Occupy Wall Street // Protest March, Oct 5th

I went down to  Zuccotti Park on Monday to visit the occupiers.  I was chilly and festive; good-spirited and hopeful… and it was the only place I’ve ever gotten any comments on my ‘abolish alienation’ sweatshirt.  Today there is a march / rally at 3pm.  On Saturday approximately 700 people were detained when the movement attempted to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.  Being somewhat insulated a few miles away in Brooklyn, I didn’t hear about the mass arrest until the following morning from my friend Adham Bakry (in Cairo) saying that it reminded him of January 25th.  Gan Golan just sent me this cool site to adopt an occupation called Occupy Together.  And, here’s an article that Karen Malpede wrote with a look back at history and how the mass action is infused with theatre.

Personally, I support the occupation.  I’ve been looking for a job in New York for over a year with no luck (or just enough luck to scrape by).  Over the weekend, I applied for a job in Brazil.  The perspective and concern expressed in this article, Unemployed seek protection against job bias is a valid one that many of us can relate to.

Todd (us)

P.S. Here’s a reprint of the Not An Alternative newsletter about selective border control and today’s activities:

Hi friends,
We regret to inform you that this Wednesday’s Yes Lab event, organized by Not An Alternative, with UK climate campaign campaigners John Stewart and Dan Glass has been postponed.
A few days ago, Stewart landed in JFK Airport for a month-long US speaking tour, only to be escorted off the plane by 6 police officers, interrogated for six hrs by the FBI, Secret Service, NY police, and Immigration, and put on a plane back to the UK. The other tour member, environmental activist Dan Glass, was also supposed to come but was stopped by the CIA on the UK side.
These guys are celebrated environmentalists, recognized by The Independent and the Guardian as the “most effective and innovative green activists in the UK”. They won support from direct action activists and even the Conservatives in Parliament, waging a successful campaign to reduce carbon emissions and stop the expansion of Heathrow airport. For some reason, however, our own government isn’t keen on them coming here.
We’re going to bring them to you anyway. Please save the date: on Thursday, November 3rd we’ll host a special Skype session with these revered (and reviled?) climate revolutionaries. The best part…no transcontinental air emissions involved!
Thursday, November 3, 7pm
Department of Performance Studies
721 Broadway, 6th Floor
NY, NY 10003
(photo ID required)

And now that your Wednesday is freed up, consider joining us at #OccupyWallStreet! Wednesday is the biggest action yet, with labor unions and dozens of economic justice and community organizations taking part in a massive march to the Liberty Plaza encampment. Starts at 4:30pm at City Hall, 250 Broadway Ave.
Not An Alternative is coordinating a creative intervention there, an installation and action at the intersection of architecture and activism. That’s all we can say about it, so come join us to get the full skinny!
Not An Alternative
  1. Yesterday I went down to Liberty Plaza to feel the energy / buzz in the air after the rally. It was nice: there were music circles, food lines, young folks being interviewed by French TV, etc. There are lots of media outlets present down there from foreign to independent (or both) and for the casual stroller [namely, me] one can pass by several people either answering questions into the camera or simply in conversation with other occupiers. This is why Occupy Wall Street is important … other than church (where deep politics are taboo) where do hundreds of Americans come together to discuss and show with their presence (by sacrifice of not being anywhere else – work, leisure, etc) how important and serious they take the state of our nation? Occupy Wall Street is many things; I think one of its most developed characteristic is that of civic forum.

    A funny aside: I was at an opening reception at MoMA where I saw a friend, Naeem. Naeem asked me if I’d been at the rally from which he’d just come. It was that trigger that made me leave the reception to go where I felt I should have been (even for a short time). I think it will long be a thought pursuit for me to figure out the relation between problematic cultural institutions and civic activism. I am somehow entwined (as are others) with both, and will – thus – need to justify it somehow.

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