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OccupyWallStreet: The people in the park

These are pictures of OccupyWallStreet in Zuccotti Park taken on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011.  The freaky people can be found on the perimeter of the park facing outwards, which is one of the reasons I suspect some of them were hired by Fox News.  On the interior of the park, all ages and ethnicities can be found.  As you can see, the vast majority of people in the middle of the park are perfectly normal looking and acting.  It’s just that you have to pass through a phalanx of some pretty strange looking people to get to the middle.  This is a shame because, even though the passersby could see that there were a lot of typical, average people in the park, the media audience won’t know that because that’s too mundane.  What’s so fascinating about potentially meeting your neighbor at an occupation?  Let’s be voyeurs and take a picture of the scary looking guy with the tattooed face!

The park is full.  There are people sleeping it off in sleeping bags in unexpected places.  It’s hard to see how they manage to sleep with all of the activity going on around them, especially when there’s a good possibility that they could get trampled.  There’s really nowhere to sit so the plantar boxes and stairs are where people congregate to rest, if you can find a bum sized space.

This guy was brave or trying to demonstrate his arithmetic skills.  Most people stopped to talk to him  and he seemed to be having some good interactions.

This is where you can leave your ideas for the OWS think tank.  Keep in mind that the occupation is prohibited from erecting structures in the park so makeshift tables and recycling/sanitation bins made of cardboard pop up here and there.   If you have an idea and you want to develop it into a policy with other 99%-ers, you can contact the think tank at OWSthinktank@gmail.com.

It’s impossible to keep all religion out of the park.  The Hassidim are celebrating Sukkot this week and are looking for Jews in the park to perform a blessing.  I thought it was kind of nice.  It’s a “green” holiday.  Partition Function was singled out by a boy of about 11 who made him bless the four directions with the palm fronds.  Then he turned to me and asked, “Are you Jewish?”  “1/8th”, I replied.  “Mother or father?”, he said, hopeful that he might have snagged another one.  “Father”, I said.  “Nope”, he said, and moved on.  For a brief second, I was crushed.  But I got over it.

The scene below is more representative of the occupiers of Zuccotti Park.  I include day trippers such as myself.  Many people came and stayed for awhile.  There seems to be more men than women, although at the General Assembly, the genders seem more evenly split and the directing facilitator that night was female, with a big voice.  About the GA, there is a reason why they use the People’s Mic and hand signals.  There is no voice amplification allowed in the park.  To get a permit for a megaphone would cost more money than they have.  So, the people’s mic is necessary to make sure everyone can hear what the speaker says, while the hand signals cut down on clapping and other noise that tend to interrupt these kinds of meetings and drown out the speaker.  It’s very effective, you can hear the speaker pretty well and it forces you to listen closely.  I think it’s brilliant.

This picture is rather big and may be partially cutoff in your browser.  In mine, I can only see the left half of the picture.  Open it in a separate window to get a better view of the 99% in Zuccotti Park.  Note that the smoothie stand on the right makes a nice bubble tea, if you’re into black tapioca balls in your drinks.

36 Responses

  1. To see the whole photo, just click on it. Great tour, Riverdaughter! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Super pictures RD. Thanks a lot.

  3. Good piece from Matt Taibbi today. He was a horror during the ’08 election but has done good work since and I think redemption is possible.

    Why Rush Limbaugh Is Freaking Out About Occupy Wall Street

    Anyway, the hysterical responses from the Rushes of the world are just more signs that these protests are working. I never thought I’d see it, but some of the dukes and earls high up in America’s Great Tower of Bullshit are starting to blink a little bit. They seem genuinely freaked out that OWS doesn’t have leaders or a single set of demands, which in addition to being very encouraging is quite funny.

