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Video and full transcript at Democracy Now!

The Occupy movement spontaneously created something that doesn’t really exist in the country: communities of mutual support, cooperation, open spaces for discussion. They just developed a health system, a library, a common kitchen—just people doing things and helping each other. That’s very much missing. There is a massive propaganda—it’s been going on for a century, but picking up enormously—that you really shouldn’t care about anyone else, you should just care about yourself…

I can remember, as a kid in the ’30s, when the situation was objectively much worse. But then, my family was mostly unemployed working-class here in New York. But there was a sense of hopefulness, largely because of labor organizing, which not only provided benefits to the people involved, but also made them part of something in which we can work together. The term “solidarity” wasn’t just a vacuous term. And to rebuild that kind of thing, even if it’s in small pieces of the society, can become very important, can change the conception of how a society ought to function.

I said similar things 6 month ago about social cohesion but on a much more personal note in my “Self-Indulgent OWS 99% Post.”

Categories: Politics or: the art of looking for trouble, Social commentary Tags: #ows, noam chomsky, Occupy Wall Street, social cohesion

Tweet Sent Out By Mayor Bloomberg’s Office at 1:19 AM as Police Handed out Fliers in the Park

The eviction process started almost immediately after the fliers were handed out, according to a timeline provided OccupyWallStreet.org.  Those that refused to leave by 3AM proceeded to be arrested one by one from their human barricade.

The press was banned, with even CBS helicopters asked to leave the airspace. MotherJones reporter, Josh Harkinson, who slipped into the Park before being physically removed by an officer, reports widespread police use of pepper spray and zip ties. Upon their return after the cleaning, the City says that protestors will not be allowed to erect tents or have encampment structures of any kind.

Due to the lack of notice and quick eviction and arrests of those refusing to leave, many personal and public belongings, [edit: blogs are correcting themselves that the Library has NOT been destroyed], have been thrown into dumpsters by the NYPD during the forced cleaning.

This morning, 200 supporters of the protesters attempted to come onto the scene.  They were prevented from getting within a block of the park by a police barricade.

The New York Times reports:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning, had issued a statement explaining the reasoning behind the sweep. “The law that created Zuccotti Park required that it be open for the public to enjoy for passive recreation 24 hours a day,” the mayor said in the statement. “Every since the occupation began, that law has not been complied with” because the protesters had taken over the park, “making it unavailable to anyone else.”

“I have become increasingly concerned – as had the park’s owner, Brookfield Properties – that the occupation was coming to pose a health and fire safety hazard to the protestors and to the surrounding community,” Mr. Bloomberg said. He added that on Monday, Brookfield asked the city to assist in enforcing “the no sleeping and camping rules.”

“But make no mistake,” the mayor said, “the final decision to act was mine and mine alone.”

Watch Bloomberg’s Full Statement video at the Washington Post.

This morning the National Lawyers Guild obtained a temporary restraining order from the court, allowing protestors to return with tents to the park.  Reports are coming in that hearing will be held with the state Supreme Court later today on whether or not the temporary restraining order is maintained.

Read the press statement from the NLG and a copy of the “Order to Show Cause and Temporary Restraining Order” at The Gothamist.

I will update later today as this pans out.

Update:

Well, shit.

Categories: Politics or: the art of looking for trouble Tags: #ows, Michael Bloomberg, National Lawyers Guild, Occupy Wall Street, temporary restraining order, Zuccotti Park cleaning, Zuccotti Park eviction

Admittedly, some people chose to stand their grounds as the NYPD repeatedly told them to back off, but those who wanted to move really couldn’t. There was no space to get away. And these horses were pushed into the crowd… I didn’t understand and continue to not understand what the NYPD was trying to do.

-Ryan Devereaux, Reporter for Democracy Now!

Times Square on October 15.  Some serious footage.

Thoughts:

#1. Police Horses are still a thing?

#2. Police Horses should not be a thing. Poor horse (1:30).

#3. That is definately some unnecessary shoving of heads between 2:00-2:16.

#4. The police brutality seems to always be by the white shirt cops. Apparently, you get promoted in the NYPD by being a violent dick.

#5. Whatever happened to Tony Bologna? Mr. Pepper-spray-o-matic? Still under investigation, according to the Manhattan DA.

Consumer-created media is public accountability.  Use it.

Categories: Politics or: the art of looking for trouble Tags: #ows, Occupy Wall Street, police brutality, police horses, times square, white shirt cop

It was a moderately cool and rainy Sunday afternoon and I had just gotten off the R train into Lower Manhattan.  My plans were to head to Liberty Street and I had high expectations to see disheveled, unyielding activists pitched in tents, ardently protesting America’s corporate greed and corruption.

With my hippie-dar momentarily disoriented upon exiting the underground, I decided the follow the unshaven, long-haired fellow donning an American flag trenchcoat and white Christmas lights draped across his back.

My navigational technique proved effective.  For the hirsute one led me straight into a Drum Circle:

Honestly, I was a little disappointed with Occupy Wall Street’s home base.  Despite what it looks like in the 360 pan, the crowd ends on three of those sides beyond them with a few police officers standing on the fringes looking bored.   I’ve been in much larger drum circles in upstate NY that had no cause.

I feel that Zuccotti Park’s main problem is that relative to other parks it’s pretty tiny.  But it is the closest park to Wall Street.  Also, Zuccotti Park privately owned, but available to the public and so the police are urging the real estate owners to let them stay under this legal grey area.

They also really needed a less vague series of messages:

Photo by The Gothamist

Overview of the movement here.

Categories: Autobiographical Stories, Politics or: the art of looking for trouble Tags: #occupy, #ows, 360 pan, drum circle, hippies, Liberty Square, Occupy Wall Street, occupy wallstreet, protestors