An occupier participates in a little-known action in Zuccotti Park in the wee hours of the morning, drawing the blueprints of the #OWS encampment in chalk:
"From this angle all I can see are his boots, more particularly the black military boot, buckled in silver that is blocking my ability to finish my chalk drawing. It is three in the morning and I am about to be arrested. I am using chalk to draw out the blueprints of where the tents had been prior to the dismantling of the Occupy Wall Street encampment by the NYPD in Zuccotti Park."
An occupier from Chicago reminisces on her first year in the movement as Occupy Chicago celebrates its anniversary:
"I now recognize our occupation, our movement to occupy every form of oppression everywhere, to be the only possible tide to rise against the financial-governmental machine of privatization, profitization, racialization and devastation of our homes, lives, bodies and thoughts. The one percent demands that we believe in their systems and institutions even as they crack and fall all around them, but the time has come for human beings to evolve. I will continue to use my skills as a writer, performer, and organizer to fuel the worldwide revolution for a sustainable culture until I wake up every last sleepy consumer. I occupy my art and other’s minds as best I can — I see no other way to be!"
"Lady, we don’t even have charges for that"
is what Nicole’s arresting officer told her as she was transported to One Police Plaza following an arrest for hula-hooping in an intersection early in the morning of #S17. She recounts her experience in jail:
"We shared stories, everyone having a good laugh … We stood shoulder to shoulder forming our own ‘Pee-poles Wall’ singing ‘Solidari-pee Forever’ whenever a sister had to use the facilities. It’s amusing to me that after all this time the NYPD still thinks arrest will drive us away from the movement. Some of the strongest bonds I have made since coming to Occupy have been forged in a jail cell."
Hope for my son’s future
S17 is a celebration, a reunion, and an affirmation that there will be a day when my son will have his future in his hands rather than it being in the hands of the highest bidders. S17 is the anniversary of the day when people decided that they would stand up for humanity and let their voices be heard as they spoke from their hearts. S17 is the day my life changed forever. It is when I decided to believe in people again—a day when community and love weren’t shunned but rather celebrated and practiced in abundance. Love to all my family that I have gained since that day. It’s with these people that we will build the communities that will outlive the regime that suppresses the masses. Love peace hugs and Revolution!
"Yesterday, I was free."
An occupier reflects on his arrest on #S17:
It was wonderful. Each time I heard a new story of the actions taking place on the street after I was picked up I felt like I was missing something; but I also knew the community we formed in our cells was one of the most incredible things that would happen all day; one of the most liberating things I would ever feel.
What’s Wrong With This Picture? The story of my #S17 arrest
Photographer Julia Reinhart was arrested at #S17 protests, putting the Twitterverse in a tizzy and even being covered at the Gothamist.
She gives us her full account at Occupied Stories:
I took one more shot of the cops standing at the corner, when the white shirt officer in charge of the scene pointed at me and said: “That’s it. She’s done. Take her,” and he promptly grabbed my hand. I shouted out that I’m an independent photographer, and showed him my credentials from the National Press Photographers’ Association. The officer looked at my badge and said “they’re not ours, so I’m not interested.”
Dead Language & Old Stories
To me #S17 meant that we were all waking up from being sung lullabies in a dead language…
It also told me that each generation that wakes up only wakes up a little…and they stumble around making the same predictable blunders as those that came before.
While occupy has made a big noise - my hope going forward is that they listen to their critics and refuse to be led by the loudest among them, that they reach in all directions horizontally in solidarity…and learn that they are not the first down this path. That those who came before did learn many things worth knowing….for growth…and for self preservation…
or real change.
- Liz McLellan-
The Alaskan Occupation
What does #S17 mean to me, and why would an Alaskan care about Occupy? These questions come up a lot in my life. There’s validity to the questions. After all, Alaska has a Republican stripping it of union rights and our northern shores are being prepped for drilling. States like Alaska are the reason there’s Republicans, after all. We are rich with resources to be exploited and sold around the world. While this occurs, our state sits in surplus while making cuts to education and law enforcement. So who should care in Alaska?
The question gets even harder to answer when the public points out that my state represents the creation of a political nightmare, Sarah Palin. My state gave the country a VP pick because we, as a state, were too lazy to throw her out as she used her position to fly her brats around the country on the dime of the tax-payer and squirmed through Trooper-Gate. Why should any fair-minded Alaskan care?
Well, let me tell you why Alaska, and every other state needs to care - needs to pay attention. We need to care because the finest moments of our history were prefaced with civil unrest. We need to care because Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn worked their entire lives for a moment, a moment when the everyday hero would put down their tools of destruction and instead lift up their heads and wonder “Why am I doing this?” We need to care because those who have had no struggle have controlled our rules and laws long enough, and those who have always had to struggle might finally have a chance to rest.
We need to care, my brothers and sisters, because our children are at risk, our old and wise are at risk, and our poor and hurt are at risk. We need to care because two ways of thinking will meet tomorrow morning, and only one way of thinking will be allowed to evolve - whichever movement receives the most care.
We need to care because the young are finally inheriting the earth, and it is nearly impossible for those youth to screw up this planet as badly as their parents have. We need to care because everything good and righteous and true is at stake, and all it will take to realize this a group of like-minded individuals who care, no matter what town they live in.
That is why I care, even though I live in a state with abysmal voter turn-outs and drunken nights of “Who Gives a Shit?” That is why I care even though I am alone in Alaska.
That’s what September 17th is to me - it’s my entire future. It’s the reason I get up to teach, and the reason I cannot sleep soundly at night. That’s Septermber 17th.
Community Organizer and Occupier perspective on the road.
I hope you take a look at this current climate of today’s conversations and existence with the understanding that we need to move and move now. However, for far too long the subordinated groups in this United States of America. We are your workers, Musicians, politicians, Etc. We are amongst you and we will be heard. Our social contract in our country has been undermined and attacked buy the corporatist, to the ignorant right wingers and the “tea parties”. We must take our contract back, and say as a country of “progress” and enlighten movements with social, economic and legal justices. We must bring the truth to the citizens of this country, that they are being taking advantage of by the Religious right, Wall Street and Fox news. I urge you to help me restart the fire, and give one last push for justice in this country and around the world. We need to restore faith in the people. I ask why is our rights always subjected and have the ability to be “negotiated” about. These leaders work for us, not for lobbyist, but for the American people. Their comes a time, when one must realize that yes, I am different and Yes I am human. And tell the world that, they will be heard, known, and understand. Please you are not alone, come join the front lines we are waiting. In conclusion I would finally, like to say. In America, We got clout; we finally got clout, let’s use it, with this clout we had indeed defeated them in New York, We will beat them in Tennessee we have beaten them in Wisconsin and we will beat them in every state in this union until equality is breathed throughout the nations across the Earth. In addition, we will look globally and fight until every man woman and children have the social contract to fight the oligarchies, corporate backed organizations. To Justice, to social equality to basic human rights, let’s move forward to victory onward to equality onward to occupy for Justice, It must be the imitative of the people to wish this to be, and when it happens The promise land will come about.. As Bayard Rustin Said ” We need in Every Community a group of angelic troublemakers” with that being said we are who were waiting for, It’s just a matter in time for the rest to support full Federal Equality. And to End Greed Happy B-day OWS.
In solidarity, Get Out, Get Active and Get equal Nothing less.
Eyad M. Alkurabi