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!”
“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.
When two are arrested at a #chalkupy event, a mother sees the event as a teachable moment on how the police respond to dissent:
When I pressed her about what I should tell my children about their fear of police, she recommended that I go home and have a discussion about how it’s wrong to damage public property, and that it was going to take tax payer money to remove the chalk. I offered to go home and get rags and buckets. She said it wouldn’t make a difference. Of course, we did go home and have a discussion. I did tell my children not to be afraid of police. (We are not people of color, so it’s a lot easier for me to say this to my children than it is for others. If we had dark skin, this particular issue would have been much more complex. And that conversation will come, too.) But, I also told them that our country is not perfect. Just like at home, we all have to pitch in.
Photo by John Jack Anderson
It’s safe to say, however, the events of March 17th 2012 have changed me and I will never be the same. Whatever your feelings are about Occupy Wall Street, I think any rational person can see the tactics used by the NYPD are absolutely unacceptable. Cecily McMillan left for the hospital on a stretcher with a broken rib. Another protestor suffered a panic attack and was manhandled for it. One protestor had a black eye and marks all over his face from police officers punching him. One occupier suffered a broken thumb and an injured jaw. It was a disgraceful scene and the NYPD was entirely responsible for creating it.
An actor transforms from supportive activist to committed occupier on #M17.
“We played cat-and-mouse games with columns of riot cops all afternoon. They tried to contain us and direct our movements; we tried to outmaneuver them and get to the convention center. We succeeded, making it to the eight-foot metal barricades three times only to be threatened by the Special Forces guarding the dignitaries meeting beyond. I did a stand-up TV interview at one barricade, telling the reporter that our goal was to be seen and heard by those inside the summit. I was only seen and heard by the soldier who cut the interview short, barking a command to leave the secured area immediately.”
We return to the #noNATO actions as a member of Occupy Chicago recounts her experience months later.
“The policing of Critical Mass demonstrated to me who the police serve; not innocent people who want to go about their lawful business free from oppressive interference from the State, but corporate interests bent on airbrushing out any possible dissent from the spectacle of the Olympics™.”
Police and cyclists clashed just outside the opening ceremony at the London Olympics.
Occupy National Gathering Roundup!
#NatGat is done; what did you miss? Check out our stories from the gathering in Philadelphia leading up to Independence Day:
- Occupy National Gathering, Day 1: Upon arrival to the National Gathering in Philadelphia, protesters and police clash.
- What Would William Penn Do?: At NatGat’s first casseroles march, protesters are split on what tactics are most effective.
- Wild Cats on the Run Through Philly Summer Night: Police kettle a group of marchers at the National Gathering and make a mass arrest.
- The Bank Sleep-in at National Gathering: On #NatGat’s second night, a group sets up a sleepful protest outside PNC bank.