The 99% is Growing!
Lower Manhattan’s Foley Square sits at the edge of what was 19th century New York’s most notorious neighborhood, the Five Points – setting of Martin Scorsese’s 2002 Gangs of New York
Yesterday something extraordinary happened there. A march of thousands (up to 50,000 by some estimates) rallied at the square to express their discontent with a broken system – a system in which common people are charged with funding the caprices of the extravagantly rich. A system with an ever-increasing disdain for the citizens in its care. A system in which basic American rights are being trampled upon. We’ve been seeing in the previous weeks that people are beginning to realize that the “system” is OUR system. We pay the taxes, we support the economy, we contribute to the services that are meant to make a society work. When an apathetic population comes to, and realizes that it is meant to lead a country instead of blindly follow a select few, great things can happen.
Three weeks ago, a few inspired individuals took over a small park in the Financial District and set up a model society – with cooperative medical services, food contributions, security, a media center, and decision making by consensus. The usual happened: snide references to “over-privileged, over-educated, short-sighted hippies” etc. etc. The past week, however, has blown this stereotype straight out of the water:
Perhaps a society run for the people and by the people is not just a stale 235 year old catchphrase. Because- as it turns out, the “fringe” settlement at Zuccotti Park has amassed support from far and wide.
Yesterday, at Foley Square, we saw representatives from almost every major union imaginable – postal workers, teachers, laborers, nurses, marines, and the transit workers (Who are said to have decided to stop donating buses for mass arrests by the NYPD). Occupations have begun in cities across the country. – In solidarity, students have walked out of schools and colleges.
Yesterday’s march was the biggest yet of the Occupy Wall Street movement. It was peaceful- full of anger, but also of optimism. Unlike at the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, and Union Square the week before, the police, for the most part, kept themselves in check- Though after much of the crowd had dissipated, they unleashed their typical brutishness once again, this time flailing wildly with batons, and later bragging about it:
Naturally the city and police department would like to avoid investigating this like the plague. But enough outcry may change that:
1st Precinct: +1 (212) 334-0611
NYPD Switchboard: +1 (646) 610-5000
NYPD Central Booking: +1 (212) 374-3921
NYPD Internal Affairs: +1 (212) 741-8401
Mayor Bloomberg: +1 (212) NEW-YORK or +1 (212) 374-392
HOWEVER – The experience for the vast majority of people in the march was positive. “Good vibes”. The national Occupy Wall Street movement is not only about poverty or the disadvantaged, it is about all of us– working, middle, and even upper-middle class – the 99% of us whose pursuit of the American Dream slips further and further from our reach, not by our lack of effort or where-with-all, but by a government that has wrenched it from our grasp.
Posted on October 6, 2011, in NYC present, occupywallstreet, Uncategorized and tagged 99%, demonstration, foley square, march, occupy together, occupy wall street, occupywallstreet, protest. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.