Occupy Wall Street: More Stuff :DDDDDDD

If you’re one of the many people who’s asked someone in the last week what Occupy Wall Street is all about, or someone in the last 12 hours what the tents on Foss are all about, and not received a satisfactory answer, hopefully this post will help. Below is a piece put together by Daniel Plafker and Coady Johnson, both ’15, that sums up both the motives behind the movement and Wesleyan’s involvement in a few paragraphs. Click through the jump for more words from them, myself, and a call to come to the info sessions at the Foss Hill tents, today and tomorrow at 5 PM:

Occupy Wall St: A Briefing

Our own Tahrir Square moment is  happening right now in the newly renamed “Liberty Plaza” in the  Financial district in NYC.

Wesleyan Students: This is a call to action!
This past weekend, a group of more than twenty Wesleyan students heeded the call and descended on Wall Street to join more than two thousand protesters in an effort to occupy New York’s financial district. Our goal was to send a message to the world that the people would no longer tolerate a system in which the interests of corporate profits outweigh the needs and well-being of the masses.

What we helped to build when we arrived was an amazing and beautiful community, built on the long-term occupation of Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park (now renamed Liberty Plaza), modelled after the revolutionary occupations of Tahrir Square in Cairo and Puerta del Sol in Madrid earlier this year.

The community that has emerged is one of overwhelming love, respect and mutual cooperation, guided by a consensus-based decision making process and direct democratic assemblies through which we formulate demands and solutions. Good vibes abound, with drum circles and yoga sessions mingling with passionate marches and intense debate. Catch a glimpse of the magical atmosphere that is Liberty Plaza here  (be sure to check out WesCelebs @ 2:39):

The Wesleyan contingent met with students from other colleges and high schools, both in the city and in the region, to create a network to help keep the occupation alive through sending more individuals to help hold the square and by providing much needed material support like food, bedding, and vital media supplies.

This electrifying movement is a true opportunity for us as students to affect revolutionary social change in our lifetimes. However, facing serious police repression and harassment, the movement risks coming to an early end unless the numbers in the square can be maintained.

To find out how you can join this exciting action, we implore you to come to our info sessions at Foss Hill on Wed. and Thurs. at 5 PM. The students who took part in the action plan to return again this weekend, in even bigger numbers.  Even if you cannot make it to NY this weekend, please come anyway to find out other ways that you can help.

Join us and make this change a reality!

Follow the movement online!
Twitter and News: http://www.twazzup.com/?q=occupy+wall+street&l=all
Official websties: occupywallst.org, nycga.org

While (to the best of my knowledge) coverage of the protests on mainstream print and television media has been cursory at best, the internet has produced fairly extensive coverage both professional and informal. A lot of coverage from the established press has been through newsblogs like the New York Times’ City Room and The Guardian’s Comment is free, but the International Business Times has also been keeping tabs, along with Democracy Now! and Al Jazeera.

Perhaps you’re interested in exactly what “police repression and harassment” has been going on in response to the protests. While (in terms of arrests, at least) the police presence was generally not invasive over the weekend, since the work week started, numerous arrests have been made in a pattern that aligns with typical law enforcement tactics for demoralizing and discouraging protesters, sometimes violently.

Whether or not you’re interested in going to New York this weekend, this is a cause with a solid ideological and informational base that could use all kinds of support. Direct action in Manhattan’s Liberty Square would likely be appreciated most, but you can also donate to the media outreach and food teams, participate in solidarity actions on campus (LIVE IN OUR TENT CITY! WE HAVE LOTS OF FUN!), or if you doubt the rationale behind the protest, do some research yourself and see if you come to the same conclusions some of us have. Let me emphasize that behind this movement is a fair range of socioeconomic and political diversity – students, professors, investment bankers (!), career activists, veterans, Socialists (ooh, a naughty word!) and beyond are all among the demonstrators in the financial district. When we say “We are the 99%”, we mean it. Again, if you’re curious, feel free to use Wesleying’s coverage, the media, and your peers at the Foss Hill 24/7 Tent Party (w00t)  as resources. Peace, y’all.

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8 thoughts on “Occupy Wall Street: More Stuff :DDDDDDD

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  4. H5N1

    Citing AlterNet as an objective source to back you up? Bad, bad form.

