Sunday, October 30, 2011

Did the NYC Occupy Wall Street protests happen overnight?

A Brief History of Occupy Wall Street (stories are linked, so click it to read more)

Jan 31:
2 City Council members and 22 citizens arrested to protest closing of schools in favor of charters

Feb 2:
Adbusters floats the idea of a million man march on Wall Street—organized and strategized—as a US equivalent to the protests that had been occurring in North Africa

Mar 2:
15 arrested in Albany protesting Cuomo’s budget cuts for the poor

April 3:
Over 1,000 “Bail out the People” movement protest against Wall Street. 4 arrested

May 12:
Over 20,000 protesters in NYC against the budget cuts and preferential treatment of Wall Street. Several arrested.

May 24:
33 demonstrators arrested for Cuomo’s budget cuts for schools

June 6:
Flashmob to protest Wall Street, “The Other 98%”

June 14: (from an interview with David DeGraw, organizer from OWS on 11-6-11 from Los Angeles livestream conference)
First attempt at an occupation of Zucotti park, but less than 20 people showed up. Later that night they met up with the people camping in "Bloombergville" (see below, June 14), and the merger of these two groups became the first NYC GA.

June 14:
Bloombergville! The first actual occupation!

June 29:
13 arrested to protest NYC budget cuts by Bloomberg. Camped for 2 weeks in “Bloombergville” in lower Manhattan

July 13:
Adbusters announces the Occupy Wall Street for Sept 17. The U.S. equivalent to Tahrir Square

Aug 2:
3 arrested in “naked” Wall Street protest

Sept 1:
Test run to literally occupy Wall Street, by camping. 9 protesters arrested. Plans are rearranged to occupy/camp elsewhere.

Sept 17: Zucotti Park Gets Occupied.

Oct 8: Indianapolis Gets Occupied
Over 1,000 protesters arrive at Veteran’s Memorial Plaza for a day of Occupation. About 100 break off to occupy the Statehouse lawn for the night.

Origin of this Brief History
The Indianapolis Occupation has been plagued with self-doubt arising from the perceived uniqueness of challenges we have faced. I had a conversation with one of the OWS organizers who helped me understand that Indianapolis is on the same trajectory that NYC faced. Their experiments in occupying public spaces started as early as June, and people have been getting arrested in mass Wall Street protests since at least April. The city this year has had multiple large-scale protests against government budget cuts to the poor and to schools, while bailing out banks. Adbusters has publicly floated the idea of the Wall Street protests since February, and officially announced the campaign in July. We aren’t a failure because we haven’t been able to “Occupy” Indianapolis in 2 days. We skipped the planning, organizing, and preparation phases, yet expected to be another Occupy Wall Street New York. It has been a 9 month project for New York, with starts and fits just like we had, and numerous protest/occupy experiments before the Sept 17th date to get them ready.

We are doing fine. We need to press forward. We are the 99%

1 comment:

  1. Can you coordinate a teach in on the 'history of the movement'? This may be a great way to get other Occupy movements involved as well as this teach in topic can be done at any Occupy event. If you have a time that you would like to do it we have a
    Occupy Indy Schedule of Events. I believe there is a need for people to know what has happened and how the movement evolved:)