OWS

Occupy Wall Street Lives!

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

#OWS protesters march in lower Manhattan on Tuesday. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

As I walked around Union Square in NYC yesterday between 4 and 5:30, waiting for the march down Broadway to begin, memories of occupied Zuccotti Park came to mind. Handmade signs about a very wide range of issues were everywhere. There were drumming and musical groups doing their rhythmic things and people dancing as they did so. There was Reverend Billy performing, and an incredibly well done colored chalk piece of artwork on the sidewalk near 17th and Broadway. People everywhere, mainly white folks but diverse, lots of young people but with a significant number of non-young people.

And a spirit of hope, a spirit which declared: “we are here, we are organized, we have not been defeated and we are not going away.”

Exec to Goldman Sachs (via the New York Times): 'I Quit.'

Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Protester at an anti-poverty demonstration outside GS's London offices, October 2012. Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

A long-term employee of Goldman Sachs today resigned in the most public of places — The New York Times. Greg Smith, an executive at the banking giant wrote that he was leaving because

the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money

and that

the firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

The global banking crisis and the ensuing bailouts did a number of things — not least to paint all employees of the big banks with the same brush — they were all money-grabbers, not caring about who they took money from or how they invested it.

Police Evict Occupy London Protesters from St. Paul's Cathedral

Photo by Anky / Shutterstock.com

Photo by Anky / Shutterstock.com

LONDON — Police on Tuesday evicted scores of demonstrators from a makeshift tent city they had erected outside historic St. Paul's Cathedral more than four months ago as part of a global protest against capitalism.

After brief skirmishes in the operation that authorities launched before dawn, 20 protesters were arrested but most reacted largely peacefully as they were moved out.

Police dumped an estimated 150 tents and equipment into waiting garbage trucks. By midday, the former campsite was cleared and the last of its occupiers were leaving.

The Luck of the Irish: Occupy Ireland, The Gift and Punk Economics

View of the Shandon area of Cork City. Image via http://bit.ly/xb7NQz

View of the Shandon area of Cork City. Image via http://bit.ly/xb7NQz

Oh, how I love the Irish. Sure, I'm biased, being half a Celt myself with legion cousins still living on the old sod. (Shout out to the Bradys and Caffreys in Ballyjamesduff!)

As a self-confessed Gaelophile, I've been following the various Irish Occupy groups on Facebook for several months now, and they are endlessly entertaining — and interesting. The Occupy movement in the States is, largely at least, missing at least one key component: A sense of humor. The Irish Occupiers seem to understand that you can catch a few more flies with honey — and a good laugh — than you can with angry chants and somber rhetoric.

When I heard about a surprising turn of events at the County Cork occupation last month, I thought, That's brilliant. On Christmas Eve, members of the Occupy movement in the southern city of Cork found a present underneath the Christmas tree in their Peace Park encampment. It was a package containing a letter from "Santy" Claus, which read in part, "Dear people of Cork: Inside is a present, a gift from me to you, from all of us here at the North Pole."

The gift package also held the key to a padlocked, vacant, seven-story office building in the city center, and a list of instructions.

Thanksgiving at Occupy Wall Street

If you thought all of the occupiers would go indoors for Thanksgiving, think again. In spite of the recent police raid, hundreds of occupiers, activists, and community members are breaking bread together in Zuccotti Park. 

The OWS Kitchen working group estimates over 3,000 meals will be served with the support of local families, restaurants, and organizations who are opening their kitchens to the movement. 

When I got down to Zuccotti Park around 2:30pm there was a joyful calm in the area—friends and strangers eating together on the now bare marble benches, others walking around offering pecan pie, vegan meal plates, and other holiday snacks to anyone interested, and a small group of folksy looking people singing “This Land is Your Land” and “We Shall Not Be Moved” with guitars and cymbals. 

A nice reclamation of the Thanksgiving meal—less like the oppressive tale of pilgrims and native people we learned about in school; more like Jesus feeding the thousands, the beloved community, etc.

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