Archive | #OccupyWallStreet

Cops: Let’s send the wack jobs to Zuccotti Park!

Cops are cute, aren’t they? They’re not going to play fair, and Wall Street Occupiers better get used to it:

[…] The NYPD seems to have crossed a line in recent days, as the park has taken on a darker tone with unsteady and unstable types suddenly seeming to emerge from the woodwork. Two different drunks I spoke with last week told me they’d been encouraged to “take it to Zuccotti” by officers who’d found them drinking in other parks, and members of the community affairs working group related several similar stories they’d heard while talking with intoxicated or aggressive new arrivals.

The NYPD’s press office declined to comment on the record about any such policy, but it seems like a logical tactic from a Bloomberg administration that has done its best to make things difficult for the occupation — a way of using its openness against it.

“He’s got a right to express himself, you’ve got a right to express yourself,” I heard three cops repeat in recent days, using nearly identical language, when asked to intervene with troublemakers inside the park, including a clearly disturbed man screaming and singing wildly at 3 a.m. for the second straight night.

“The first time I’ve heard cops mention our First Amendment rights,” cracked one occupier after hearing a lieutenant read off of that apparent script.

“A lot of you people smell,” a waggish cop shot back later after an occupier asked if he might be able to help find more appropriate accommodations for a particularly pungent and out-of-sorts homeless man.

“The police are saying ‘it’s a free for all at Zuccotti so you can go there,’” said Daniel Zetah, a member of several working groups including community affairs. “Which makes our job harder and harder because the ratio is worse and worse.”

Organizers, who have already cut kitchen hours and taken other steps to discourage freeloading, are hoping that the winter cold will help clear out hangers-on and give the active participants time to consolidate their gains to date and refine their structures (including a bid to shift some power from the general assembly comprised of the semi-random group of people who show up on the Broadway steps each evening to the working group members who have invested time and effort in the occupation) to ensure the park maintains a high ratio of political participants to pilgrims drawn to a free-food, cop-free Eden.

“We’re in a limited physical space,” said Zetah, “and we’re past carrying capacity. By including these people we’re creating a space where other people, and particularly women, don’t feel safe — and by default you’re excluding them.”

Cold and wet at Occupy Philly

I spent the morning going through my drawers, looking for warm socks and sweaters to spare for the folks at Occupy Philly, since we do have a winter nor’easter going through. (And snow. Jesus Christ, I still can’t believe it.) I took the stuff down, and the loading crew looked so cold and miserable, I drove to the closest Dunkin’ Donuts, bought some coffee and doughnuts and took them back.

One of the young women on the crew came up to my car window and said, “You don’t know what it means, to get something hot to drink and some food while we’re doing this… Thank you.”

“Yeah, I figured,” I said. “But thank you, for what you’re doing.” And we smiled at each other.

If you want to drop off blankets, tarps, sleeping bags, socks or coffee, pull up into the loading area on the JFK Blvd. side of City Hall.

Occupy Philly

As you know, we have a winter nor’easter with SNOW headed here tomorrow.

The Comfort Working Group has created curbside drop-off times on the JFK Blvd. side of City Hall:
5-7PM weekdays and 1-4PM weekends. Donations of clothing, tents, blankets, scarves, tarps, boots, gloves and wool socks are a priority. Comfort items can be dropped off anytime at the station in the center of the plaza.

Also: WATER, WATER and more WATER please! Individual bottles, jugs, 5gals
Individually wrapped snacks – Granola bars, nuts, dried fruit etc ( We need a lot of these….)
Plus produce, whole grains, fresh fruit

Occupy the media

Dahlia Lithwick nails it with this piece on Occupy Wall Street – they’ve made the media openly irrelevant, and for that, we can all be grateful:

Occupy Wall Street is not a movement without a message. It’s a movement that has wisely shunned the one-note, pre-chewed, simple-minded messaging required for cable television as it now exists. It’s a movement that feels no need to explain anything to the powers that be, although it is deftly changing the way we explain ourselves to one another.

Think, for just a moment, about the irony. We are the most media-saturated 24-hour-cable-soaked culture in the world, and yet around the country, on Facebook and at protests, people are holding up cardboard signs, the way protesters in ancient Sumeria might have done when demonstrating against a rise in the price of figs. And why is that? Because they very wisely don’t trust television cameras and microphones to get it right anymore. Because a media constructed around the illusion of false equivalencies, screaming pundits, and manufactured crises fails to capture who we are and what we value.
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What could they possibly be protesting?

New data on what it means to be part of the 99 percent who aren’t in with the in crowd:

The top 1 percent of earners in the United States saw their average household incomes grow a whopping 279 percent from 1979 to 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study (PDF) published this week.

For the lowest earners, what the CBO described as the poorest fifth of America, average incomes grew just 18 percent in that same period. The middle class — comprised of about three-fifths of Americans — saw incomes grow about 40 percent.

Those figures should be enough to enrage virtually all of the 99 Percent protesters demonstrating in nearly every major U.S. city for the last month, who see themselves as being the forgotten segment of society and wish to highlight the nation’s growing income disparity.

All told, the gap between rich and poor in America more than tripled in just under 30 years, marching in line with government policies that have increasingly tended to rely on regressive taxes on the poor and working classes, and less on taxing the top earners.

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