FRESH DIRT > Good Times visits Occupy Wall Street in New York
The mood at Zuccotti Park on Thursday, Nov. 3 was contemplative and somewhat somber. I checked out the Occupy Wall Street protest while on a recent trip to New York, and was struck by how surreal the whole thing was. Organized chaos might be the best way to describe it. Powerful organized chaos.
The park is packed—not a square foot of empty space, it seemed—and looks like an impenetrable sea of tents and tarps. Each tent, pushed up against more tents on all sides, has a piece of paper tacked on that lists whether the tent is being occupied, and by how many people. The tent city is punctuated by service stations—a makeshift cafeteria, medic tent, press booth, library, and so on. Small groups of people are scattered throughout, playing guitars, giving interviews, passing out flyers, requesting donations, and engaging in discussions about everything from the dangers of fracking to the Bradley Manning case. A large group of high school students on a field trip snake their way through the maze, their teacher leading the way. A few dozen people sit in meditative silence around The Tree of Life, a small London Plane tree that has become a spiritual center for the protestors. An altar of candles, prayer flags, offerings, and pictures envelops the tree.