    • I read that. It’s too funny. Poor Rush, losing his market share. There was one advantage that Rush and Glenn had: they’re audiences are rabid conformists. They want to be in the popular group. There is security in numbers, knowing that everyone you know thinks like you do. You get a measure of control, power, validation. Here’s this big bunch of ditto heads who can throw their weight around. If liberals had been as successful as Rush, that audience would have changed it’s allegiance. Rush gave white men something to be mad at.
      Now, the 99% look like the new in-group. You’re automatically a member if you’re not living off of your investments. And the thing to get mad at really are worse than any feminazis. Wall Street has the power to unite ditto heads and feminists in perfect harmony.
      Their first salvo of making us all look like car pooping, radical Marxist, commie hippies didn’t work, especially when the 86 year old grannies were arrested in Boston. Then there are all of the stories about the 99% and everyone can relate. We all have the same problems. Now, Rush’s audience knows there is a bigger, more popular group out there and it won’t like being left out. There’s no power in it.
      Rush is blinking. He needs to crack this OWS thing or his days are numbered. The listeners who remain are going to look like mean, hard assed, bitter loners. They will lose their mojo and Rush will start to feel the heat.


      • I keep seeing these comments on blogs that some of the rank and file tea partiers are coming over. I don’t know if there is anything to that or not since I’ve seen nothing else about it.

        Would be good it they did cause they’re also the 99%.

        • Some of the Tea Partiers were former Clintonistas who let their anger get the better of them in 2008. I would put them in the Democratic base that the DNC chucked under the bus. They should be welcomed with open arms.

        • Last week I saw some stuff on OWS forum about making common cause with some TP members or ex-TP. The objections were that TP had been co-opted. There was one forum article by a former TP warning OWS about preventing co-option.

          Haven’t read their forum lately.

        • The top concerns of OWS members sound like the TP to me:

          30% Influence of corporate/moneyed/special interests
          21% Partisanship

          35% Influence the Democratic Party the way the Tea Party has influenced the GOP

          Details way below.

        • The Tea Party ( so baptized by a media hack) started as a protest against the bailouts. Unfortunately it was taken over/co-opted by parties, extremists. I hope OWS learns from their experience.

  4. was just over at Murphy’s place (haven’t visited in a long time, but it’s raining, so what the hay) and she’s got a post up about conspiracy theories; something that she got from a klown on the internet, but that she finds plausible. Anyway, she links to an article about an female Occupy Cleveland protestor who was allegedly sexually assaulted in her tent.

    When I read the linked article, all I could think about was how sexual assault/rape was once again being used to discredit. the article said that the woman was asked by Occupy organizers to share a tent with a man she didn’t know. I assume that would be the individual that assaulted her. So I’m thinking: why didn’t she say “hell no! if I’m going to share, it at least has to be with someone of the same sex”

    The article doesn’t state whether she was a local or she came in from out of town for the event. Either way, who goes to an event like that without knowing what the “arrangements” will be. Why didn’t she go back home or wherever she lives? And last but not least, we’re talking about a TENT, a TENT! you’re telling me that screams would not have been heard by others nearby in other TENTS? All she had to do was scream at the top of her lungs. Give me a break! The Klown on the internet lost me with the whole Julian Assange rape thing and I guess he’s still at it.

  5. ”Mother or father?”, he said, hopeful that he might have snagged another one. ”Father”, I said. ”Nope”, he said, and moved on. For a brief second, I was crushed. But I got over it.

    I sympathize. My response is usually “I have the gene on the wrong chromosome”.

    • It’s just so unfair. I miss out on my 1 day of hannukah. 😦

      • Hi RD,

        Was great to meet you at OWS and your observations pretty much match mine. Sorry about you not being able to do the blessings. I was
        surprised by being approached by the boy and was slow on the uptake. Otherwise I would have requested that you also take part
        in the blessing. When you can, see the email I sent.

        • No problemo. I didn’t even know what he was about to do. It’s just that I never felt like such a gentile before. I learned something new.
          I’ll check my email tonight. Talk to you then…

  6. GAO Finds Serious Conflicts at the Fed from Bernie Sanders

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 – A new audit of the Federal Reserve released today detailed widespread conflicts of interest involving directors of its regional banks.

    “The most powerful entity in the United States is riddled with conflicts of interest,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said after reviewing the Government Accountability Office report. The study required by a Sanders Amendment to last year’s Wall Street reform law examined Fed practices never before subjected to such independent, expert scrutiny.

