixzz1ZXxNoUmg
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Type: Discussion • Score: 47 • Views: 89,967 • Replies: 1,961

 
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 10:32 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
How many dead in Man- hat -tan?
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 11:24 am
@JTT,
Them crows is eatin' the corn again! Guess we'd better kill 'em.

The amount of corn remaining in your silo is represented by the blue bar at the top of the screen. If it reaches zero, you fail the mission and your family will starve and most likely be reduced to cannibalism to survive the winter. Our guess is Jack goes first. Probably tastes like veal.

Sorry, where were we? Ah yes, the crows. Use Dead Eye to marks several of the birds and shoot them. The others will fly into the air for a moment before returning to the corn, so shoot the ones closest to the silo first. Trigger Dead Eye again to help take out the large number of winged pests.

After you've killed enough of their brethren, the crows will blow this popsicle stand and take off for greener pastures. Nice shootin', Tex.
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 03:09 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
JTT is antiamerican. She/He cant help themselves.
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 03:16 pm
@RABEL222,
I didn't think that you were one to fall for propaganda, Rabel. I guess that I was wrong.

Unless, unless you can show me how I'm antiamerican.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 05:15 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/10/01/3000-protestors-march-towards-bank-of-america-in-boston/

Quote:
The Occupy Wall Street movement is spreading across the country, as Boston’s movement has become the next major city to garner national attention.

On Friday afternoon, 3,000 protestors marched towards Bank of America in downtown Boston to signal their disapproval over the banks foreclosure practices. 24 people were arrested for trespassing but are unlikely to face serious charges, according to law enforcement.

“They wanted to be arrested, and we obliged,” Boston police Commissioner Edward F. Davis told the Boston Herald.

...

Along with Boston, protest movements against the big banks has emerged in Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin in Texas, and Washington D.C.


0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 05:59 pm
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/10/01/united-steelworkers-announce-support-for-occupy-wall-street-protest/

Quote:
United Steelworkers announce support for ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest

The United Steelworkers, North America’s largest industrial union, announced on Friday that it supported the ongoing “Occupy Wall Street” protest that began in lower Manhattan and has slowly spread to other cities across the United States.

The protesters have pledged to occupy Wall Street until something is done about corporate greed and corporate influence on the U.S. government. They have been camped out in New York’s old Liberty Plaza since September 17.

“The United Steelworkers union stands in solidarity with and strongly supports Occupy Wall Street,” Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers, said in a statement.

“The brave men and women, many of them young people without jobs, who have been demonstrating around-the-clock for nearly two weeks in New York City are speaking out for the many in our world. We are fed up with the corporate greed, corruption and arrogance that have inflicted pain on far too many for far too long.”

United Steelworkers has 850,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.

The announcement comes after a number of labor unions and liberal groups said hey would throw their weight behind the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations. The United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United and Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 have said they will participate in the protest.

The Working Families Party, MoveOn.org, Make the Road New York, the Coalition for the Homeless, the Alliance for Quality Education, Community Voices Heard, United New York and Strong Economy For All also plan to support the demonstration.

TWU Local 100 president John Samuelson appeared on Current TV’s Countdown and explained that his union was making common cause with the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters because they are, “singing the same song and fighting the same battle that our union has fought for the last eighteen months.”

Many have criticized the movement for not having any clear purpose or goals, but Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald responded that most of those critiques were ludicrous.

0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 06:01 pm
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/01/national/main20114373.shtml


Quote:

October 1, 2011 6:24 PM
Wall Street protests spread to other cities

The Occupy Wall Street protestors say they are encouraged by growing crowds in lower Manhattan, and the movement is spreading to cities around the country.

People rallied in Albuquerque, New Mexico ... and marched to City Hall in Los Angeles.

In Chicago, the crowd outside the Federal Reserve Bank began growing a week ago.

Protestors in New York say they just want their voices heard, and pledge to keep demonstrating through the winter, reports CBS News correspondent Kerry Ederer.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has not said how long he'll let the protesters camp out in lower Manhattan.

Several unions are planning to join protesters in Manhattan for a march next week.

0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 08:17 pm
The crowds are growing and becoming more desperate for attention!

0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 08:40 pm
Very disturbing!


