Here’s what’s up with the Occupy Wall Street occupation:
As of October 1, more than 1000 protesters have marched everyday except Sundays. Hundreds of folks have slept at Zuccotti Park, renamed Liberty Park in Manhattan down the street from the centers of the financial center of America. They were refused access to the actual Wall Street buildings but are very close to the Federal Reserve.
Police have done what they could to discourage the people involved. They aren’t allowing tents or any amplified sounds like megaphones. Rain has not stopped them and they have a unique system of repeating in unison what someone is saying so that it can be heard by everyone. In addition, there have been a hundred or more arrests, mostly for blocking traffic or disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
There was a senior inspector with the NYPD (Anthony Balogna) that was caught on video spraying pepper spray in the faces of protestors for no apparent reason. In one instance, four women who were standing inside a police fence and obviously posed no threat and were simply holding up signs were sprayed. It was videoed from numerous video cams and cell phones. The second instance caught on tape, also of Officer Balogna shows him spraying several people as they were following his instructions. NYPD has promised an investigation.
For a while, it appeared that the corporate media was ignoring the action and it would be left to the online blogs, news organizations and twitter to pick up the slack. A few of the liberal cable stations like MSNBC shows like Rachel Maddow and new CurrentTV’s Keith Olbermann gave some needed coverage. There were a few mentions in the mainstream media but depicted it unfavorably.
The videos posted on youtube of heavy handed tactics by the police did a lot to get the media’s attention. Thank you Officer Balogna and the few abusive officers. It should be mentioned that the protestors did great in remaining non-violent, even in when faced with aggressive behavior by the police. From what I could see all the resisting that happened was by the police resisting common decency. As I said, this was only a few officers. The police have every reason to be supportive of the occupation since their pension and benefits have been under attack.
About a hundred protesters joined the postal workers during their action regarding the Congressional move to disband the postal service or at the very least to layoff many workers. It may be that privatization is the goal. The Occupy Wall Street group showed up with drums and signs of support result was that the postal worker’s activities drew more attention. They voiced their support, recognizing that the fraud committed by the bankers had a direct impact on their own interests.
Around 700 pilots marched in full uniform in the area and several unions have made statements of support of the Wall Street protestors. They are planning to join in the action in the middle of next week. Furthermore, a bunch of related occupations have started all around the country: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Tampa with dozens more in the works.
You can keep up on all the action at Occupy Wall Street or on twitter #occupywallst. The separate site coordinating the many other cities is at Occupy Together or on twitter #occupytogether or check out twitter at #occupy(your city).
It’s time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY!