Art & Activism: Occupation Wall Street
On Oct 6, 2011 I visited the Occupation of Wall Street. Very moving. Peaceful. Organized. Cultural. Yout- driven with elder support. The participants serve food, provide warmth to those who need it, inspire constant dialogue with each other and with people passing by. Some are training new organizers on how to speak in public and to the press. Musicians stop by and informally play. There is an area where people can make signs to express their ideas and a library of books that are free to borrow.
The young man with whom I had my picture taken(below) said it was nice to have two generations in the photo and added, "Now we need the middle generation in the picture." Then he look embarrassed that he had assumed I was so old. I assured him he had got it right. That is why we are laughing.
Apparently, there are solidarity demos and sit ins all over the country. And I hear they have set up a relationship with a pizza store near by who is willing to take orders over the phone with credit cards and deliver the pizza to the park. How fun is that?! So people are calling in from all over the world ordering pizza for the protesters.
An older man in a business suit who was looking at the scene with disdain, said to me "Dont these people have jobs?" i.e. don't these irresponsible dirty hippies have anything more responsible to do? I smiled and I said, "No. I think that is the point. They dont have jobs. They cant get work.They cant afford college. They cant pay for their college loans. They cant afford homes. They cant feed their children." He made a sound sort of like harrumph. Well, maybe he will think about it and isn't that the point!?
Winter is coming. There have been and will be challenges and conflict, no doubt about it. I chose not to photograph the barricades and the police vans since I was enjoying the very positive experience of this gathering and that is the part I want to share with you.