The Faces of the Occupation

11/09/2011 4:01 AM |

Derek Brown
Crown Heights
Security Guard

“People need to spread the bread. Those one percent need to know that for people to realize their dreams they need resources,” said Brown, who’d been sleeping, at first in a makeshift tent, in Zuccotti Park for three weeks. The experience has been “grueling,” he said, and he’d often wake up in puddles of water—once, he had all his belongings stolen.

“But I still spread the message,” he said, “and I’m still a way station for people.” Brown continues to camp out in the park collecting donations to purchase things demonstrators need but can’t find at the comfort tent or from the food line. “I do my part.”

Carlos Cabrera
Sunset Park

Cabrera lives in Sunset Park and has been coming to Zuccotti every day since September 17. He hasn’t slept in the park but he thinks the most important part is showing up and showing support.

“We want to gain enough popularity, by means of you guys, the media, to send a message out there that we want to change the economic system,” Cabrera said, “before [it] collapses.”

“We are mainly focused on corporate greed and social inequality,” Cabrera said, “We are not economists, but we have ideas that might help the central government.” He would like to see changes in bank regulations, in how they “gamble with people’s money,” and changes in how corporations deal with minimum wages, how they “enslave people.”

2 Comment

  • I found this article interesting, because not many people have the time and courage to go to 42nd street and talk to these people face to face, whereas sometimes it

  • A protest without direction is just a sounding board for anyone with an agenda. It is also inherently dangerous, because if you “just protest” long enough, and you are risking that you will so far out of touch with reality, that any solution you propose would necessarily ring hollow. OWS claims that the system is broken, but I think that is just giving up. Despite the presence of corporate money, we still live in a system of government elected by the people. If OWS truly claims to represent the 99%, to be truly aware that lobbying is ruining our political future, then it should have no problem picking a policy that helps and getting it through. If they cannot, then they are just another fascet of 1%, just as marginalized and out of touch. So they will sit in Zuccotti Park and bang their drums. Good for them. I have a coworker, whose elderly parents are coming to visit NYC, just to take a picture with a protester. OWS is becoming good for tourism at least 🙂