Out of Sight
Zuccotti Park has a vacancy. Read More
Occupy Wall Street
Update: Michael Gluckstadt, an online editor at HBO.com, responded to the OWS statement on Twitter after this item went to press. Read his reply after the jump.
Anyone who watched last week’s premiere of Aaron Sorkin’s gripping drama The Newsroom–where the discovery of American drone strikes and Troy Davis take narrative second fiddle to the saga of a producer finding a video of herself screaming at her crush on a Sex and the City tour bus on YouTube–will know that this season has put its laser gaze on Occupy Wall Street.
The premiere featured News Night blogger Neal Sampat getting a hot tip about OWS a whole week before Zuccotti Park was overtaken. Because he’s a blogger and reads a lot of Reddit, so he knows something big is about to go down. Attending an early General Assembly meeting–where everyone fingerwags (true to life!) and makes the letter C with their hand when they have a question (not so much!), he befriends the meeting’s leader, Shelly Wexler, an anthropology major who seems preternaturally calm about the lack of press.
She spouts a lot of OWS rhetoric about staying in the park till their demands are met, which include “the persecution of the people responsible for the financial crash, a presidential commission to investigate corruption in politics, the ratification of a Constitutional amendment.”
So what do the actual OWS members think about their Sorkin makeover?
It Takes a Village
It turns out that all you crazy, post-hippy Occupy Wall Streeters were right: the government does not have your best interest at hearts. In fact, the FBI just released a heavily redacted memo that details some of the ways that it used its anti-terrorism surveillance power to keep last year’s OWS campaign heavily guarded.
Released by the Partnership for Civil Justice after it pursued the documents under the Freedom of Information Act, the items included will just serve to (depending on your worldview) reinforce your paranoia American security bureaus having the carte blanche to become Big Brother, or terrify you into validating the belief that those kids with the drums and the dreadlocks were planning another 9/11.
School is back in session, and so are those pesky professors fighting NYU’s plans to expand in Greenwich Village. In the spirit of the season, NYU Faculty has teamed up with The Illuminator, Occupy Wall Street’s Great Bright Hope. Famous for projecting a 99 Percent sign on the side of the city’s ugliest building, the van is back, this time trolling the streets of Greenwich Village rather than the Brooklyn Bridge.
After getting to know a few NYU faculty members, the Illuminator team was asked to partner with them and spread the message on campus. Last night, they hit the street, projecting soothingly clever graphics onto the side of three different structures around campus.
Footage of Mitt Romney’s remarks about the 47 percent voters who don’t pay taxes or depend on government assistance—”I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives”—was taken in the Florida home of Marc Leder, co-CEO of private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, said David Corn, the reporter who published video clips at Mother Jones. Mr. Leder, a part-owner in the Philadelphia 76ers, is as TPM points out, also known for his bacchanals: “At the Bridgehampton home that Leder rented for a whopping $500,000 a month, guests cavorted nude in a pool and performed sex acts, while scantily clad Russian women danced on platforms,” The New York Post reported last year.
The unsolved 2004 murder of Juilliard acting student Sarah Fox is going from cold to hot–and new evidence in the case has been tangentially linked to Occupy Wall Street. NBC 4 reports police have connected DNA found at the Inwood Hill Park murder scene to DNA collected from a chain found at the scene of an Occupy Wall Street protest in East Flatbush late last March. The evidence is direct; the genetic evidence was obtained from Fox’s pink CD player, found near her nude and strangled corpse in May, 2004:
“Sorry” doesn’t help: Is anybody happy with Nasdaq’s plan to dole out $40 million in cash payments and future discounts to compensate market participants for losses suffered during the technical glitches that delayed trading in Facebook stock on May 18? The New York Stock Exchange cried foul, arguing that Nasdaq’s plan “is tantamount to Read More
Occupy Wall Street
In the days leading up to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s bombshell announcement of $2.3 billion in trading losses, chairman and chief executive officer Jamie Dimon faced a delicate predicament. His executives had scheduled visits with banking analysts to discuss the state of affairs at JPMorgan—the company whose stock Mr. Dimon knew was sure to plummet when news of the trading losses were disclosed. These weren’t just any trading losses, of course; they were losses incurred on credit derivatives bets placed by a mysterious trader nicknamed the London Whale and Voldemort by the financial press. And it wasn’t just any bet—it was the same trading position that Mr. Dimon had described as “a complete tempest in a teapot” not one month previous.
“On the inside, Dimon must have been trying to figure out what was happening with the trade, and what to do about it,” said Frank Partnoy, a former Morgan Stanley investment banker, currently a law professor at the University of San Diego. “It’s like he has an inside personality, and an outside personality that he shows the world, and the two things must have been in conflict, like what politicians deal with when they’re handling a crisis.”
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.
Occupy Wall Street grows more inventive with each new protest action and the movement’s latest tactic may be well-suited to many who have, until now, followed events passively via the Internet: protesters are sacked out tonight on sidewalks not far from the New York Stock Exchange. What’s more, the concrete naps of the disaffected may have more legal protection than a tent in Zuccotti Park: