At this moment, some fifty hours after the post below was posted, police are rousting the Occupiers of Zuccotti Park. My visit Sunday, described below, turned out to be its next-to-last full day. Mayor Bhloomberg lost his nerve, his cool, and what happens to Occupy next can’t be foretold. But as one said when asked to comment for WNYC,. “This is not the end of Occupy!”
Zuccotti Park, Sunday, Veterans Day, was more buttoned down than a month ago when they slept under the stars. After it was clear that Occupy would not be driven out by cold nights, Mayor Bloomberg, not wanting to be blamed for cases of pneumonia and frostbite, lifted the ban on tents which now cram every foot of space. One tent offered Free Flu Shots (photo below), staffed by two genial mature doctors. Along Broadway, young people in lab coats bore signs: “Medical students for the 99%,” and “Doctors for the 99%.”
Outside of the park were hot dog stands, jewelry and tee shirt hawkers, a guy passing out flyers: “I’m looking for a husband now. I am the hottest star in China, my name is luoyufeng.” Just within it, a man sold buttons. (above) They seemed reasonable at $2.00. I didn’t see the man who wants to hang all Turkish dictators.
cans, plastic pails, tom toms, and what-all. Every passer-by paused to snap photos. A couple of winding pathways led among the tents packed into every inch of space. A food shelter, 15 by 25 feet (photo, left), open on three sides, a young woman walking out with what looked like lentil soup.
Police presence was muted. On the north side street, a dozen vehicles, including what looked like paddy wagons, on the east and south, three or four officers standing back. But on the west side, where drumming is allowed early and mid-afternoons, a dozen or so kept people moving amid a deafening banging on
To those committed to it, Zuccotti Park will be a watershed experience, like the WW1 Bonus Army, the WW2 experience, and fighting bigotry in the 1960s. I sense a battle of wills, a dare to mayors and city managers. The revulsion at thuggish Anthony Bologna, for spraying women with Mace, the outrage at Oakland Mayor, Jean Quan, whose police rioted and who is now evicting their own Occupy, may well be omens of far worse if anyone in power can’t stand the pressure and snaps. Occupy needs to run its course, whatever that course may be.