If you were anywhere and heard the news, then you heard that the NYC police cleared Zuccotti Park this week. The protesters were not allowed to enter again with tents. The maintenance crew power-washed the park and is now installing Christmas lights in the trees. It’s hardly the hectic scene when people slept here. Security does a bag check for camping gear.
The crowds have thinned considerably. The drummers drum on. The homeless and the addicts are gone. There are still folks from all walks of life here. The group is just smaller. Perhaps it’s the cold. It was a very cold day even though the thermometer read 50 degrees. Perhaps the group is reorganizing.
Some very mainstream people are about. The UFT teachers union and Local 100 union of food service and restaurants were here. College kids brought cardboard signs. It remains a movement without a clear agenda. The demonstration was for ‘Occupy Food’ against corporate food processing and unhealthy food choices.
For the moment OWS is not news. Police presence was prominent by the number of vehicles parked. However the officers were in the vans keeping warm. By the number of diverse protest signs, there remains an absence of a message. Some might disagree, but Occupy Food is hardly a cause that will get people to the polls to make a difference. Change, what there is of it these days (see: upcoming budget crisis in progress) is accomplished through political action. From my view over the fence, there’s a lot of noise but no substance.
Another perspective appears as an editorial in the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/kristof-occupy-the-agenda.html