The Faces of the Occupation

11/09/2011 4:01 AM |

Brant Thomas
Downtown Brooklyn
Financial Analyst

“His nametag read “Senator DeMonet.” He had cash taped to his suit, on the back, a list of sponsors: Visa, Coca Cola, City Group, Texaco. Brant Thomas, a financial analyst from Down•town Brooklyn, came down to demonstrate in Zuccotti for the first time on October 31.

“I’m protesting for a better America,” Thomas said. “One not geared to the rich.” He believes politicians have been pandering at unprecedented levels to moneyed interests. “The Republicans right now have one goal, which is to put more of the wealth in this country in the hands of fewer and fewer people,” he said. “It benefits them totally, and we all suffer.” The movement “has raised awareness,” Thomas said, “I think the timing is very good.”

Di Sierra

Sierra was helping out at the comfort station when we talked to her. She’s a student who grew up in Brownsville and had been staying in the park in a tent for three weeks. The experience has been good for her, and Sierra has been pleasantly surprised by the make-up of the protest: “There are people from other countries who’ve come here and donated clothes!” She’d originally come down because she had friends in Zuccotti and soon made more and thought, “’I really like this: I’m going to stay.’ So many different people care and everybody is so nice. It’s exciting, eye-opening.”

Kristin Lee
Red Hook
Yoga Instructor

She had been in Zuccotti for five days when we spoke to her, on her first day sporting a picket sign. It was Halloween and the sign read, “Psychopaths are our real Monsters.”

“While there are compassionate people left on the planet,” she said, “it’s time to address those who have lost touch with humanity.” Someone doesn’t necessarily have to have gone through the same tribulations as others, she says, to be able to feel a connection. She calls the movement a “giant spotlight” on where we are as a species, “identifying the underlying reasons why things have become so out of touch and dehumanizing.”

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 🙂