Occupy Washington Square — Welcome!

Live Feed Projected Onto the Arch

Updated 2:15 p.m. — All this blogger can say is “It’s about time!” Washington Square Park has been feeling a bit dead in terms of activism and protest and just overall spirit since Phase I of the Bloomberg Administration’s dramatic redesign, the Fountain Plaza, opened in May of 2009. It is, uh, refreshing to find people using it for this purpose, for the ‘greater good,’ and a way for all of us, who see the opportunity for a much different world and ways of being — certainly markedly distinct from the one offered here in NYC under Mayor Michael Bloomberg — to join in.

The Arch was again barricaded last night — a police officer told me last week, when I asked “Does the Arch need defending?,” that this was so, in a large crowd, people didn’t get “smushed” — although, a live feed was projected onto it. The fountain was not barricaded and people met within it.

What is projected on the Arch says — “Discussing a proposal to hold GA at wash sq park every day of the week. #OWS” It was voted on to hold a meeting at Washington Square every day of this week. I was told 5:30 p.m. and that this will be in addition to the GA at Zuccotti Park.

Yes, I know the Parks Department has rules about not staying in the Park after midnight – but we as people in this city are so used to honoring and obeying rules at this point; we are so used to having cameras everywhere and presenting ID everywhere we go – it wasn’t so long ago that we weren’t all so used to being so rigid and monitored.

This administration has gotten away with so much – Bloomberg’s coddling and wooing of developers, corporations, media, business improvement districts, and the Mayor’s affluent friends while paying off non-profits and arts organizations essentially buying their silence tipped the scale further in favor of the 1% in NYC. The rest of us have not had the space to fight back. But now we do. Third term blues? Couldn’t happen to a more deserving target.

Keep it coming, Occupy Washington Square!

Post-Meeting in the Fountain with the Arch

Today marks one month of Occupy Wall Street at Liberty Plaza/Zuccotti Park and the start of events and protests that have transpired since.

Photos: Cathryn

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3 thoughts on “Occupy Washington Square — Welcome!”

  1. There was a time when all parks were open 24 hours a day. What happened? Stricter rules were put into place to “protect the people”. It just so happens that increased protection usually goes hand-in-hand with decreased rights. In this case, the right to protest is curtailed which is Freedom of Speech.

    For movements to grow and really make a difference a continuity of momentum is necessary. Rules limiting the time and place for protests also kill momentum. The ruling elites know this.

  2. Hi Monica,

    All very true. Good insights. Thanks. It’s funny how people wanting to utilize the park after hours for pro-democracy purposes becomes seen as the same thing as … I don’t know.. vandalizing or corrupting the space in some way which were, conceivably, the reasons the restrictions were put into place to begin with. It’s a fine balance and seems to mostly be tipping on the side of ‘authority.’ I’d be curious at what point curfews were put into place.

    Thanks for your comments.

    best,
    Cathryn.

  3. beautifully done! So well said. I can’t add much except to say that what Bloomberg is doing in our town is being done nationally. The poison of for-profit self-interest is exactly at the heart of Occupy Wall Street and happily infuses all occupies everyhere. The home page for Occupy Washington Square can be found here
    http://www.occupywashingtonsquare.org/
    Angela Davis will be speaking to the General Assembly of Occupy Washington Square Park tonight @ 5pm – just before she goes to Zuccotti to speak there @ 6pm. After Ms. Davis speaks at 5pm, many of the Occupy wsp-ers will be joining the protest outside Mr. Bloomberg’s mansion on 88th Street. Details for that are posted on twitter @Occupywsp

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