I decided to return to the New York Times archive in order to strengthen my understanding of the Occupy Wall Street movement. If I want to begin forming my hypthesis, I think it is imperative I know as much about the protest as possible, forming claims require a thorough understanding of a topic. My previous post quickly jumped into two outspoken articles so I thought it necessary to go back a few months as frequent arrests began throughout different locations. In my synthesis for class I included the first article to be published in the New York Times as well as others from MSNBC and Twitter to support my analysis.
In an article published September 17, 2011 writer for the New York Times, Colin Moynihan attempts to explain the meaning of “what some called the United States Day of Rage”.
“For months the protesters had planned to descend on Wall Street on a Saturday and occupy parts of it as an expression of anger over a financial system that they say favors the rich and powerful at the expense of ordinary citizens.”
When thousands of angry individuals set up shop in New York’s Zuccotti Park on September 17, 2011, it was difficult to predict the length to which protesters would remain adamant about finding change. Would they remain in one area? Decrease in number as time went on? Give up hope as politicans and lawmakers continued to ignore their requests? It would be an unpredictable road one in which only time would provide us with answers. As the debates raged on all over America and across the globe, the 99 percent remained fierce about reaching a benchmark in history. In a relatively recent article published in the New York Times, Lawyer Says Zuccotti Park Demonstrators Broke No Law, OWS writer Colin Moynihan focuses on the public arrests which ensued from the protests. Defense lawyer Jethro M. Eisenstein quickly stepped up to say the criminal charges against the protesters should be dismissed.
“Brookfield lacked the authority to exclude people… Eisenstein, argued in support of a motion to dismiss the charges, contending that it was “unseemly and unjust to allow Brookfield to harness the power of the state” to clear the park of protesters.”
Einstein made his argument by explaining that the park’s owner Brookfield Properties could establish rules pertaining to the behavior of the park, but they simply could not force individuals out. The protesters of OWS are simply trying to gain the attention of serious politicans and lawmakers. However, the police see the movement in an entirely different view. An article on MSNBC captures the viewpoint of Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson he claims,
“The protesters are calling for a massive event aimed at disrupting major parts of the city,” Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said. “We will be prepared for that.”
It is evident how disturbed Wolfson is at the actions of the protesters. In a way he sees these individuals as selfish people driven to raise havoc rather than the majority of the country seriously disturbed by the lack of effort from the government to support them. It is almost as though Wolfson does not see their actions as a genuine but a way to disturb a nation already overwhelmed with other problems.
How is it then, that the movement has continued on for so long? I question Wolfson himself…do you truly find the sacrifice of days and nights from these individuals just to be a cry for attention? Do lawmakers, police officers, and politicians recognize the values of the protesters or are they concerned about them getting off of private property?
In one blog post on occupywallst.org the protesters formed their own rebuttal to the consistent police arrests. On March 24, 2012 they wrote:
“Today, we take direct action against the NYPD. They have spied on us, they have assaulted us, they have kidnapped us from the streets without cause or charge. We, the 99% of people who will no longer be silent have chosen to make our voices heard. Former commissioner Raymond Kelly, we, the people have decided you no longer have a job. Any acts of brutality you order today will only serve as further evidence of your misconduct.”
Now, we are aware that Commissioner Raymond Kelly’s job remains in tact, a group of protesters do not have the authority to fire him. Perhaps this was a way for protesters to raise a voice without the rallying, as a way to prove they are capable of nonviolence methods of reasoning. I wonder…would the protesters be receiving the same attention if they only did things like post blog entries? Or are they right for holding massive campaigns in major cities?