11.15.2011

occupy everywhere: you can destroy the tents in a park, but you can't kill an idea



As I'm sure you know, city governments and police forces around the continent have been moving against Occupy camps, along with the accompanying unnecessary and expected police violence used against peaceful citizens. This overkill and intolerance will only strengthen the movement in the long run, but meanwhile, it's a tough road to go.

I've been finding it heartening to follow the Occupy Wall Street through the People's Library blog. Recent posts:

Raid of Occupy Wall Street, including much video footage:
URGENT CALL FOR ACTION: The Occupation and the People’s Library are being destroyed right now by the NYPD. The Library and all the tents and equipment from the camp are being thrown in dumpsters.

Eviction Notice & Property Removal:
Here is a photo of the eviction notice from a photograph posted by twitter user @harrysiegel. Note that it says the property will be stored at the Department of Sanitation parking garage at 650 West 57th St. However, it was clear from the livestream and witnesses inside the park that the property was destroyed by police and DSNY workers before it was thrown in dumpsters.

Today: Post-Raid Rally and General Assembly:
New Yorkers! Meet at 9am at Canal and 6th Avenue. Spread the word...

This movement can’t be contained in one square block in lower Manhattan. It is bigger than that. You can’t evict an idea whose time had come.

Show your support. Turn out en masse. . .

I think it's time to quote Howard Zinn again:
There is a tendency to think that what we see in the present moment will continue. We forget how often we have been astonished by the sudden crumbling of institutions, by extraordinary changes in people's thoughts, by unexpected eruptions of rebellion against tyrannies, by the quick collapse of systems of power that seemed invincible.

6 comments:

Patrick N. said...

Laura (and anyone else who was actually able to visit the Occupy NYC site), what was your impression of the health & safety issues at Zuccotti Park? How were occupiers bathing, using the toilet, etc? Also, were conditions so crowded that it would have impeded a safe exit in the event of a fire, etc? I haven't really heard anything about this from someone who has visited the site outside of the media so I was curious as to what was happening.

Nevertheless, even based on the mainstream media reports it sounds like the police were rather heavy handed. A dawn raid in SWAT gear? Seriously, this was a group of unarmed people not the Branch Davidians. It is a shame that the contents of the People's Library were apparently trashed. Is there a possibility that they still took the books to the Department of Sanitation to be held instead of sending them to a landfill? Or has it been confirmed that they were disposed of? Thank you for your insight!

James said...

The latest news I heard was that the raid was deemed unlawful and that OWS can stay.

Even if that hadn't happened, OWS has been quite a success in several ways. They've done a great job of raising the visibility of income inequity in the press, for example.

laura k said...

Patrick, I'm sorry, this is a bad time for me to write lengthy answers to questions - two papers due on the same day! I don't know if anyone else in this thread has been to OWS, but I know the info is online somewhere!

James, thanks for the update and feel free to post more links if you want.

The Occupy Movement has been very successful in many ways, and it ain't over yet. I'd like to write a good post on why and how I believe this movement is successful... after my school term ends. :)

Patrick N. said...

Best of luck to you Laura! This time just over a year ago, I was in a similar position. My master's degree programme has left me slightly traumatised. I'll have to see what I can dig up online regarding OWS conditions when I get home.

James, have you found anything about whether the judge's order specifically addressed the issue of camping or staying overnight?

laura k said...

People's Library: Court Restraining Order Against NYC. YES!

laura k said...

Thank you Patrick. :)