We Take for Granted Many of our Liberties – Occupy Wall Street, Day 12
One-day protests come and go, usually without much notice. In our world of continual distraction, these things are easy to gloss over – especially in the hands of an apathetic media. The strategy of indefinite occupation is far more effective – it is designed to create ever-increasing involvement and solidarity. As the word spreads, the movement is moving beyond fringe groups. This week has seen the picketing of postal workers and pilots’ unions before the steps of the New York Stock Exchange:
Today was the 12th day of the Occupy Wall St movement and it is growing in strength and in numbers, not just in New York anymore, but all over the country and world. (http://occupytogether.org/)
The optimism and determination at the Zuccotti Park encampment is fueled by this progress. It is palpable as you walk around- scattered about are small groups talking policy, tactics, by-laws, etc. Organization is being organized. Along Broadway, demonstrators appeal to the rush-hour crowds. Makeshift cardboard signs line the perimeter of the park – attracting tourists, shoppers, and businessmen – some of whom express support, others of whom have many questions, and, of course, those who pass with mocking laughter. The weather has been weirdly summer-ish; but more humid rain is coming – tarp-lined beds are being set up.
At the other end of the park, drummers and various other musicians have assembled in an improvisatory canon resembling the Terry Riley classic “In C”
And in true NY entrepreneurial spirit, a number of food carts have set up along the edges of the square – In a weird comingtogether, both protester and police have lined up to partake of their offerings.
The movement has attracted a number of high-profile figures, including Immortal Technique
Protest movements have always attracted harsh criticism and cynical mockery. People do not like their boats to be rocked. It is very easy to forget that many of the rights we enjoy come from a similar voice as that of the current expressions. Both the Progressive era of 100 years ago and the Civil Rights movement of 50 years ago attracted their fair share of scorn in their day. However – their outcomes are now a part of common American life.
From the stalwart of rugged individualism that was Theodore Roosevelt, the progressive, come these:
“A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.”
“The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.”
“The liberty of which Mr. Wilson speaks today means merely the liberty of some great trust magnate to do that which he is not entitled to do. It means merely the liberty of some factory owner to work haggard women over-hours for under-pay and himself to pocket the profits. It means the liberty of the factory owner to close his operatives into some crazy deathtrap on a top floor, where if fire starts, the slaughter is immense….We propose, on the contrary, to extend governmental power in order to secure the liberty of the wage workers, of the men and women who toil in industry, to save the liberty of the oppressed from the oppressor. Mr. Wilson stands for the liberty of the oppressor to oppress. We stand for the limitation of his liberty not to oppress those who are weaker than himself” also T. Roosevelt (1912) http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5722/
More info: https://occupywallst.org/
Posted on September 29, 2011, in NYC present, occupywallstreet, Uncategorized and tagged downtown, financial district, gothamist, liberty plaza, lower manhattan, manhattan, movement, new york, new york city, nyc, occupy wall street, occupywallstreet, protest, wall street, zuccotti park. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.