In his The New Yorker article titled Pre-Occupied, Mattathias Schwartz looks at how Occupy Wall Street started and where the movement is headed.
The politics of the occupation run parallel to the mainstream left -- the people's mike was used to shout down Michele Bachmann and Governor Scott Walker, of Wisconsin, in early November. But, in the end, the point of Occupy Wall Street is not its platform so much as its form: people sit down and hash things out instead of passing their complaints on to Washington. "We are our demands," as the slogan goes. And horizontalism seems made for this moment. It relies on people forming loose connections quickly -- something that modern technology excels at.
Events in New York seemed to bear out Lasn's hunch that the temporary eviction of the protesters from Zuccotti Park was an opportunity rather than a defeat. The organizers were quickly able to regroup and agree that they should return to the park, despite the newly enforced ban on tents. Last Thursday, the movement mounted one of its largest protests to date. Demonstrators tried to shut down the New York Stock Exchange (they failed), organized a sit-in at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, and tussled with police in Zuccotti Park. More than two hundred people were arrested. Similar Day of Action protests temporarily blocked bridges in Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, Portland, and Philadelphia.
The above video featuring the raid on Zuccotti Park to the music of Frank Sinatra was created by Casey Neistat. He points out:
My office isn't far from Zuccotti Park and when I heard it was being cleared I went down with my camera. I ended up filming for 18 hours until the Park was reopened at 6pm on November 15, 2011. The police presence was overwhelming, more than I've ever seen - more than during the blackout, more than the days after September 11th.
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