Occupy Wall Street protesters at Zuccotti Park sweeping up and scrubbing on Thursday afternoon hoping to stave off even temporary eviction.
By Robert Stolarik for the New York Times
Events and happenings involving the occupy movement are occurring almost at light speed (well not quite).
The latest was the cancellation of the "clean-up" of Zuccotti Park by Mayor Bloomberg of New York that would have effectively shut down and ended the Occupy Wall Street occupation that began less than a month ago.
This "clean-up" of the Park ruse was apparently initiated by a letter from Richard Clark, the CEO of Brookfield Properties that owns the Park to Police Commissioner Kelly asking for police assistance to "clear the Park" so it can be cleaned and further to prohibit sleeping bags, tents, tarps, lying on the ground and on benches which is "creating health and public safety issues". HOGWASH.
The protesters, upon hearing of this impending "clean-up and "temporary clearing" the Park of protesters, immediately took it upon themselves to sweep and clean the Park to stave off even temporary eviction and thus remove any justification by the City to "clear and clean" the park.
Mayor Bloomberg has made it known his distaste of the OWS occupation in Zuccotti Park and he was clearly using Clark's letter to Kelly as an excuse to effectively shut down the protest occupation.
But as one protester, Steve Sachs of Highstown, New Jersey put it, (in his determination to continue to take part in the OWS occupation), "I did not come here for a fight. I've never been in a fight in my life. I've never been arrested. But I was ready to be arrested over this."
Sach's doesn't sound like he's been a lifelong activist, spoiling for a fight and wanting to get arrested. But he's clearly someone (based on his remarks) who is determined to commit civil disobedience if necessary and get arrested to uphold and defend his Constitutional rights.
Yes it's still less than a month into this American occupy movement but my strong sense, at times being a direct part of some of the actions and committee discussions, this occupy movement isn't going away.
Any attempts by authorities to shut it down, evict people with "clean-up and clear out" ruses denying their Constitutional right to assembly, speak out and protest is going to fail.
Strong arm tactics, pepper spraying peaceful protesters, jumping into protest crowds and arresting suspects, conducting mass arrests as happened on the Brooklyn Bridge a week ago will only further highlight the demonstrator's legitimacy, draw greater attention to its purposes and gain additional people to support and join in these protests, which after all go to the very concerns of 99% of the people.
As people in the Arab Spring identified with the man in Tunisia who self immolated himself last December over the Ben Ali's regimes humiliation and strong arm tactics denying him his right to earn a living (selling fruit from a cart) and help support his family causing him to fall in such despair that he chose to alight himself in flames in front of the authorities to highlight the regimes oppression, some of the 99% of the people in America are shaking off their former passivity and indifference and feelings of powerlessness and taken to the streets and encampments in over 1200 cities and towns in the U.S. Again, it's been less than a month since it all started on September, 17.
It's a phenomenon whose time has come (and in my mind long overdue).
The legitimate discontent of the people has become saturated. It's a glass not only filled to the brim, it's spilling and spewing over the top.