Saturday, October 15, 2011

Snapshots from An Occupation

I had the privilege of going with my students to experience the "Occupy Wall Street" protest at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan yesterday. Although there certainly were the odd assortment of weirdos and exhibitionists that surface at every public gathering in New York, I was highly impressed by how disciplined most of these people were and also how thoughtful they were about precisely why they were protesting. It was nothing at all like the circus of misguided freaks that the media likes to present.

Although the battery of my camera died within a short while of arriving at the park, I managed to get enough footage to put together this video. I think it gives a fairly nice snapshot of the atmosphere in the park.

I also was able to shoot some video of activist Tom Trottier putting the protests into context for the students. Tom has been fighting against THE MAN for the past three decades. His radicalism began during the Regan years, when you had to be super-committed to speak out against corporate capitalism, and his dedication to the cause of social justice has not wavered one iota since then.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, I don't think the "workers" will unite in numbers great enough for change to take effect. True, There is a concentration at Wall street with these concerns, but I can't help feel that a deeper malaise and apathy nationwide will disrupt any momentum started by the protests. In the end, nothing will change. The energy or enthusiasm is not great enough to illicit an overhaul of the system. It just will not happen at this stage, although by all rights, it's long overdue! I believe that it's more likely that at some point, the system will just collapse leading to civil unrest and chaos, before a "civilized" solution such as protest will work. Hopefully, I'm wrong. But unlike the sixties, galvanizing massive forces seems unlikely to shake up the rich and powerful forces locked into place. It's like placing pebbles against a boulder on a see-saw.