months ago, New York City cops were dragging Occupy Wall Street
activists through the streets and parks of lower Manhattan. In a
series of brutal assaults on civil liberties and skulls alike,
officers appeared to be abiding orders barked by sadistic brass
monkeys who were more interested in suppressing speech than they were
with keeping peace.
Image of OB in NY by Jenna Pope via Sandy Relief Boston Tumblr. For more amazing Sandy pics check Jenna's blog HERE.
starting to feel like the whole eastern seaboard has gone mad. Since
Hurricane Sandy tore up the Atlantic coast two weeks ago, and Occupy
Wall Street quickly evolved into a complex human aid machine across
the boroughs, attitudes toward the perpetually shat upon people's
movement have shifted so dramatically as to cause whiplash.
wasn't supposed to cover the Hofstra debate, or even the protests
outside. But a family emergency recently summoned me back to my
native Long Island, so I broke away for about five hours yesterday to
sample the madness. It felt good to be home; despite all of the
warranted abuse that the Gold Coast gets for harboring guidos, the
place really is a magical bourgeois paradise, and a
phenomenal place to people watch.
sad new book Fire In The Ashes, author Jonathan Kozol
describes the shady side of Manhattan in the 1980s when, in ways not
seen in decades, extravagant financial glut co-existed with abject
poverty. Some of the most shameful slums were hidden in the massive
midtown hotels that rotted years earlier; it was there that New
York's poorest residents lived before being exiled to the
squalor of the South Bronx.
didn't expect more than 40 people to turn up at the
anniversary of Occupy Boston. Some formerly hyperactive participants
told me they were too frustrated with their comrades to attend, while
others declared online that the movement failed not just them but the
community. On top of that, it was butt ugly out and raining, plus I
heard that some of the group's recurring characters work weekends, or
couldn't make it in from out of town.
wasn't supposed to be sitting in a bar, my right elbow bent like a
bastard, on the night of September 17, 2012. It was the anniversary
of Occupy Wall Street – a movement I've been covering for about a
year – and the plan was to be out in the streets, tweeting, taking
pictures, and scribbling obscenities in my notepad.
Democrats were masturbating one another last night, pretending that
America is not at war and that the current administration is a friend
to all immigrants, about 100 wet and wild protesters hit the concrete
despite rain by the bucketload and a tough day in the streets. By
Tuesday evening, more than a dozen activists had been arrested
outside of the convention, including some immigrants' rights
picketers who caused a scene as delegates filed inside.
that you're making a documentary about baseball. But instead of
filming from the sidelines, reading up on the sport, and interviewing
players, you boldly bombard the mound, kick the pitcher in the dick,
and record the crowd's reaction. You'd probably end up with a movie
about angry baseball fans, and perhaps even be able to pepper it with
footage of yourself getting tackled by infielders.
that this would be depraved. Not because I came down here with an
anus full of substances; if the $50 million in security preemptively
accomplished one thing, it was to scare me out of smuggling mushrooms
in my undies. Rather, my premonition came at Logan airport, where I
sat stranded in the terminal for two hours with the likes of Mitt
Romney cohort Eric Fehrnstrom, who's best known lately for boosting
Etch A Sketch sales; anti-choice, anti-marijuana, pro-charter school
New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte; and Boston Herald gasbag
Howie Carr, who was rocking short-shorts and Birkenstocks despite the
promise that he'd sport bright-yellow hurricane year
settling of Dewey Square was a big fat dysfunctional wedding, then
the current slog leading up to Occupy Boston's one-year anniversary
is a time to reflect on the shotgun marriage between this wide array
of Hub activists. Some tried to analyze the union on the honeymoon,
but a number of traumatic twists made that impossible.
Richard Harding Wood was riled up before Occupy. Along with other
friends from Malden, the then-20-year-old started coming into Boston
on weekends early last year wielding placards to protest the Federal
Reserve Bank. So when Occupy Boston settled across Atlantic Ave from
the Fed in late-September, it was a no-brainer for Wood to get
night in Chicago was surreal . . . There was zero violence,
unconditional love, and peaceful pandemonium. I accidentally stepped
on some dude’s Jordans and he shook my hand . . . Cell phone lines
were so jammed that people couldn’t reach one another, but I was
far from alone. I must have wrapped my arms around 100 people .
As is becoming increasingly evident,
the actions surrounding NATO add up to a perpetual protest. There's
no beginning or end, with shit popping from activist crash pads to
streets across the city, where clashes with police are getting more
frequent and more intense around every corner. In the past few days
I've had countless conversations with journalists, Occupiers, and
every type of reporter and aggregator in-between about how most of us
won't be able to file extensive accounts until things slow down a
bit, since every second spent writing inside is a second that we
could and should be documenting from the front lines.
I wasn't even at Daley Plaza for two minutes when I ran into Vermin Supreme. From Austin to Boston to here, I've seen him more than I've seen my family over the last six months . . .
Like Vermin, there were a few thousand other heads out there assembling peacefully at the National Nurses United rally . . .
not following Tom Morello around the country. It might seem that way;
in the past few months I've caught him at South by Southwest in
Texas, and a few weeks ago for May Day in New York City, where the Rage legacy
and Occupy icon organized a GUITARMY to stomp some blacktop swinging axes. But while Morello will indeed be in Chicago
today, kicking for tens of thousands in Daley Plaza, his street-side
spectacular is hardly the main selling point for my trek to the