Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Joan Wile

Joan Wile is the Founder of Grandmothers Against the War and the author of "Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace" (Citadel Press)

November 22nd, 2011 2:45 AM

Zuccotti Park After the Police Raid

Down But Far From Out

Zucotti Park is greatly changed from the bustling, overflowing, colorful encampment it was only a week ago when I was there.  All the tarps, tents, flags, banners, food tables, various outreach tents with busy computers and phones, are gone.  There are fewer people there.
 
But, it IS still there, and still embodies the spirit that catapulted it overnight into the nation's consciousness just two months ago.
 
It is still there despite the iron fences that surround every inch of space making it look like an open-air prison compound.
 
It is still there despite the plethora of police and security guards that now occupy Occupy.  One can't help noting the irony of so many of "New York's Finest" deployed on one square block of Manhattan real estate while there are whole neighborhoods, even vast sections of New York City rampant with crime, poor sanitation, and safety threats with no police presence at all.  These conditions are the avowed reason why Mayor Bloomberg sent the troops in to demolish Zucotti in the first place.  Something is wrong with this picture. 
 
Today, Monday, Nov. 21, I had the great privilege of going to Zucotti Park with a delegation of senior citizens, union retirees, people with disabilities, health and social justice advocates and just plain people concerned about the threat of cuts to the safety net, particularly those affecting seniors.  We went there after a meeting held at the United Federation of Teachers premises a couple of blocks from Zucotti.  Approximately 7 or 8 young Occupy people had joined our meeting and expressed solidarity with our concerns.  We, of course, thanked them for all that they are doing.  As one of the elders said, "You have awakened the sleeping giant!"
 
At the iconic site, we held a rally, Zucotti style, following their "Mic Check" method of human amplification wherein a speaker says a few words and then the audience loudly repeats them.  As we spoke, beginning around 1 p.m., the crowds began to thicken in the park.  A couple of us authors found that there is still a library, vastly depleted by the cops' vicious confiscation of all the occupiers' property, and we donated copies of our books.  We were told by Jonathan, who was manning the meager little collection, that it was probable that the books would be grabbed again at the end of the day.
 
After we finished our program, a delightful bit of street theatre was presented by a batch of college and university students affiliated with studentloanjustice.org.  Wearing caps and gowns, they were presented with Debt Diplomas inscribed with various amounts of money
-- one was $57,000, another $35,000, and so on.  Each recipient was identified by name -- Penny  Less was one.  Bill O'debt another.  You get the idea.  I thought it was cute (are we allowed to apply that adjective to such serious people as Occupiers?).
 
A professor from New York University told us that the Federal Government would need $70 billion to cover all 2- and 4-year public college and university students today.  He told us that 70 billion dollars was equivalent to that lost by the Pentagon for unaccounted-for spending.
 
I must add to this my own concern as founder of Grandmothers Against the War that the money wasted on our wars/occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan total far more than that amount, and we should all be pressing for an end to those unconscionable conflicts.
 
So, Zucotti Park goes on.  Given the dedication and creativity of the wonderful young people there, physically and symbolically, I have full confidence that the movement they have sparked will continue to grow and flourish until the urgent changes we 99 percent seek are implemented.

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
12:35 PM
Read More

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? ...by Ray McGovern www.michaelmoore.com Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative...

Mar 2nd
9:25 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles