They're Baaaa-aaack: OWS Protesters Return to Zucotti Park
The barricades that have kept them out since the park was cleared November 15 are gone and steady streams of protestors are returning to their adopted home.
It remains to be seen whether the camp will be allowed to return to its former glory, or whether the security guards who have been controlling entry to the plaza will keep the returning protestors on a tight leash. According to The Associated Press
One security guard told a group of protesters: "No sleeping bags allowed, either, OK, folks?"
The removal of protestors from the park almost two months ago did not, as some predicted at the time, bring an end to the now-worldwide movement that sprung to life in September of last year. Encampments remain in many major cities in the United States, and well as prominent groups of protestors in London and other global centers. Sojourners CEO Jim Wallis spent time visiting Occupy London in November and you can read his thoughts on the experience HERE.
The Occupy movement has also been on something of a road-trip in recent months. Campaigners concerned with the growing inequality seen in the United States have been taking their concerns and challenges to the Republican Presidential candidates as they stumped in Iowa and New Hampshire.
So (geographically at least), Occupy Wall Street is back where it started. But in terms of its message, it is continuing to have an important impact in the election and beyond. The language of equality is heard far more regularly now than it was before the movement began. As we enter a pivotal year for the United States, let’s hope that this message can continue to be proclaimed loud and clear.
Jack Palmer is a communications associate at Sojourners. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackPalmer88.