DISCLAIMER: At 1:53 in the video, a protestor flashes an inappropriate hand gesture at the news camera, further evidence of the hightened situation this news story depicts.
Waliga, Abby. Occupy Simplicity. 2012. Photograph. Private Collection.
The idea is simple. The ninety-nine percent need to reclaim the freedoms the one-percent have taken from them. Ask what those freedoms are and who is in which category, and you will get thousands answers from thousands of people. What started out as a small protest on Wall Street’s doorstep grew into an international phenomenon that barreled into social media feeds and news channels for most of Fall 2011. The picture above shows the word “Occupy” scrawled across a wooden wall panel, a testament to the way Occupy invaded America’s landscape. Boston sidewalks still sport spray paint Occupy messages faded by time. When winter’s icy fingers crept into the scene, many wondered what would happen to the grassroots protests.
Even though it is a Middle Eastern news channel, Al Jazeera’s story accurately describes the tense moments of Occupy Wall Street’s eviction. YouTube plays host to many more phone recordings and live streams of the turmoil. The nature of the private-yet-public parks hosting Occupy camps raised questions about the constitutionality of evicting the movement. Government approaches to this differed across the country, and dramatic scenes often turned the peaceful questioning into accusatory commentary. Occupy is awakening from hibernation with the spring thaw, bringing the problem frozen over winter back with it, so how should America address this freedom of assembly issue?