    The GAO detailed instance after instance of top executives of corporations and financial institutions using their influence as Federal Reserve directors to financially benefit their firms, and, in at least one instance, themselves. “Clearly it is unacceptable for so few people to wield so much unchecked power,” Sanders said. “Not only do they run the banks, they run the institutions that regulate the banks.”

    More OWS material.

  7. Great post. Thanks for keeping the balance on this story. Some on “our side” have gone buggers with OWS hate– I think because they think it may somehow help Obama.

    • Damned if I can understand that OWS hate. Seems to be cut your nose off to spite your face silly to me. Letting hatred of any politician push you over the edge is bizarre at best. He’s just not that relevant.

      • See, you’re co-opting the Obama supporters’ vocabulary. Those of us who disagree with you don’t “hate” you. We just don’t believe that OWS is what you think it is. Many of us feel sad that you’ve been sucked in. Some of us understand why people who are vulnerable can be convinced that something is worth jumping into when at less trying times they would be running away as fast as they could. And some of us are enjoying the shitzengiggles. But we don’t “hate” you or the OWS movement. As long as it stays peaceful.

        • Oh, my, my, my, Elliesmom you are so on the wrong side of this issue it isn’t even funny.
          It’s over for you and the Tea Partiers and the Glenn Beckers and ditto heads. Enjoy the adolescent humor while you can. This is something you do not want to observe from the sidelines.

          Ozymandius is falling.

        • It’s more shit than giggles in the swamp. We don’t hate “you” either but I think you’ve let yourself be blinded to any possibilities except for the comfort zone of “ranting about Obama”. Quoting Rush and Beck are dead giveaways.

    • I’m pretty convinced that OWS is not friendly to Obama. Many occupiers have thrown in the towel with both parties. And I don’t mean in a centrist, David Broder kind of way. I mean, the facilitators have convinced me that they understand that the only way to break free of wall street and the compromised political parties is to do something *completely* different. They’re not stupid and they’re not about to be defanged just when they’re gaining momentum.
      I won’t say more because I don’t know more. It’s just a sense that the selection of the target, place and actions to this point suggest some very strategically intelligent people. They’re not about to give up their success to become the Obama campaign auxilliary.

      • I don’t believe that OWS will end up helping Obama either. But, even if it did, some things are more important than any one politician. Like fixing our economic mess and it gets worse daily.

        Massachusetts Supreme Court Blows Whistle on How the Banks Broke the Housing Market

        “The highest court in Massachusetts ruled that a homeowner who bought a foreclosure that hadn’t been properly conducted by the foreclosing bank in 2006 didn’t have legal ownership of the property.

        The decision by the Supreme Judicial Court casts a cloud over the legal ownership of any properties in Massachusetts where banks didn’t properly convey title when foreclosing. The problem has gained attention nationwide because of banks’ use of “robo-signing” and other dubious practices that may have broken chains of title on foreclosures.”

        Think about that. Banks that failed to convey title during foreclosure have clouded the title of any property for the foreseeable future, meaning that whoever buys up the foreclosed property may not be the legal owner. And extrapolating that out, all the homes across the country where the banks failed to convey title properly through securitization have clouded the titles there. That means tens of millions of homes pretty much have no legal ownership chain.

        This is the securitization fail we’ve all been dreading. The banks have broken the housing market utterly.

    • Maybe this will help answer whether OWS is gonna be helpful to Obama. Rapper Jasiri X’s interview with Hip-Hop Journalist Davey D on Hard Knock Radio about Occupy Wall Street and whether President Obama can use this movement for his reelection.

  8. Bank of America Setback: $8.5 Billion Mortgage Settlement Successfully Removed to Federal Court

    Bank of America can’t win for losing and Bank of New York may not be any better off.

  9. A poll was taken of 188 people at Zucotti Park on Oct 11 iirc. This report is from a journalist who saw the actual questions and answers (but disagrees with the WSj about their interpretation).


