Tag Archives: Zuccotti Park

What happened to the Occupy movement? (Aljazeera)

Although media coverage has dwindled, Occupy cells are alive and well all over the United States – and beyond.

Police cleared New York’s Zuccotti Park, and the movement has reportedly struggled to find more organising space [Getty Images]

Occupy Wall Street was at the pinnacle of its power in October 2011, when thousands of people converged at Zuccotti Park and successfully foiled the plans of billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg to sweep away the occupation on grounds of public health. From that vantage point, the Occupy movement appears to have tumbled off a cliff, having failed to organise anything like a general strike on May Day– despite months of rumblings of mass walkouts, blockades and shutdowns.

The mainstream media are eager to administer last rites. CNN declared “May Day fizzled”, the New York Postsneered “Goodbye, Occupy” and the New York Times consigned the day’s events to fewer than 400 words, mainly about arrests in New York City.

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The Wonderful, Unpredictable Life of the Occupy Movement (Truthout)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

By Arun Gupta, Truthout | Report

Occupy Wall Street demonstration on March 15, 2012. (Photo: Sunset Parkerpix)

I met Nomi on a bus in Baltimore. She was from Wisconsin and had been involved with Occupy Wall Street. She was part of Occupy Judaism and fondly recalled the Yom Kippur services she attended at the Wall Street occupation with hundreds of other people. Nomi said that, for the first time, she and her friends felt like they could combine the religious and radical dimensions of Judaism. The conversation fell silent as the bus rolled along. Suddenly she turned to me and excitedly announced that she met her girlfriend at Liberty Plaza. I smiled and responded, “That’s why Occupy Wall Street matters.”

By enabling people to find fulfillment in all parts of their lives, whether romantic, spiritual, political or cultural, the Occupy movement is more than a movement. It is life-changing. People experience themselves as complete social beings, not just as angry, alienated protesters. Nomi said she was no longer involved in the movement, which I thought was more evidence of why the actual occupations were so important.

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Arun Gupta comments for The Atlantic on Occupying the ‘Wall Street Journal’

Occupying the ‘Wall Street Journal

By Susie Cagle

The protest movement is appropriating the names and logos of corporate-owned publications. Is it copyright infringement or satire?

Courtesy of Scott Johnson

excerpts:

“I think it is great how it became a meme so quickly,” says Arun Gupta, one of the founders of The Occupied Wall Street Journal. “Like many other aspects of Occupy Wall Street, this idea just spread rapidly across the country.” The Occupied Wall Street Journal, a project originally put together by Gupta and a collective of other Occupy Wall Street activists, raised more than $75,000 in a Kickstarter campaign.

“It’s direct action — another form of occupying,” says Gupta of the newspapers — physical protest objects, and historic artifacts. “They make the movement real in a way digital media never can.”

To Gupta’s knowledge, The Occupied Wall Street Journal hasn’t received any complaint — or praise — from the original Wall Street Journal. “In fact, all the media reports would actually say the WSJ declined to comment,” says Gupta.

[snip]

“This is why I say it’s political,” says Gupta. “Occupy Wall Street had such a huge kind of ideological and political presence that to go after them this way actually validates everything the movement is talking about: that the 1% is trying to use their power and wealth against the 99%.”

“Because they’re on such weak legal ground, to bring suit would come across as a case of bullying. They have nothing to gain from it,” says Gupta. “I think, though, when you get into other cities, people freak out when they’re being approached by lawyers with intimations of legal action.”

[snip]

The full article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/02/occupying-the-wall-street-journal/252601/

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Life after occupation (Salon)

From Mobile, Ala., to Chicago, lessons in the importance of holding territory

Occupy Chicago has not held any public space since mass arrests on Oct. 23. (Credit: AP/Paul Beaty)

The post-occupation movement is taking shape across America. In New York, Occupy Wall Street is mulling next steps now that Zuccotti Park has been politically cleansed. Oakland, Calif., and Portland, Ore., have been evicted. And other  occupations are staring at imminent police action, including New Orleans, Detroit and Philadelphia.

In Chicago, which has been unable to secure a public space, the Occupy movement is trying to figure out how to sustain a public presence through a harsh winter while staging creative actions that capture attention. And while Occupy Mobile in the conservative stronghold of Alabama was shut down two weeks ago without much attention from the national news media, the local movement has not gone quietly into the night, providing one answer to the question: Can an occupation movement survive if it no longer occupies a space?

The answer, based on my visits to occupation sites around the country, is:  “Yes, but …”

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The 1 percent celebrate. For now. (Salon)

They overran Zuccotti Park, but stopping a movement gone viral won’t be so easy

A pedestrian takes a picture of an empty and closed Zuccotti Park in New York, Nov. 15, 2011. (Credit: AP/Seth Wenig)

Right now in executive suites, political chambers and police command centers the 1 percent are cheering. They are slapping backs, grinning from ear to ear and bursting with delight. Messages of “congratulations” and “job well done” from the wealthy are surely flooding the offices of their political pets and police enforcers.

Why shouldn’t they celebrate? For 30 years they have ruled as masters of the universe, while we toil as their serfs. As long as politicians comforted the owning class with bailouts and tax cuts, and the corporate media cheered rising stock prices and record corporate profits, the 1 percent knew their house was in order.

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Occupy Wall Street Movement Employs New Tactics to Confront Increased Police Violence (Between The Lines)

Interview with Arun Gupta, a founding editor of New York City’s Indypendent newspaper, conducted by Scott Harris for the nationally syndicated radio show “Between the Lines.”

Full-length Counterpoint interview (20:14):

RealAudio   MP3

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The Occupied Wall Street Journal: A Protest’s Ink-Stained Fingers (N.Y. Times)

Published on Monday, October 10, 2011 by The New York Times

by David Carr

At the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Zuccotti Park, you’ll find all of the essentials of a state-of-the-art protest: drum circles, cheeky and plaintive handwritten signs, and, next to a thrumming generator, a hub of social media activity, including live streaming of the proceedings.The Occupied Wall Street Journal,”a four-page, full-color broadsheet newspaper, has gained surprising traction as a tool of protest at the Occupy Wall Street rallies in Manhattan.

But amid the accouterments of modern political action, you will also find, of all things, a broadsheet newspaper, The Occupied Wall Street Journal. It is not some tatty, hand-drawn piece of protest samizdat, but a professionally produced, four-color, four-page document of the demonstration, which began on Sept. 17.

“Get your newspaper, get your free Occupied Wall Street Journal!” shouted one barker. Getting something in the hands of your average New Yorker is a pretty tough sell, but The Occupied Wall Street Journal was eagerly received, even by the people who just came to gawk, in part because it answered the question of what all the hubbub was about.

Forgive an old newspaper hack a moment of sentimentality, but it is somehow reassuring that a newspaper still has traction in an environment preoccupied by social media. It makes sense when you think about it: newspapers convey a sense of place, of actually being there, that digital media can’t. When is the last time somebody handed you a Web site?

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