Last week I visited the great New York City and couldn’t leave without stopping by Zuccotti Park and witnessing the origin of the Occupy movement. What I thought would be a quick visit, turned into a whole afternoon spent taking in everything happening in the small public square.
I talked to many individuals who had been camped out since the first week of the protesting, who had no intention of leaving. They had grown accustomed to this new life and their passion for the “cause” only seemed to be increased. The tented camp functioned like an organized city, with street names, stocked library, table top conversation area, meditation and silent protest circle, food kitchen, medical tent issuing flu shots, energy supplying bicycle riders, and most importantly, the barriers closing it off to the world.
All in all, although I am still not convinced Occupy has once unified message or summarize-able call to action, I am now convinced they don’t need one. Why not let the man trying to educate the world that cars can run on water protest as long as he wants? Or the man who wants to raise money to save all abandoned pets in New York. Or the girl just trying to get out of New York and get back home. Or the 65-year-old who is just happy to have another reason to bring out his vintage wardrobe and reminisce about the 60s…?
A little over 24 hours after I was in the park, police forces emptied Zuccotti Park and made hundreds of arrests to ensure that all Occupy residents were removed from the place they have called home these past few months…I am just glad I was able to spent a few hours among them. But like many told me…”the end of this story is far from over, we are just getting started, keep watching.”
More New York photos to follow soon…