I generally avoid "covering" news events - a short blog article rarely does a subject justice. And there are certainly better sources for such topics, as well as news journalists qualified to do the investigatory work.
But Occupy Wall Street has become such a phenomenon that even in the city with all that goes on, the demonstrations, marches, and occupation of Liberty Park is a topic of conversation amongst almost any group of people. I have been asked by virtually everyone I meet whether I have been down to the demonstration area, as well as whether I would write and photograph about this demonstration.
What is most remarkable is the lack of specificity regarding the goals of the movement. This very lack of goals has been the dominant issue in discussions about the event, both by the news media and the public. It is so odd to have a major political movement that is defined by not being defined. There are a number of specific complaints. Different groups with different agendas are part of the movement, such as We Are the 99 Percent. But taken all together, the whole thing feels like a general malaise.
I recently visited the headquarters for the demonstrators - Zucotti Park, now dubbed Liberty Park, located at Cedar Street and Broadway. I was surprised to see such a large encampment in the heart of New York City's financial district. The occupation is scheduled to last 60 days, ending in mid-November. The occupants are a strange hybrid, like political protest meets Rainbow Gathering. There are also booksellers and entertainers. I timed my visit with a major march, which can be seen in the photos. I did not witness any violence or arrests, although I understand that there were some police actions and allegations of excessive force.
There's anger, frustration, confusion, and finger pointing. It's a very serious case of General Malaise.
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