    [M]any of the protesters consider themselves Democrats, many will vote for Obama in 2012, and, relatively speaking, “income inequality” doesn’t actually rank too high on their list of grievances.

    What frustrates you the most about the political process in the United States? {Open Ended}

    30% Influence of corporate/moneyed/special interests
    21% Partisanship
    15% Joblessness
    7% Corruption
    6% Income inequality
    5% Everything
    3% Our democratic/capitalist system
    3% Stagnant middle class wages
    2% Entrenched bureaucracy
    2% Bush tax cuts
    2% Obama abandoned left
    2% Military spending
    2% Federal Reserve

    Also, fascinating:

    What would you like to see the Occupy Wall Street movement achieve? {Open Ended}

    35% Influence the Democratic Party the way the Tea Party has influenced the GOP
    11% Break the two-party duopoly
    9% Promote a national conversation
    9% Engage & mobilize Progressives
    8% Not sure
    7% Direct Democracy
    5% Overhaul of tax system: replace income tax with flat tax
    4% Single payer health care
    4% Radical redistribution of wealth
    4% Pull out of Afghanistan immediately
    4% Dissolution of our representative democracy/capitalist system

    [ Resorted in order of priority ]

    More details at the site.

    • I wouldn’t argue that most of the occupiers down there are disgruntled Democrats but I’ve been there twice now and did not pick up ANY signals that they were committed to voting for Obama next year.
      This looks like such a weird survey. Is it one of those WaPo type questionnaires where the answer you wanted to pick was not among the choices?
      Like, “If someone held a gun to your head and told you that you had to vote for either Rick Santorum or Barack Obama, who would you choose?” I’m betting that a third party option wasn’t proposed.
      Nope, not buying it.

      • The questions were “open ended”, and 11% of responders gave a goal of “Break the two-party duopoly”.

        The raw data is at the capitalnewyork site.

        (My 3:01 comment just got a ‘moderation’ message also. I’m going to stop posting for a while in case frequency is setting it off.)

        • Honestly, I don’t know what is setting off the moderation trigger. A couple of my own comments landed there. I’m not putting them there.
          Will fish them out momentarily …

  10. bemused leftist…

    I would like to know what percentage of people “many” are. Are they a majority who support and will vote for Obama or a large minority? Because I have to say that your last comment has them looking like a lot of obot morons to me. If income inequality is not a main issue, if corruption in politics due to big corporate money influence is their main issue and yet they still support Obama, the king of corporate whoredom, then I have to conclude they are a lot of dumbass Obama supporters with time on their hands.

    • Since that poll is of less than 200 people by Doug Schoen and it’s been widely discredited, you won’t get any answers from it.

      In my local occupy, I’ve talked to some people who voted for him in ’08 but no one who plans to do it again. But that won’t answer your question about the movement as a whole,

      • Schoen (for WSJ) asked the questions. His report of the results in the WSJ has been discredited. I’m quoting one person who discredited it, who got the raw data from Schoen and published it at the capitalnewyork.com article I quoted, showing that Schoen’s interpretation does not match the data.

        The rest of the raw data is at the capitalnewyork.com site.

        Sorry I don’t have time to go back and forth for the details, I have to go out today.

        Actually I think this data is pretty significant, being a ‘worst case’ from a ‘hostile witness’ (ie WSJ). WSJ/Schoen’s motive was to find the worst people and get them to say the worst things. But the raw results still come out pretty mainstream, or at least focusing on some big issues that we and TP also focus on.

        Note the questions were “open ended”: instead of giving a limited set of choices, the interviewer let the subject name his own concerns.

    • Maybe they think the king of corporate whoredom is Romney (or some ohter GOP).

      Iirc, 48% plan NOT to vote for Obama, and about 1/4 plan not to vote at all.

  11. my last comment is in moderation. What did I say?

    • Teresa, I entered a comment early in the day when this post first went up and it has not come out of moderation either; almost 24 hours later. So maybe its better to just read and move on

      • Sorry about that. I just released some comments from moderation. Not sure what’s triggering the moderation

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