Surprise, surprise! The NYPD lied about power-washing ‘our’ sidewalk yesterday. This was the same White Shirt who professed to be offended the other day when I mentioned that the NYPD has not been honest with us. No matter, the rain necessitated the move anyway, and the coming thunderstorm today means most of us will stay under the scaffolding all day.
Mark Adams visited us last night! He is still weak from his hunger strike, but was very happy visiting all of us here. I have invited him to be an author on this site, and he will soon have his own posts appearing here.
Many faces are stopping by our action — some new, but many are past Occupiers of the Park. Spread the word, yo — and remember to tell them this is an action not an open encampment. Yes, we have a branch of the People’s Free Library, yes, we have a Kitchen, yes, we have Medical, yes, we have Comfort/Mutual Aid, yes, we have Security –and that’s because we are using the occupy tactic in this particular battle of the revolution. We occupy public space as a tactic to force a change to happen. In this case, unlike Zuccotti Park, we have a single, finite objective which everyone here is working toward. We love having Occupiers visit us, but we are not a squat or party spot. Party and sleep somewhere else. This is a battleground, and part of our offense is maintaining a clean and orderly occupied territory. Come over and help us work, but please do not come to disrupt the battle by partying or taking workers’ sleeping spots or trashing the kitchen or begging for money or interacting badly with the public & police.
While I am on the soapbox, I’d like to remind everyone that Occupy Wall Street has founding documents. We protest that our constitutional rights are being violated, yet we violate our own founding documents time and again. The debate on value-based General Assemblies has not taken into consideration that our values have already been defined in our founding documents. The Declaration, the Principles of Solidarity, and the Statement of Autonomy have more power in them than the U.S. Declaration & U.S. Constitution. Read them. Discuss them. All Occupiers should be conversant with these documents. It is our identity.
Remember also, that if any form of modification to the General Assembly results in a non-transparent or non-participatory or non-democracy then those people have effectively removed themselves from the Occupy Movement and are using our name wrongly. The same goes for these so-called working groups popping up. Just because they throw the word “occupy” around does not mean they are Occupy. Just because they were once in the Park does not mean the racket they are running now is Occupy. Just because they sometimes sleep and eat with us as we occupy does not mean they are Occupiers.
Occupiers don’t run when their comrades are manhandled by the NYPD, as happened today to me. Today, on my way back to the action after writing the above paragraphs, I found the People’s Free Library and the Medical area ransacked and overrun with Police. The Kitchen was nowhere to be found (we feed more people than Trinity Wall Street). Immediately I began protesting the unlawful actions being undertaken by the NYPD. As I did I saw many of the people who had stayed with us last night run away without a backward glance. I was quickly surrounded by Police, grabbed by a White Shirt who demanded I come with him but would not answer my question: “Am I being detained or arrested?” When I did not get an answer I told him it was my right to leave, and I was going to exercise that right. At that point the Blue Shirts surrounding me closed in and forced me up against the framework of the scaffolding and handcuffed me against my will. During the brief struggle I looked for Occupier help, and though three Occupiers did indeed engage the Police, they were without support. The Police had waited until our core numbers were down before they moved in on us.
The NYPD, led here by Captain Papamichael (aka “Little Lombardo”), issued me a summons, a 16-122B violation, street storage of movable property. It’s a strange society where The People’s free Library is destroyed by Police citing an abandoned motor vehicle ordnance. Yes, you read right — they are so desperate to move us off the sidewalk, out of occupied territory, that they have resorted to abandoned vehicle laws. We are breaking no laws, yet the NYPD continues to harass, abuse and persecute us. The United Nations ordered Barack Obama to protect Occupy Wall Street from the New York Police Department . . . and Obama has remained silent as he disobeys the United Nations directive.
The United Nations will have to send their peacekeepers to Wall Street to stop the police state from further abusing us. Even though the Blue Shirts tell us they don’t agree with their bosses, the White Shirts, and even though when the bosses are gone the Blue Shirts laugh and joke with us, when the order comes down to “git’em out of there” they shut up, obey the unlawful orders, and lay hands (and worse) on our communal & personal property and our bodies. One of these days they will kill some of us. We are non-violent. We have proved we are non-violent through ten (10) months of being chased, harassed and beaten by the NYPD. The NYPD has proved over and over they are violent without cause. I would rather the public rise up and protect us, but I personally will applaud the Blue Helmets if they come.
It is important to know who you are as a group. We have spent 8 months exiled from Liberty Plaza. We have been chased, harassed and abused through the streets of New York City for this entire time. Through that hardship we have come to know who we are. We are Occupy Wall Street. We are fearless. We have a job to do. We have to change the world . . . now.