    As for your statement that “numerous arrests have been made in a pattern that aligns with typical law enforcement tactics for demoralizing and discouraging protesters,” where is your evidence? If their actions are illegal, why aren’t there some peacenik Columbia law students (or sad lawyer mommies and daddies) initiating lawsuits?

    1. Peace

       Oh don’t worry, they are!  Over five law firms in NYC are on board to defend the illegal arrests in Liberty Plaza.   But it’s ok H5N1, you can keep pretending you know all about this ;)

    2. Anonymous

      I originally read the AlterNet article on Amped Status and chose the AlterNet version for silly reasons. Regardless, almost all of the statements that could possibly contentious are hyperlinked, so I think your objection would carry a little more weight if you discredited the article by discrediting most or all of the information from the sources it cites than by making an unsupported statement about the credibility of the site. Though I imagine you’d have similar complaints for Amped Status.

      As for your statement that is “As for [my] statement”, many of us who went to Wall Street attended a legal briefing ran by a student who had significant experience with protests and even arrests. He described several of the charges police officers levy against demonstrators and when they are enforced or not enforced. I would prefer to describe to you why the arrests are bullshit in person, but I’ll try to quickly summarize things here:

      * If you watched the video I linked when I was talking about police action, you see how the police treated the main two demonstrators recorded. Hopefully, you’re not going to attempt to say that their actions don’t qualify as (police) brutal(ity). The reason for these arrests: the protesters set up tarps to cover electronic equipment and were told to remove the tarps immediately. While they met to decide how to respond to the order, the police moved in and arrested some of the people holding down the tarps.

      * On Saturday, two guys spoke to the General Assembly claiming that they were arrested for wearing masks (in New York City, it’s illegal for two or more people to wear masks at a gathering. Justice!), and released within a couple hours as 1) they did not identify the leader of the protests, since there was none, and 2) they were wearing handkerchiefs around their neck.

      * If you follow the NYT City Room link, you’ll see a bl0w-by-blow description (with pictures!) of an arrest where a protester is ordered to keep moving, states that he is having difficulty moving through the crowd, and then a police officer grabs him and drags him across the barrier. Also, according to the link police “arrested a woman wearing a plastic mask on the back of her head.” Really, you should just read the article. It’s a great document.

      * Don’t know why I didn’t put this up first: As things began this weekend, Wall Street and several surrounding blocks were blockaded, with police requiring residents or workers to show identification to be allowed into the area. I understand that this policy is being continued (with lessened strictness) as the week goes on. I can’t find any official statement about why that is being done; mind letting me know where one is?

      This isn’t too well put together, but Espwesso calls, so you’ll have to work with this for now.

      EDIT: Forgot to directly reply to “If their actions are illegal, why aren’t there some peacenik Columbia law students (or sad lawyer mommies and daddies) initiating lawsuits?”. You’re asking the wrong question. The best way to determine if their actions are illegal is by examining the law, not if there is a backlash by a group you would stereotypically expect backlash from. This question is also separate from “Are their actions _morally justifiable_?”.

      1. H5N1

        Re:AlterNet, I think that a site with articles such as “How Conservatives and Big Oil are Using a Phony Scandal to Undermine Obama, Clean Energy, and Government Itself” and “How the Modern GOP Is Like a Death Cult” can’t be regarded as a fair and unbiased source of information.

        But I see your point; let’s look at a macro example from that family of leftist news sites. How many anti-war articles, comments on Gitmo, etc. did they have up during the Bush presidency? Hows about comparin’ that to now, when Democrat Obama has reneged on his complete pull-out promises (and, in fact, is only doing so in Iraq to the tune of the drawdown plan agreed upon during the Bush era), and continues to utilize prisons such as Guantanamo despite explicit promises *at the start of his presidency* to have them shut down. Do AlterNet, Amped Status, and others have coverage of that? No. Do their users burn Obama in effigy the same way they did Bush? No.

        That is why I find liberal news sites to be just as bad as, say, Fox. The slant exists, and it ruins the macro-level trustworthiness and credibility of the stories, at least in my eyes.

        Anyway, I’ll try to come back and touch on the police issues tomorrow or something, but I’ve got to sleep for now.

        1. Anonymous

          Fuckin’ A – I typed up a huge response to this, but apparently it never actually was submitted. Feel free to continue in the post that will be up shortly, if you like.

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