Just as professional sports teams hold pre-season training sessions to make sure their players are game-ready, the Occupy Wall Street folks are also holding spring training sessions to prepare their rookies for the movement's "opening day" on May 1st: the "May Day" protest.
The OWS Spring Training camps have been in session for a few weeks now. These classes are held in a couple of locations in lower Manhattan and consist of trained leaders teaching the inexperienced Occupier the basics of the OWS movement. The Zuccotti Park location teaches how to communicate using the "mic check" technique and also educates the faithful in what these folks call "civil disobedience."
This first of these clips (shot for The Atlantic) shows a curious group hug that is triggered by a leader shouting "Love is the answer":
Yes, those people are hopping to the circle where they execute the group hug. (And nowhere is the strange hopping explained.)
In this next clip, the facilitator is instructing the protesters on a technique used to avoid arrest called "Civilian." When the word "civilian" is heard, the group is supposed to break apart and start acting like civilians: (According to the teacher, civilians would just walk away, make a cell phone call or "check your Facebook.")
Another lesson teaches people the more difficult routine of hopping forward, assembling in a group, locking arms, charging ahead and then falling to the ground: (We presume they are falling and awaiting arrest.)
Sidebar: The leader in this video is an OWS veteran named Nicole Carty. Ms. Carty has a unique story. She happens to be a twin, an identical twin. However, her mirror image and sister Jill is probably someone that Nicole would be protesting. Jill Carty, a University of Pennsylvania grad who studied and earned two degrees, works in the financial world. Last October, the sisters were profiled by ABC News:
And just like the professional sports world, OWS has even scheduled weekly "pre-season" games before the big May Day action. As seen on the group's website, this coming Friday the 13th will the Occupiers have plans for a special march on Bank of America.
Did you notice that they have their own hashtag (#springtraining)?
What's the plan for this event?
This week we are teaming up with the campaign to Break up Bank of America! Come out to the "Run on Bank of America" as we run, march, and call on everyone to move their money out of this monstrous bank. Bank of America is a giant, raging hurricane of theft and fraud, spinning through America and leaving a massive trail of destitute retirees and foreclosed-upon families in its wake. So we are moving our money out of this criminal institution.
This Friday's scheduled march is meant to inspire people to move their money out of Bank of America (BOFA). Which begs the question, How many of the Occupiers actually have bank accounts? And how many of those accounts are at BOFA?
We'll be monitoring the scheduled weekly marches, so expect our own "inside baseball" coverage later this week.
H/T - Videos of OWS training from Julie Dermansky - © 2012