Image from ABC News: Click on it for the article.
If you wanted it to be, yesterday was a pretty action-packed Saturday. Start off with the weekly WILD Wes and Long Lane Farm work days in the morning/early afternoon, catch the football or [American] football game[s] before taking the bus to 350 Connecticut’s Moving Earth Day event in New Haven. After fraternizing with Yalies and other assorted environmentally-concerned folk, take the bus back in time to catch most of the Ishmael show (guys: great posters, greater set) at Earth House, then continue on to numerous debauchery centers throughout the night. Take care to keep schoolwork as far from your mind as humanly possible.
But New Haven wasn’t the only activity off-campus playing host to Wesleyan students this weekend. Another group of Wesleyan students went down to New York to return to Zuccotti Park / Liberty Square, where Occupy Wall Street protests had been ongoing throughout the week and were looking forward to a weekend surge in numbers. What may not have been expected was the weekend surge in NYPD…”protection” of the public. Police used a tactic called “kettling” to splinter marching demonstrators with nets, arresting many who (nonviolently) attempted to evade the herding tactics. Most official outlets place the number of arrests at 80, but the National Lawyers’ Guild, who has had observers standing by since the first day of the occupation, puts their count at 100. More media (and a little about the Wes student who was arrested) after the jump…
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):