0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 09:32 pm
First the Middle East Spring and now Spring has come to the US. Ain't democracy grand!
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 09:36 pm
@JTT,
Quote:
First the Middle East Spring and now Spring has come to the US. Ain't democracy grand!


The police have done every thing except pull out there guns hopefully that will not be next!
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 10:05 pm
@reasoning logic,
Just be warned if you find yourself being encircled by orange construction fence.


Also, watch out for white shirts.

#OccupyDC has begun as well. Looking to go this week and see if I can offer some housing to travelers. Missed opportunity to call this "Occupy K-street" since that's where people are organizing (plus it is a fitting parallel to Wall Street).

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Oct, 2011 10:08 pm
No need to worry the Marines are on their way to protect the protesters!

0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Oct, 2011 02:20 am
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

First the Middle East Spring and now Spring has come to the US. Ain't democracy grand!
You heard it from me first on A2K...back when we were talking about the London riots I said that there was every reason to think it would get to the USA eventually. Naturally I was told that I am an idiot.

Obviously I am not the least bit surprised. 700 arrested, and the cops dont look like they are near capable of dealing with a resistance movement so this could get dicey fast.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Oct, 2011 02:37 am
@hawkeye10,
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

Quote:
AFTER flying around the world this year to cover street protests from Cairo to Morocco, reporting on the latest “uprising” was easier: I took the subway.

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has taken over a park in Manhattan’s financial district and turned it into a revolutionary camp. Hundreds of young people chant slogans against “banksters” or corporate tycoons. Occasionally, a few even pull off their clothes, which always draws news cameras.

“Occupy Wall Street” was initially treated as a joke, but after a couple of weeks it’s gaining traction. The crowds are still tiny by protest standards — mostly in the hundreds, swelling during periodic marches — but similar occupations are bubbling up in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington. David Paterson, the former New York governor, dropped by, and labor unions are lending increasing support.

I tweeted that the protest reminded me a bit of Tahrir Square in Cairo, and that raised eyebrows.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/opinion/sunday/kristof-the-bankers-and-the-revolutionaries.html
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2011 07:47 am
*bump* because I'm interested in A2K feedback on this topic.

700 arrested on Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday.
http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/317805_2390625935856_1557097933_32550343_1538716772_n.jpg

NY Mag wrote:

Transport Workers Union Has No Interest in Moving Arrested Protesters
10/3/11 at 10:10 AM
The logistical complications involved in arresting some 700 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge left the cops in a lurch, so they simply took over some MTA buses and drove the perps to precincts across the city. But that's not part of the job description for bus drivers, the Transport Workers Union claims. Today they'll take the NYPD to court: "TWU Local 100 supports the protesters on Wall Street and takes great offense that the mayor and NYPD have ordered operators to transport citizens who were exercising their constitutional right to protest — and shouldn't have been arrested in the first place," said Union President John Samuelsen, who called the police's power play "a blatant act of political retaliation." An MTA spokesperson said the agency has "a long history of cooperating with the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies when they require vehicles to perform their duties," but Samuelsen insists, "Our mission is to provide transit service to the riding

source: http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/10/transport_workers_union_has_no.html

It seems that OWS is starting to get some media traction.

Then again, you have Fox...



And of course, you have Fox... unaired...



NYTimes has been lame on it's coverage...

http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/300110_581268158003_121201844_32028348_191874836_n.jpg

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2011 08:06 am
There's a lil tent city near my office (I am working for a big honkin' financial services company these days). We had thunder 'n lightning last night. It must not have been fun to sleep out there. Last Friday, they occupied my bus stop (also in the financial district) during evening Rush Hour. Not fun, though I did get a ringside seat to someone being persuaded into the back of a police wagon.

I don't really know what to think of them. For me, they've ended up mainly being an inconvenience and a curiosity. I'm for ending corporate greed, but I see the movement as incoherent and scattershot.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2011 10:44 am
@jespah,
yes i kind of agree - it just seems disorganized or what are they trying to actually accomplish?

One problem is their protest are impacting more the middle class working folks as they are the ones taking public transportation and just trying to make a living.

But I will sit back and watch.
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2011 10:49 am
@jespah,
This morning one of the talking heads on Morning Joe said, "They've got a point as soon as they figure out what it is." There were a lot of chuckles and nods around the table.
 

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