Yesterday was Occupy Wall Street’s Day of Action, and it began with an attempt to shut down the New York Stock Exchange. It was unsuccessful—the bell rang on time. At 3 p.m., thousands gathered in Union Square for the city-wide student rally, where representatives from NYU, Hunter College, CUNY, Brooklyn College, Cooper Union and the New School (Columbia University was conspicuously absent) spoke. Later in the evening, around 5 p.m., the student rally met up with crowds at Foley Square and started marching across the bridge an hour and a half later.
Nearly 300 arrests were made, but I didn’t personally witness police brutality. If anything, the police I saw were facilitating traffic and the flow of people in a helpful way, after which, a significant number of them gathered to occupy a Sabrett hot dog stand on the corner of Worth St. I did see, however, protesters directly antagonizing police by hurling words like “racist” at officers in the subway. Speeches of the day consisted of the usual mix of snappy chants, criticism, complaints and unhelpful, tossed off notions on how to fix the world. “Fuck internships! Fuck kissing ass!” cried one student speaker from the New School. However, many more student speakers pointed out tuition hikes and dire loan situations in an articulate, impassioned way. The celebrity sighting at Union Square most people are talking about is Anne Hathaway, but Ahmed Maher, co-founder of Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement, also showed up and spoke in solidarity.
Bloomberg’s raid on Zuccotti Park in the early hours of Monday morning surely touched the tender part of many people’s Occupy sympathies, but in some ways, the Day of Action felt like a reminder of how little change has actually been accomplished. It was a day of sensory overload, alternately thrilling, depressing and confusing. Getting on the subway to go home to one’s apartment, and not a tent, it’s easy to see that there’s a whole slice of New York that doesn’t want to be bothered with thinking about Occupy affairs. Still, the world is watching. Speeches were being translated to multiple different languages in real time, and there’s no denying that what started two months ago as a few pitched tents downtown has become a worldwide effort and phenomenon.
“…in some ways, the Day of Action felt like a reminder of how little change has actually been accomplished.”
For Pete’s sake, guy. What accomplishment do you expect in 60 days? Especially when MSM and TPTB belittle the global effort? Did you feel that the Civil Rights movement was empty 60 days after it started?
What this effort has accomplished is immeasurable and priceless. It has awakened an entire people, and the best is yet to come.
Indeed! This movement has awakened so many and changed the conversation. We are looking at a sea change.
@mary235 @anon7247 I don’t think it’s empty. I think OWS is an important and historical movement, which is why I covered yesterday’s events. But at the level of governance, the status quo remains frustratingly un-budged. Awareness of that is also critical.
P.S. I’m a girl.
Dear Mr. President,
There is a very large demonstration being planned for January 20th, 2012 at the Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart street in Seattle, – and at every Federal Courthouse in the United States.. There are many groups organizing and “gearing up” for this demonstration. I will be promoting and advertising it. This “occupy movement” has only just begun. I suggest you figure out your plan of action and response; The rules of engagement; – Need a way better understanding of what is going on; – than during WTO in Seattle. Treat the people like they are the enemy, and they will become it.
January 20, 2012
I stopped reading the article about 3 paragraphs in.
The author of this piece is obviously missing the whole point – and that is hard to believe – since it is a worldwide movement against the greed on Wall Street – which has brought Greece, Italy, Spain, Iceland, Ireland, the US and a few other countries to financial ruin via financial instruments fixed to fail (all coming back to the US housing bubble, artificially inflated). But the author knows this already.
A bet is on that his father paid his college fees, his first car was a gift and he still is attached to the family bank umbilical cord.
Average pics, with pointless sarcastic remarks and a lousy article- there is nothing here, move on.
So, Wendy, you you read the whole article, I guess, since it’s only three paragraphs long? Doesn’t seem like you read very closely, though, given that there’s not a single note of sarcasm in the whole thing. Also, again, Sydney is a woman.
CUNY professors are to blame with their active learning, social justice, social Writing Across the Curriculum nonsense, postmodernism (no exact meaning), etc. etc. No wonder there is no leadership and total anarchy. The movement operates like a current CUNY ridiculous classroom, with goofball “facilitators” instead of real teachers imparting real bodies of knowledge. Active learning = activism. Collaborative (as opposed to competitive learning) = socialism. Write an essay about how you feel about snow, or the number three, or delivering a speech. Now reflect on what you wrote. ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Over 100 Columbia students showed up at around 3:30 – after announcements of which schools were there had been made. Union Square was so packed that it was hard to know who was there, but the speakers/MCs did say, “Welcome to the contingent just arriving!” without knowing where the heck they were coming from. Sorry to take away one of your annoying little jabs at the movement. But seriously, what is with the tone of this piece? You seem to have taken an entirely different message from the days events than most of the participants.
@Dan DiMaggio The tone was honesty and tough love. I’m sure others had an honestly different take, and that’s okay too. What I saw were many wonderful, expressive things going on, as well as a fair share of counter-productivity. On education, for example, most speakers had great things to say, but there were also those who supported and cheered at comments that had little to do with university policies. Like any large-scale protest without specific demands, there’s bound to be some anger. But it’s important, I think, that the movement keep its gestures as constructive as possible. That’s just in service of the change we’d like to see.
tough love? what is this? do you actually think your article was instructive on anything about politics, strategies, and tactics for the occupy movement? this is what happens when an annoying hipster magazine that targets middle class whites living in BK tries to cover something political. its an utter failure. how did you write this article without once mentioning and criticizing the level of police brutality, even if you didnt witness it personally? did you go to any other points of convergence apart from the student rally at union square? because if you did, you would have noticed police brutality everywhere. and whats wrong with calling the cops racist? have you read any nypd stats recently or ANYTIME? the police are racists. they should be called out for it. two peaceful people of color right next to me at foley square were physically attacked by riot police for NO reason. One of them lost some of his teeth, another, a small woman, was beaten unconscious by 5 cops. both were arrested. that happened to MANY other people there on thursday. However, it was STILL an inspiring day of actions, with the childrens brigade, tons of union rank and file members, thousands of students (who dare I say have many other political things to say beyond criticism of their university’s policy. what was your point with that anyway?) You can either be a cynical critic on the side, or you can actively help to build this movement if you dont like how it looks. otherwise, this article does little to help us.
@CUstudent you’re clearly missing the point. Apparently you were expecting an all-encompassing OWS article while this article was clearly an observational and honest recap of the day. As someone who has not participated in any rallies, I got a clear understanding of how this event went down. Maybe you shouldn’t read such an “annoying hipster magazine that targets middle class whites living in BK” if it causes you to react so angrily as to attack a young and up and coming writer in her effort to show an audience this particular Occupy event; if you really don’t agree with the aim of this magazine why do you read and comment as if they will change their audience. If you really insist on portraying the police brutality by the “racist” cops you speak of why don’t you write your own article? I’m sure people would want to read it. This article was about the student rally and only that, read other articles about the overall movement across the country.