NYC- At the end of October, my wife and I visited New York City. Among the sites and scenes we visited, was the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan. Only a block away from the World Trade Center site and near Wall Street, it was an eclectic, fascinating, and stimulating scene. There were many different events occurring simultaneously at any given time, from speakers (many famous), protest marches, and a unique direct democracy process (which they call the “General Assembly”). Because of NYC’s ban on their use of amplification, speakers’ statements are repeated by the entire group in unison, in between each sentence with the speaker pausing to allow the repetition.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdpIthZjk0I[/youtube]
Along with financial equality, jobs, and human rights, protection of the environment was a central theme. Despite the pressure from the local authorities, the encampment has become a veritable demonstration project for sustainable living. At the same time, it has become an experimental micro-community that attempts to implement the altruistic and idealistic beliefs of it’s young core. However, its clear at Zuccotti Park that the hopeful and creative underpinnings of the movement have resonated with a large and diverse segment of the population – diverse in age as well as ethnicity. Its at once surprising to the first time visitor that this crowded epicenter of an international movement is taking place in a small park approximately 200 x 300 feet in size. This video, while focusing on the green aspects of the encampment, also attempts to capture the sights and sounds of the park. CLICK FOR VIDEO.
Top photo: Rev. Billy Talen at Occupy Wall Street, photo by Saam McBride-Adams