|Playing chess at Zucotti Park|
Note the masked 99% guy in the background.
I guess it was just a matter of time. When both Jeffrey Sachs and Joseph Stiglitz take time off from their busy agendas to use the "human microphone" its a clear signal that you need to pay attention to what's happening outside the library. I made some time to take the 2 train to Fulton street and then walk to Zucotti Park. So what is this place? Well it's the closest park in New York City to what is known as Wall Street. It has been receiving a lot of attention in the past few days because of a non-unique movement that is occurring in quite some locations around the globe. Under the motto: "We are the 99%" quite a number of individuals are "occupying" the park to make their voices heard.
|The entrance to the OWS library.|
I decided to push the pause button on my recurrent visits to Lehman in preparation of midterms to obtain a personal view of this movement and hopefully develop a personal opinion on what is happening here. So I grabbed my camera and a small notebook and after getting off the subway walked down liberty street to this, now globally renowned, park. My first impressions where of a quite organized open-street market. As I immersed myself into this micro-ecosystem I first came across the Wat-San working group (WatSan is short for Water and Sanitation in the international development jargon). This working group was created after the realization the so many people occupying a location without the proper infrastructure would sooner or later begin to produce to much waste. The working group is regularly cleansing the park. After this interesting encounter I came across a demonstration of electricity production with the use of a bicycle. The front wheel of the bicycle was connected to a power generator and with the help of volunteers a luminescent reflector was being lit. They say never judge a book by its cover but from a first glimpse this was clearly not just a mob dirtying the immaculate city of New York. Diving into the diverse mix of people with innumerable standards stating their more or less clear cause of presence I arrived to the sleeping quarters. I found a young couple lying on an air mattress surfing the internet, and to my great satisfaction a pair of youngsters playing a quite interesting chess match. A sign: "Informacion en Español" drew me to a men probably in his fifties that was only able to explain to me that: "Yo apenas llegue ayer, solo se que somos el 99% y que la asamblea general es alla enfrente en 15 minutos". I kept wandering for 15 more minutes around, observed quite a diverse mix of people, eating or playing cards with signs that read: "Protect Endangered Species", "Veterans" and "Revolution in Progress. Please cooperate", before arriving to the meditation session in the southwestern corner of the park, here a group of people are sitting, trying to meditate in the midst of the curious band of first timers in the park. At 7:15PM, I sat within the the first eco of the human microphone of the general assembly.
|Live transcripts of the general assembly statements - much more effective than the Human Microphone.|
|15O in Times Square.|
|More than just inequality the movement appears to include other causes.|
|Chanting: "This is a peaceful demonstration"|
|Peaceful sweeping of the street by the police.|
|Remember that the key is non-violence.|