• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Occupy Wall Street After Zuccotti Eviction

Now that Occupy Wall Street is unable to occupy Wall Street, its leaders will have to come up with new ways to keep the pressure on. Some crazies are threatening to take the movement over in the meantime.

NYT City Room(“Protesters and Officers Clash Near Wall Street and in Zuccotti Park“):

Hundreds of protesters from Zuccotti Park clashed with the police as they tried to reach the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday morning, and at least 75 were arrested, the police said.

The marchers then returned to the park, where they yanked out barricades that had been placed there on Tuesday in order to create single-file entrances. Perhaps a thousand protesters streamed into the park, followed by officers who began making arrests. Officers could be seen shoving and hitting protesters and journalists.

The morning’s demonstrations were part of an Occupy Wall Street “Day of Action” planned for Thursday, the two-month anniversary of the movement. It is to include events at subway stations throughout the city at 3 p.m. and a gathering at Foley Square downtown at 5, followed by marches across Lower Manhattan bridges. See latest developments below.

New York Daily News (“Occupy Wall Street protesters vow to wear suits, blend in and get revenge for the Zuccotti Park raid“):

Occupy Wall Street hoped to show there was life after Zuccotti Thursday by staging a series of marches and rallies – starting with a sneak attack on the Stock Exchange itself.

As the city braced for a “sizeable” crowd, observers on both sides said the scale of the protest would show whether the two-month-old movement could regain momentum after Tuesday’s demoralizing defeat.

OWS hoped anger over the NYPD raid that razed their iconic tent city at Zuccotti Park would breathe new life into a cause that had begun to sputter.

The “day of action” is to begin early, with protesters converging on Wall Street camouflaged in business suits hoping to blend in with office workers trooping out of the subway.

“We will rise from beneath. They can’t stop all of us. It’s going to get crazy,” vowed one organizer. “They took the first shot Tuesday night. [Thursday] we return fire. We will be peaceful, but we will resist.”

The city said it was bracing for tens of thousands of people in the streets.

“The protesters are calling for a massive event aimed at disrupting major parts of the city,” said Howard Wolfson, deputy mayor for governmental affairs. “We will be prepared for that.”

He said the Police Department was working with the MTA to head off any subway disruptions.

“We’re ready,” said a top police source. “The problem is no one knows how big they will be. We’ll have a lot of people out there and if it doesn’t pan out it’ll look like overkill. But we’re going to be ready for it, just in case.”

New York Daily News (“Zuccotti Park protester Nkrumah Tinsley arrested after threatening to burn down city“):

A protester was arrested in Zuccotti Park Wednesday after he threatened to fire bomb the city — and his rant went viral on YouTube, police said.

Nkrumah Tinsley, 29, was busted after cops saw a video of him claiming he would torch the city during Thursday’s mass protest posted online, police said. ”On the 17th (of Nov.), we’re going to burn New York City to the f—ing ground,” an angry Tinsley told a crowd of demonstrators in the video posted on Tuesday. ”In a few days, you’re going to see what a Molotov cocktail can do to Macy’s.”

When officers from the NYPD’s intelligence division saw the video, they immediately began working on trying to identify the raging man, police said. ”We didn’t want him out there [Thursday]. We wanted him in our custody,” said Paul Browne, top spokesman for the NYPD. “He was specific as to date, location and method for the fire bombing …maybe it was just a rant, but we didn’t want to take that chance.”

Cops later spotted Tinsley at Zuccotti Park Wednesday and collared him about 5 p.m., police said. He was charged with making terroristic threats.

Tinsley’s parents described their son as mentally ill and recently started leaving the family’s University Heights, Bronx, home to support protesters downtown. ”I was really happy — he was going meeting people and talking to others, instead of sitting in his room talking to himself,” said his father, James Jacob, 66.

Jacob said his son got too excited within the crowd and understood the arrest. ”He was just running his mouth,” he said. “He’s got to learn. He’s got to pay for what he did.”

