Yesterday night, Mayor Bloomberg ordered the NYPD to clear Zuccotti Park of OWS protesters. The original call “to occupy”, made almost two months ago, has successfully spread to cities, towns, and universities. OWS is against the unjust distribution of wealth and privilege obtained through racism, war, and unfettered capitalism. These injustices have aggressively dominated and greedily defined the constitution of our social contract for far too long. The banks and various agencies of power that perpetuate the “magical mathematical manipulation machine” are going to do everything in their power to silence this movement.
The eviction of Zuccotti Park has been just one of many “clean ups” happening across the country to disperse and weaken the OWS "99%" movement. Perhaps to prevent some of the inevitable media blow-back, the media was not allowed to film the NYPD’s eviction process (even the news helicopters were blocked from hovering over the shameful scene unfolding below.) Nevertheless, some news did make it through and footage from protesters’ phones show people forcefully hauled away by the jackboots and helmets in charge. My initial reaction to the scene unfolding yesterday morning on the news was anger. How dare these bastards destroy this inspirational moment! Why do the evil haters and greed heads always win?
But the more I thought about these silly tactics, I realized - we are winning.
As yesterday dragged on, the news continued to change and I began to realize more and more, evil has not won. Emergency legal proceedings unfolded throughout the day between the Brookfield Property owners of Zuccotti Park, City Hall, and lawyers or elected officials who truly support our First Amendment and that ideal of "democracy" itself. As of this morning, the protesters have been allowed back into the park; however, the rules of the game have changed: no tents, no tarps, no camping. This has not deterred the protest - OWS is back in Zuccotti Park. The reality of these new obstacles is that the message must spread to “occupy” places outside the initial camps.
Today, I will attend my first New School General Assembly. For the past few weeks, students from The New School have been assembling in the courtyard outside our office window. I plan to attend this General Assembly in solidarity with those continuing to occupy Zuccotti Park. I also plan to attend in hopes others will be doing the same in their own parts of the world. The conversation must continue.
The brutality of last night cannot deter this movement, it will only make it grow stronger. In fact, there will likely be more pathetic attempts at defeating this movement through brutality. The illusion of power that holds its sway over us all, will not go down without a fight.
On Thursday, I plan to walk out of work alongside other students, faculty, and staff of conscience who recognize “the gig is up.” We will march in a general strike. The time to acknowledge the challenges that we all face can no longer be ignored. It is time to take our ideals and values into the streets. “This is what democracy looks like!”
“I put the bastards of the world on notice that I do not have their best interests at heart.”
- Paul Kemp