Perrierberet at Occupy Wall Street

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Archive for the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Category

Funding not an issue; OWS in hibernation

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While the difficulties of winter have taken their toll, Occupy Wall Street organizers say they are confident that an ‘American Spring’ is in the making.

Occupy events in recent days have not drawn the same volume of participants as months ago. The movement continues to remain active in the area though, including Tuesday when at least one activist was arrested at Zuccotti Park.

A recent spending freeze has curtailed many of the movement’s activities. However, recent events in Lower Manhattan underscore an increasing collaboration between ‘occupiers’ and progressive organizations that, organizers say, will keep the movement moving.

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Demonstrations, Symbolic Victory and Financial Woes Define 4 Month O.W.S. Anniversary

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In an eventful week for Occupy Wall Street, activists staged a fresh round of demonstrations, won a symbolic victory and tackled fiscal challenges facing the fledgling movement for social and economic justice.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday brought ‘occupiers’ together with civil rights and union activists in demonstrations across lower Manhattan. Events over the holiday weekend included a march Monday morning of more than a hundred activists from the African Burial Ground to the Federal Reserve Building near Wall St. Activists later assembled at Union Square in a demonstration for jobs and economic equality.

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Written by Zach E.J. Williams

January 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Occupiers’ debate about housing issue

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Housing organizers for Occupy Wall Street came under fire this week as critics alleged they had failed to maintain safety and their proper place within the movement.

The presence last week of an alleged rapist at a church where the movement is renting sleeping space highlighted safety concerns for the more than 100 people who are lodging in local churches. Many occupiers said it also indicated the fact that individuals within the ranks have assumed power over communal resources and assisted personal friends — a violation of the leaderless and egalitarian nature the movement espouses.

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Written by Zach E.J. Williams

January 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Note on the scarcity of posts since Christmas

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COMPUTER-LESS–This blog has always relied upon the mobility and ability of Perrierberet’s super-duper netbook computer. Unfortunately “Lil Trixie’ is in the shop at the moment. Posts will remain scarce until later this week when she returns via FedEx from the manufacturer.

Written by Zach E.J. Williams

January 9, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Posted in Occupy Wall Street

Without Zuccotti, ‘Occupiers’ struggle for unity

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NEW YORK CITY–Ongoing tensions within the Occupy Wall Street movement in recent days contrasted with collective actions aimed at asserting authority over public spaces in Lower Manhattan.

Hundreds of activists gathered at Zuccotti Park for a New Year’s Eve celebration that culminated in clashes with police while activists dismantled the barriers that surrounded the park. Dozens of people were arrested and the park was indefinitely closed.

But outside the public eye, occupiers are divided over how to best organize their movement while maintaining its egalitarian nature. The movement has largely existed through the activities of its numerous working groups since a Nov. 15 NYPD raid ended the nearly two month-long encampment in the park, which remains the symbolic center of the global movement for social and economic justice.

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Written by Zach E.J. Williams

January 9, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Posted in Occupy Wall Street

O.W.S. Christmas Is Salute To Diversity

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 NEW YORK CITY–Like for many families, Christmas presented an opportunity to stress unity rather than focus on division. Spending time in the presence of others and enjoying fellowship at a symbolic place on a symbolic day only seemed appropriate.

Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street activists attended a 24-hour celebration Sunday at Zuccotti Park, the symbolic center of the fledgling movement for social and economic justice that began 100 days before. Organizers said “Occupy Christmas” aimed to unify activists across the religious spectrum while also upholding the charitable ideals of a holiday often overshadowed and sometimes seemingly defined by consumerism.

“I’m not a strict Christian but I do believe that there was a guy named Jesus and he came with a message similar to what we are talking about with his flipping over the [tables] of the money-changers,” said Brendan Hunt of Queens, who attended the event before attending a family celebration.

The event featured music, religious services and an afternoon feast. Occupy activists originally intended to stage an event on a larger scale that would have required park owner Brookfield Properties to relax restrictions on permitted items.

“The vigil will not include camping, erecting structures, lying on the ground, placing tarps and sleeping bags on the property, or anything else that unreasonably interferes with others’ ability to enjoy the park,” the New York City Civil Liberties Union said in a Dec. 19 statement that urged Brookfield to accommodate the event organizers.

But the effort did not receive a response and some items such as chairs were ultimately not allowed by park security, according to Sebastian, an event organizer and U.K. native who declined to give his last name.

When members of Judson Memorial Church did not arrive to facilitate a midnight mass, activists opted to commence shortly after midnight by reading Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Christmas Sermon on Peace.” King said in the sermon, “Means and ends must cohere because end is preexistent in the means” — a message which resonated with members of the O.W.S. movement seeking to empower individuals rather than promote a specific policy agenda.

While plans originally were for an event more religious in nature, a new niche presented itself as the holiday drew close, Sebastian said.

“It became obvious to us that we were the only [Occupy] event planned for Christmas Day [so] we started to try to interact with other people and make it wider,” he noted.

Only days before, the Christian overtones of the holiday and the approximately $7000 in funding proposed for the event prompted resistance among some activists who attended a Dec. 21 spokescouncil meeting of O.W.S. organizers.

A specific budget for “Occupy Christmas” never materialized. Individual working groups contributed through their own budgets in addition to volunteering their time to ensure the event could be held at a cost of about $2000, Sebastian said.

“Even inside the movement we have differences of opinion and a certain amount of antagonisms which develop like it would in any other type of relationship,” said Richard Devoe, a professional activist who was one of many non-Christians present Sunday. “All that stuff is set aside Christmas Day.”

Some occupiers experience tensions not only within the movement but also from families who do not necessarily support their activism. An online video advised occupiers on how to tactfully discuss the movement with family members at holiday festivities. Hunt said he strengthened his resolve Sunday morning to remain committed to the movement despite setbacks.

“My family doesn’t really agree with what I’m doing here,” said Hunt. “They say, ‘It’s nice you did your little thing but you have to work on your personal stuff.’”

Hunt replied, “I have to work on both at the same time.”

This article was published in the Dec. 28 edition of the Downtown Express

Written by Zach E.J. Williams

December 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Occupy Wall Street

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Dealing With Disruption

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CHINATOWN–When efforts to implement a governing structure within Occupy Wall Street faltered Wednesday night, organizers took matters into their own hands.

A proposed measure aimed at establishing guidelines to remove disruptive elements from the movement failed to garner support from opponents who said criteria defining improper behavior must be decided first. Despite the impasse on the issue, a man who aroused the ire of fellow occupiers through his display of a cardboard sign referencing “Aryan” pride which offended fellow occupiers resulting in his ejection from the meeting of the Occupy Wall Street Spokes Council.

Film maker Michael Moore, who was present, said it was an “ironic” development considering the proposal had met such strong resistance just minutes before.

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Written by Zach E.J. Williams

December 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm

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