Monday, January 2, 2012

Occupy Wall Street

On September 17, 2011 the Occupy Wall Street protest movement began in earnest in Zuccotti Park just a couple of blocks away from the New York Stock Exchange and the World Trade Center. On September 21, 2011 I wandered right through Zuccotti Park, completely unaware of the Occupy movement and the purpose behind the large group of protesters covering the entire city block.

Below are a few images that I think illustrate the experience.

From what I picked up by observation, I gather that I actually agree with some of the major points of the Occupy "agenda", whatever agenda really exists. I mean who doesn't side with those opposed to corporate corruption driven by greed. Mostly, however, it seemed like the movement was pretty much open to anyone with a beef against anything. I felt that if I were to sample any five protesters, I'd get five very different descriptions of what the movement was really about.

Most of the protesters appeared dedicated and energetic. They had covered most of the sidewalks surrounding their camp in the park with colorful and creative cardboard signs, some of which were carefully crafted, others of which were crudely scrawled in magic marker. There was a makeshift kitchen set up in the middle of the block and the "active" protesters were gathered toward the east end of the park right next to the bus stop. Old men played flutes, young men wearing joker makeup smoked hand rolled cigarettes of dubious composition, a large group of musicians played percussion on whatever they had available from snare drums, to buckets, to skate boards. More than one of the female protesters boldly wore... well, not much of anything, and friends, there are some things you just can't un-see. I learned there are also things you can't un-smell; this when I moved in close to a group of participants listening with rapt attention to an outspoken and zealous opinion leader wearing a red tie -- no showers in Zuccotti Park, I presume!

Overall, I guess I was left with an impression that the movement consisted largely of peaceful, unwashed, disorder.

My favorite sign of the day

Are you pretty enough?

Play your drum, or whatever else you have at hand


One Sign (Made Cheap!)

Where's Waldo... Don't look too closely or you might just spot someone smokin' something "medicinal". Oh, and a couple of unwashed naked people...

Some Wall Street types showed their contempt for the protesters by marching directly over the signs on display

Drawing inspiration from the Bible

The American Dream

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Tarmy said...

These were interesting. Thanks for sharing!

Jake Egbert said...

You're welcome. And thanks for commenting!