Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Feb 14th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Impressions from Zuccotti Park

blog_dirt_occupyFRESH 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.

Across the park, a call and response erupts, followed by an announcement that there will later be a rally about safety and preventing sexual violence at the park. The day before, police arrested a 26-year-old man who had raped one protestor and assaulted another. A young man standing near a “Rapists F*ck Off or Get Hurt” sign tells me that there had been another rape the night before, although this information wasn’t corroborated.

I ask a young, clean-cut blonde man why he’s there, and he responds, “Because I’m homeless right now, and I need a place to live, yeah—write that down.” A few others take the opportunity to tell me their theories on why so many homeless and (their words) drug addicts have settled in at the park alongside protestors (they blame the police for sending them there). But the vast majority of the people I chat with share a similar story: young, educated, and unemployed. A young woman named Lisbet who is stationed at the press booth can’t answer any of my questions (such as an estimate of how many people are staying at the park, or where to find a specific person), which she blames on the fact that she just arrived from her hometown of Little Rock that morning. “I was pretty involved down there and I wanted to see the larger structure of the movement,” she says. What do you do in Little Rock?, I ask. “I’m between things right now, a lady of all trades. Bouncing around.”

Several others I meet are middle aged and employed and come down to the park when they can, but aren’t staying there. An older man with a donation jar was exchanging stickers for donations to help feed the Occupiers. “There are so many people to feed, so we appreciate your help,” he said. I ask if he is staying at the protest, to which he responds, “I’m coming back and forth.”

On my way out of the square, a man shows me a photo taken the day before at Occupy Oakland. A small crowd assembles around him as he enthusiastically venerates the size and scope of the California gathering. “It looks like something straight from the ’60s,” he says. The perimeter of the park is plastered with signs carrying a variety of messages and slogans. A steady stream of curious bystanders lurks around the edges. Police and fire trucks line the bordering streets. A protestor shouts at them to “Give our propane tanks back!” but the police remain silent.

Below are some photos taken on Thursday, Nov. 3 that capture a few of the faces, messages and moods of Zuccotti Park.

DSCN3135DSCN3135
DSCN3117DSCN3117
DSCN3141DSCN3141
DSCN3139DSCN3139
DSCN3115DSCN3115
DSCN3113DSCN3113
DSCN3123DSCN3123
DSCN3132DSCN3132
DSCN3128DSCN3128
DSCN3136DSCN3136
DSCN3134DSCN3134
01/11 
start stop bwd fwd
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster