September 17, 2012 marked a year since the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement officially stepped out of the shadows and made a public (if not confused) statement. Last fall's takeover of a park in lower Manhattan (Zuccotti Park) sparked similar actions in cities around the world. By some counts, OWS had active encampments in over 100 U.S. cities.
TheBlaze was an early and regular visitor to Zuccotti Park and we followed the movement through to the November 15th clearing out of the park.
Many were predicting that OWS would mirror the unrest and actions of the 'Arab Spring' and could bring serious political unrest to America. However, the fairly well-funded movement lacked focus and seemed to start breaking up under its own weight. Crime and sanitation problems combined with the cold weather caused OWS to lose traction.
By early November, New York City had finally had enough. The police warned the "residents" in advance and on the morning of the 15th, cops and sanitation workers cleaned out Zuccotti Park. Other "Occupied" cities (Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, DC, etc.) made similar moves, closing down the camps and effectively breaking up what had become tent cities for the homeless.
A week after the clean out in NYC, SiriusXM's Gregg 'Opie" Hughes posted a video showing Zuccotti Park "Then and Now." (content warning: protesters language may offend some)
Spring brought rumblings of a resurgence for Occupy as Frances Fox Piven predicted, "This Spring, we'll see action." We didn't.
The next possible day of action was May 1st, a date typically associated with unions and the communist party. The call for a general strike was everywhere.
May 1st (May Day) came and the general strike did not happen. Kids went to school, people shopped, did their banking, and trading on the various stock exchanges was not changed a bit. The rally at Union Square in New York City did attract a crowd of around 10,000, but this event was more focused on Immigration Reform as opposed to Occupy's typical causes of wealth redistribution and the tearing down of the American banking system. Again, traction seemed to elude the occupiers.
In June of this year, Buck Sexton delivered a eulogy for OWS on an episode of "Real News From TheBlaze." Perhaps the leaders of the Occupy movement should have listened to Buck and saved the time and effort that it took to plan Monday's ill-attended anniversary.
The NYPD was in place early on Monday morning, ready to handle just about anything that the occupiers might bring.
The front entrance to the stock exchange was also ready with mounted officers stationed outside of the building.
The city was ready. The protesters could not generate enough interest to amass the numbers required to cause a serious disruption at the stock market or even the neighborhood. This video was recorded three blocks from the Stock Exchange and the small collection of protesters were actually headed away from the NYSE.
About an hour into the Wall Street trading day, it became quite obvious that the much-hyped September 17th event was not going to happen. A few blocks away in Zuccotti Park there were a couple of sign-carrying protesters, but nothing like "the good old days" of Occupy Wall Street.
The NYPD reported arresting about 200 protesters, most of those were for disorderly conduct and no "mass arrests" were made.
In the end, Occupy Wall Street did create a name for itself... Only a name, and not a good name. Much like Zima (1993's ill-conceived beer-alternative from Coors), the only success OWS really achieved was becoming a punchline.
This writer doubts there will be a 2nd Anniversary for OWS.