What People Did On May Day
Yesterday was a big day for the Occupy movement: May Day. They billed it as a day to tell capitalism, the uber-rich, and spendthrifts in general to shove off. There were protests aplenty. Some people got arrested, some people destroyed some things, and some people just made an honest attempt at expressing their dissatisfaction with The Way Things Are.
So, how to capitalize off of this as a freelance writer? One idea: Use it to write a totally innocuous post in which you celebrate spending lavishly, ostensibly for your birthday, but actually as trollbait for the few people on the Internet who would read it.
The Occupy Movement plans a general strike for May 1st. The movement claims this strike will include protesters in “125 U.S. cities” standing up “for economic justice.” Occupy Wall Street has announced that May Day will also mark the launch of 99 Pickets in New York. With 99 Pickets, protesters plan to erect “99 Picket Lines to expose, disrupt, and shut down the corporations who rule our city.” Occupy further states that 99 Pickets “will be an effective way for people to plug into the morning activities on May Day.” This action apparently has Wall Street as nervous as pack animals beset by wolves.
Bloomberg reports major financial institutions are readying for both May 1st and for Occupy demonstrations at the N.A.T.O. summit in Chicago on May 20 and 21 with “video surveillance, robots and officers in buildings.” In spite of the presence of robots, there’s a distinct Wild Kingdom element to the psychology behind the banks’ efforts. Speaking to Bloomberg’s Max Abelson, Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations director of global risk Brian McNary provided the Discovery Channel-flavored comparison:
Occupy Wall Street
You can still see traces of the Occupy Wall Street encampment that once stood in Zuccotti Park—a contingent of police officers by the plaza’s entrance and an NYPD watchtower standing guard on Zuccotti’s
northern edge. However, the protesters who made this park their home before being evicted by the police last November are largely gone and the news trucks that formerly stationed themselves outside have departed in favor of a Chabad Mitzvah Tank.
On a recent afternoon at Zuccotti, The Observer encountered handful of tourists and businessmen on lunch breaks but there was nary a demonstrator in sight. At nearby Federal Hall, there were about 11 Occupiers holding signs and sitting on the steps. On the street below, workers were seemingly oblivious to the Occupiers in their midst.
“You’re a Republican?” a suited man asked his friend as they briskly passed by. “Good man!”
Seven months into the movement, the Wall Street that protesters are ostensibly trying to occupy has become inured to the spectacle of carnivalesque protests, demonstrators sleeping on sidewalks and mass arrests. And it seems the rest of the city has too. The protesters are in danger of becoming just another discordant note in the daily din that New Yorkers are so adept at tuning out, like panhandlers, street performers, sidewalk preachers and the other distractions of urban life.