Occupy Wall Street, Part 2

Features on the reawakened movement by Naomi Klein, Barbara Ehrenreich, and others.
4 stories

"Demonstrators took to the streets in May Day protests across the U.S., sending a singing 'Guitarmy' to Manhattan's Union Square, smashing windows in Seattle and seizing a vacant building in San Francisco," Bloomberg News reports. "Organizers said the events marked a springtime resurgence of Occupy Wall Street, and they punctuated their message with trombones, hand-held drums, a San Francisco kayak flotilla and a crowd a half-mile long moving down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue."

In other words, Occupy Wall Street and its offshoots in cities across America are back—though whether they stick around remains to be seen.

What happened before their hiatus?

Naomi Klein lauded the protesters in a speech that she expanded into an essay. "If there is one thing I know, it is that the 1 percent loves a crisis," she wrote. "When people are panicked and desperate and no one seems to know what to do, that is the ideal time to push through their wish list of pro-corporate policies: privatizing education and social security, slashing public services, getting rid of the last constraints on corporate power. Amidst the economic crisis, this is happening the world over. And there is only one thing that can block this tactic, and fortunately, it’s a very big thing: the 99 percent. And that 99 percent is taking to the streets from Madison to Madrid to say 'No. We will not pay for your crisis.'"

Barbara Ehrenreich explained how homelessness got onto the radar of a movement that started out in opposition to big Wall Street banks. "What the Occupy Wall Streeters are beginning to discover, and homeless people have known all along," she wrote, "is that most ordinary activities are illegal when performed in American streets."

Christopher Watt wondered if the protesters would turn violent. "American history is full of revolutionary violence," he noted. "Will the Occupy movement follow John Brown’s example?"

And Drake Bennett profiled one of the movement's, well, it's hard to settle on a title for David Graeber. "It would be wrong to call Graeber a leader of the protesters, since their insistently non-hierarchical philosophy makes such a concept heretical. Nor is he a spokesman, since they have refused thus far to outline specific demands," Bennett reported. "Even in Zuccotti Park, his name isn’t widely known. But he has been one of the group’s most articulate voices, able to frame the movement’s welter of hopes and grievances within a deeper critique of the historical moment."

From the Web

Should Occupy Wall Street Take up Arms?

American history is full of revolutionary violence. Will the Occupy movement follow John Brown’s example?

Oct 2011

Why Homelessness Is Becoming an Occupy Wall Street Issue

What the Occupy Wall Streeters are beginning to discover, and homeless people have known all along, is that most ordinary activities are illegal when performed in American streets.

Oct 2011
From the Web

David Graeber, the Anti-Leader of Occupy Wall Street

Meet the anthropologist, activist, and anarchist who helped transform a hapless rally into a global protest movement.

Occupy Wall Street: The Most Important Thing in the World Now

The author of The Shock Doctrine addresses the protestors.

Oct 2011