Occupy Wall Street: New York stories

 

A New York court has ruled that a pre-dawn clearance of the Occupy Wall Street camp at Zuccotti Park was legal.

Hundreds of protesters returned to the park on Tuesday evening, but will no longer be allowed to pitch tents or use generators in the plaza.

Here, two New Yorkers share their contrasting views as the Occupy Wall Street movement faces a change in circumstances.

Melanie Beaudette, Brooklyn, New York

Melanie Beaudette

I stand with Occupy Wall Street and have been down at Zuccotti Park protesting since the beginning.

The American dream is a dangerous myth so steeped in capitalism that even those of us trying to do the so-called right thing can drown in a sea of debt and false promises.

I was working on my PhD in history and women's studies when it became clear that I was thousands of dollars in debt and had at least a year or two to finish my dissertation.

I couldn't afford the expense so I moved to New York City, with no money and no job, to be close to my family.

I am in the process of being certified to teach history in New York City public schools, where good teachers are desperately needed, but the process is tedious and expensive.

Occupy Wall Street is an amazing amalgamation of strong-spirited revolutionaries.

While I don't agree with everyone's point of view or individual causes, it is so culturally salient that people are finally out in the streets protesting instead of just "liking" causes on Facebook.

I have nearly been charged by police horses, pepper-sprayed, beaten, and arrested.

Today the police and Mayor Bloomberg cleared the park. My cousin jumped out of bed at 04:00 to rush down there. I wish I could have joined her.

This is merely a bump in the road that actually serves to demonstrate the legitimacy of OWS.

I am too educated and inspired to be sitting at a corporate temp desk job with huge student loans and no relief in sight.

Tony B, Staten Island, New York

View from Liberty Tower, Zuccotti Park of protesters on Tuesday 15 November. Photo: Alex Holehouse The protest scene from Liberty Tower, New York

I realise that the Occupy group has an idea, but I think it is a little misguided.

My colleagues and I are glad that the protesters have left Zuccotti Park.

When the camp was there, it looked like a slum.

The people living there were packed like sardines and when we walked past, I for one, did not know what to expect.

This morning when I arrived at Zuccotti Park, there were clean-up operations under way.

There were perhaps 15 to 20 workers in orange vests pressure-washing and steam-cleaning.

The clean-up operation made me realise the potential health hazard that the protest camp in the park posed.

There were large numbers of police in riot-gear and the park was barricaded.

There were still some young people wandering around as if their world had been destroyed.

Police cars were parked as far away as Battery Park - a quarter of a mile away - and helicopters were hovering overhead.

What the residents of Zuccotti Park should do is organise their ranks and vote.

They should vote out the liberal, crooked and ineffectual politicians and vote in the people who care about the electorate.

We have let the politicians, lobbyists, and corporations control our country.

It is time to take the country back, but please do not disturb the places where we, as New Yorkers, go to spend our lunchtime.

Zuccotti Park is our place to get away from the office, to read the papers and to meet our friends.

 

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 16.

    can anyone tell me the blog site of female blogger named Debbie from Ohio who was on yesterday's show? I'd like to let her know what I think of her 'liberal' views...thanks

  • rate this
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    Comment number 15.

    The only problem with voting out the crooked politicians and voting in people who care is that when it all comes down to it, there really aren't all that many that care or aren't corrupt. It's a sad state of affairs.

    Although Melanie did choose a major with very few jobs, if any. A little foresight can go a long way.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 14.

    ref #13

    No you will be a rallying point for those of who work. the financial crash is the result of Dems like Frank, Dodd and the clueless President.

    We will follow Italy's example and elect a technocrat named Romney

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 13.

    Occupy is the natural response to 30 years of top down class warfare against working people since Reagan. It's here to stay and will get stronger into next years' presidential election. Don't let them camp? Well they'll find another way to disrupt a system that they don't like.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 12.

    OWS needs to differentiate, as the court has done, between protesting and squatting. Protesters have the right to protest in a space but not live in it 24/7.

    The word, "Occupy", was a poor choice. It left the protesters with no option other than remaining in that same spot. They didn't think through hygiene issues, safety issues, etc.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 11.

    The 1 percent control everything, and they control the news that they drip fed to the masses, to the 99 percent.

    It was revealed recently that the real estate industry actually pays shills and spruikers to 'talk up' property on forums and blogs (yes even blogs like this one)...

    http://www.differenthere.com/2011/08/on-internet-nobody-knows-youre-dog-or.html

    Don't believe what you read, anywhere!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 10.

    ref 7 Peaceful protest is now illegal
    (no permanent campining in a public park is illegal)
    ref #6 Please don't potray the selfishness and the gimmie entitlement of OWS as noble.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 9.

    What OWS will bring to this world,when they need to change laws of incorporations of the companies and protection from bankrupcy filing,pay scales for CEO,auditors and timing cut for them to change whole companies..

  • rate this
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    Comment number 8.

    Ms. Beaudette:
    You represent the narcisim of OWS, which is why those of who work for a living have so much contempt for you.
    You decided to go for a PHD in a fairly useless major and than decide you are too important and inteligent to get an ordinary job.
    Sorry in a bad economy we have to tighten our belts.
    Your group cares nothing about the lives and liveihoods you have disrupted

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 7.

    Peaceful protest is now illegal

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 6.

    I find it astonishing that some people agree with the points made by OWS about corporate ownership of government and yet are more concerned about where they can eat their lunch! OWS are resorting to desperate measures because the importance of this issue cannot be underestimated, this is about the conditions under which our children and grandchildren will live. There is currently no democracy.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 5.

    Protesters need to visit legislatures, visit the White House, and ask politicians, why they didn't have the vision to see the consequences of their actions. They need to ask politicians in the U.S. and Canada why they brought financial turmoil to both countries, in the worst interests of both countries occupants.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 4.

    Media blackout as coordinated raids across the US on Occupy camps - and news that the St Paul's camp is under renewed legal threat.

    Looks as if the protesters' determination in the face of cold weather and dirty tricks had been underestimated.

    Their numbers are growing - and police action like this strengthens their case.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 3.

    Agreed that so many people effectively "slumming it" right outside your doorstep is horrid! I wonder what drives someone to want to do such a thing?
    "A new system spaning social, economic and political planes with people at its centre that recognises our and our environments needs" Thats the message i'm getting and I say bring it on, scrap it and start again taking the best of what we know.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 2.

    Tony, naivete enables crooks. 1 wk before a big election, the media din & spin deafen most voters. Few bother to think when voting. At best 45% of the eligible vote. Then some party operatives mess with some votes (watched with my own eyes). Until the people put their foot down with more force, put in the effort, as OWS does, it will get worse. Oc got 'evicted' because some people got scared: Good

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1.

    Here's Melanie, idealistically trying to "do the right thing" by answering the call for teachers. Been there, done that. The process is deliberately twisted to discourage good teachers & weed out anyone who knows how to teach. How do you think US schools got so bad? HR chooses the teachers; HR wants its comfort zone, not smart employees. + pay is a joke. Good luck, Melanie, maybe you'll last 2 yrs

 

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