Monday, September 17, 2012

Police repression marks the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement

Today in New York City
About a hundred people has been arrested in New York as they tried to celebrate the anniversary of the greatest protest movement of the USA maybe since the times of Sacco and Vanzetti

From Kasama (first person narration):

Occupy anniversary party rocks Downtown NYC

by ISH

It was clear that Occupy movement organizers had big plans for today’s first anniversary of OWS, but it was also clear that the day’s events would be determined in large part by who showed up.

It really surprises me when Occupy is criticized for being disorganized, because everything about this weekend’s celebration and today’s direct actions felt like it had been dreamed of for months, with many possibilities painstakingly thought through. I’d been busy with my local neighborhood Occupy assembly, Occupy Sunset Park, so I hadn’t been able to tap into any of the advance organizing.

I was told that if I wanted to stay safe as a participant on Monday, the best thing to do was attend the Spokes Council Sunday evening after the big anniversary celebration concert, and find out the final plans there.

Planning: The Evening Before

I met up with another Kasama comrade and we went to the Spokes Council at Foley Square and listened as organizers laid everything out. Hundreds of people were in attendance, sitting in a big circle. Downtown Manhattan would be divided up into quadrants, and clusters would be created to take responsibility for actions in each area.

There would be a 99% zone, an Education zone, the Debt zone, and the Eco zone. Each cluster would divide up into affinity groups. Some were self-selecting groups of people with shared interests, some random collections of people.

We joined the 99% zone and ended up in an explicitly anti-capitalist affinity group made up of mostly young people from the Youth Liberation Front, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and random radical-minded individuals including a visitor from Occupy Tokyo.

We talked about having the red flag with us for the day itself — as a statement and as a rallying point.

Before the whole group an Occupy organizer, a woman named Lisa, asked for a show of hands:

“Who was here a year ago?”

A few dozen hands shot up.

“Who wasn’t?”

Hundreds more shot up.

All of a sudden it didn’t matter that there weren’t thousands of people sitting in this circle: it was clear that a real movement had been born that in the space of a single year had rocked our worlds. Something tangible had been created from nothing, and it was gathered on a beautiful late-summer night to talk about mass anti-capitalist action on the streets of New York City.

... continue reading at Kasama.

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