Since Saturday activists have been occupying Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan in a move to emulate the protests that have swept countries like Egypt and Spain this past spring. While they may not have a unified message or goal, the protesters plan to occupy the park (which they have renamed Liberty Park in solidarity with Egypt’s Tahrir Square) through the weekend to reclaim and liberate what is meant to be a truly free space.
The police presence around the perimeter of the park is startlingly large. Although at first the protesters were quite numerous, by now there are maybe 100 protesters at any given time, milling about, conversing, playing guitar, making signs, and occasionally chanting or marching. It is unclear why so many police are needed for what is entirely a peaceful and legal occupation.
The main goal of the occupation, aside from liberating a public space, is to use social media to get people together and speaking about the future — to point out how powerful a tool social media is for organizing, and how powerful such organizations can be. Most people are angry, frustrated, and have a grim view of the future. Occupy Wall Street’s goal (aside from also calling out the banks and the government) is to gather such like-minded and motivated people in one place, and encourage them to speak to one-another and attempt to come up with a working manifesto for future gatherings, activism, and protests.
Trackback from your site.