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Wall Street Occupation Continues
A core of about 200 activists continue the around-the clock occupation of the small, concrete Zuccotti Park in the heart of the Wall Street area of NYC on Tuesday morning. Continuous live streaming is available for the world to see at LiveStream.com/Globalrevolution. I think this is the 10th day.
Numbers had grown to the thousands over the weekend, including rallies and marches. After the well-publicized police attacks, numbers had swelled to close to a thousand yesterday. More are expected in mid-afternoon when a more formalized event is scheduled. Police continue lined up around the park, right now passively "supervising" the occupation.
A lot of well organized and protected activist media is operating to document the activities. Activists are upbeat about the cause and activities. The numbers reported are understated because, while the 200 is generally accurate at many times, a continuous flow of hundreds pass through over the course of a day, including with acts of solidarity. Activists are impressed that the numbers grow each time police abuses happen. They have released a thorough video of the well-publicized police attacks on a group of women, showing that the attack was completely unprovoked, putting the lie to police reports claiming that activists had "edited" the attack to hide the womens' provocation.
A lot of fresh and health food is available, with more arriving at intermittent times. Last night a group of people dragged in a bunch of brand new mattresses still covered in plastic. A local chain furniture store had thrown them out in a dumster area. Activists are taking the opportunity for rest periods on them while sharing overnight.
The weather is hot and muggy - a seemingly endless summer - so cold is not a problem at night. The park is surrounded by an amazing array of construction zones, adding noise, pollution, and more intensive auto congestion to this area that mainstream media has been bragging about in recent years as a new downtown miracle gentrification project, as if capitalism is and can work well.
Hundreds of cardboard anti-corporate signs line the pavement, a continuous art project. One Asian language reporter is actively interviewing occupiers. A media spokesperson told me that the mainstream media coverage is reasonably accurate and balanced - in relative terms, of course - and they are impressed with the active coverage the event is attracting.
A number of occupiers talked about having no other real place to go anyway, not being included in what stands for an economy these days. One women who just came down this morning told me her story, the likes of what I see and hear often in my job. She had assisted with the cleanup after 911, first called a hero. Subsequently, she has not been able to get health care for the illness she contracted (not "serious" enough). Then, she was forced to work a low-wage, no insurance job at Home Depot. She developed physical injuries from the demanding work, and was forced to leave the job after Home Depot blatantly refused to homor legally written ADA accomodations supplied by a doctor. She has no job and has not health care for those injuries either.
So besides lowered wages and fewer jobs, the corporations continue to lobby actively against a Single Payer Health Care Program despite not wanting to provide coverage for the overpriced underperforming employer-based coverage that had in the past been expected in a much larger percentage of the jobs.
The occupation has no end date in mind at this time.