I will admit to being a tad obsessed with "Occupy Wall Street." However, my obsession is not a dangerous one (as Scott Baker may have said repeatedly!) This is pure, intellectual and comedic curiousity. (I'm also keeping an eye on a group of people inside OWS that I believe have a desire and dream to completely tear down our country... but that is another story.)
Last night I returned to lower Manhattan around 8pm and spent an hour wandering among the Zucotti Zombies. The place changes after dark. On the steps into the eastern side of the park, many were gathered and taking part in what I will call the "Zucotti Nightly News." Protesters take turns standing in the middle of the group and making their announcements in short bites that are repeated by the crowd. It is quite something to witness.
I was also stunned to see that the "ZNN" was also being projected on a large white sheet mounted on metal poles. The protesters now have a computer system, a projector and a person (or persons) transcribing what is said on the steps and projecting them. This town is getting stingier with public access to electricity, but somehow anyone in Zucotti Park that needs/wants AC power can get it.
Here's a small snippet of the "ZNN" sheet-cast from last night. The speaker was giving details and hours of operation for the "Empathy Table" and conflict resolution training.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/secOdnXEF9o?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0 expand=1]
Yeah... sure... this is an organic and spontaneous happening.
I did notice more of the capitalist spirit starting to take hold in and around the park. There was a woman selling various buttons in support of the movement as well as Al Sharpton's National Action Network. The buttons seemed a bit expensive at $5 each, and I witnessed a complete lack of customers or interest in these product... but then again - the NEWS was on.
One gentleman managed to shake loose a few shekels from me and others with this clever campaign.
I congratulated the young man for his creativity... took a photo and made a donation (as did my brother). Perhaps he will learn to rely on his creative brain and will be rewarded by the capitalism so many of his co-horts would destroy.
For the record, Zucotti Park did seem less cluttered and tidier than it was during previous visits, perhaps this was a result of last week's threat by the city to clear the park for a cleaning.