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Dead Movement Walking: Sympathizer at City & State Writes #OccupyWallStreet's Obituary


“City and State’s” Harry Siegel pretty much blames the police for Occupy’s demise. Obviously in denial, he can’t bring himself to face the fact that the movement’s unpopularity in a city as liberal as New York is the only reason Mayor Bloomberg and the police acted at all. Were the Occupiers not tolerant of and made up of too many obnoxious thugs, rapists, vandals, and public masturbators, Obama’s army would still be occupying Zuccotti Park and giving the media the excuse it desires to blame Obama’s economic failures on Wall Street:

While the act of occupation had little to do with the broader complaint–at the core, unhealthy economic distribution perpetuated by increasingly unresponsive elected “representatives”–it proved a dramatic setting for airing them, and for bringing participants together. For one season the park took on a life of its own, before reverting to a place for “passive recreation.”

In the course of that season, though, the scene aged badly. With a big push from the Bloomberg administration and tabloid coverage fixated on civic order, Zuccotti Park descended from a new public commons to a fever dream.

I surveyed the scene for the first time about a week after it started. In that first of what became many such visits, I stayed from early afternoon through the next morning, listening to professors, students, union members, veterans, homeless women, eccentrics, lunatics, librarians, old colleagues from other newspapers, members of various working groups and even a neighbor from Brooklyn there to take it in.

Occupy Wall Street had yet to draw the high-profile NYPD abuses and errors–the pepper spraying and Brooklyn Bridge arrests–that would give them a shape and purpose they couldn’t sustain themselves. But amid the drum circles and music festival “model society” absurdity of the park, people who’d been at a loss until now about how to express an array of concerns sensed an opening.

I was less interested in the protest itself than in the creation within Zuccotti of the sort of freewheeling commons New York City has lost under this mayor, even as the Internet and mobile devices eroded what was left of a shared café culture.

That shift is epitomized by the increasing commercialization of public spaces like the generator-powered gift market at Union Square. But it left a hole that the occupiers briefly filled.

Whatever, Harry Siegel; just as long as Occupy really is dead, that’s all that matters.

Rest in Hell, you gang of spoiled, lazy, entitled looters who appreciate nothing and want everything for free.





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