Tinsley is quite literally crazy and there’s zero evidence that he speaks for the movement. But going from occupying tent cities to unauthorized disruptions of the city will inevitably further weaken Occupy’s public support. Most will blame the protestors, not police, when things get violent.

This is going to have to morph into a political movement rather than a mob scene soon if the attention Occupy has brought to the issues of income inequality, rent-seeking, and related issues are going to be capitalized upon.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    This is looking more, and not less, like European (and Arab) youth protests.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Liberty60 says:

    Tinsley The Hutaree Militia are quite literally crazy and there’s zero evidence that they speak for the Tea Party movement. But going from occupying tent cities rallies organized by the Koch bros to unauthorized disruptions terrorist attacks of the city will inevitably further weaken Occupy’s Tea Party’s public support. Most will blame the protestors, not police, when things get violent.

    Agreed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. James Joyner says:

    @Liberty60: Huh? Hutaree predates the Tea Party by a year and has no association with it at all. This nut was at Zuccotti Park, the center of the Occupy movement, and claiming to speak for it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  4. ponce says:

    This nut was at Zuccotti Park, the center of the Occupy movement, and claiming to speak for it.

    James,

    What would you have OWS do to stop people like this from talking to reporters from newspapers owned by billionaires in its name?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. James Joyner says:

    @ponce: Not much you can do. That’s why OWS needs to transform into a political movement rather than a protest movement. It’s just inevitable that the crazies will dominate the coverage of the latter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. Liberty60 says:

    @James Joyner:
    Yeah I know the Hutaree have an even more tangential relationship to Tea Party than this nut does to OWs;

    But I think its worth comparing relationship of the rightwing militia movement on the extreme edge of conservatism, to the fringe leftists of groups like OWS.

    The media in general don’t hve much trouble differentiating a band of camo clad nuts in the forest from the “Second Amendment solution” folks like Sharon Angle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. Brainster says:

    I love the idea of the OWS hippies donning business suits. What, they don’t think the scruffy beards will give them away?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  8. Delmar says:

    When this OWS first started, there was some sensilble and timely arguments mixed in with the often incoherent statements that sounded like something from the planet Altair 7. Their belief that there was something wrong with the system wasn’t far off the track, although their strategy for change was confusing, contradictory, and mostly non existent. They got to a sticking point and everyone seemed to be waiting on everyone else to take a lead role. That didn’t happen, so by the time Halloween rolled around, the “originators” were mostly gone: they suddenly realized they had to get back to school in time for exams or their parents threatened to cut off their pizza allowance – maybe both. As far as the media coverage, the Dr. Murray trial, NFL football, and the Penn State scandal pushed it off the screen, except for some coverage of the crime, litter, assaults, and other problems that now dominates the “action” there. Moving into their area have been vagrants/freeloaders looking for a handout, criminals/convicts, predators/perverts, the mentally ill who have no where else to go, drug addicts and pushers, and the rest are a riffraff of troublemakers. This, of course, spells disaster for the movement, trouble for the cities and private businesses, and a danger for nearby residents and workers. They have turned these parks into breeding grounds for every crime imaginable. This accounts for the plummeting support ratings that now show up in surveys and polls. The “99%” are now the 1%. Jack the Ripper wasn’t very popular either.
    The new movement is the “AAC”: Average American Citizen. This used to be known as the Silent Majority.
    “Turn out the lights, the party’s over”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  9. john personna says:

    We have been watching youth protests overseas for decades. We’ve become inured to their violence and confrontation. OWS isn’t there yet, and hopefully never will be … but anyone trying to map OWS to a traditional US political movement is using the wrong pattern.

    We are in new territory with youth unemployment and reduced options driving a dynamic to which the US had been immune.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. But going from occupying tent cities to unauthorized disruptions of the city will inevitably further weaken Occupy’s public support.

    Unauthorized disruptions? As opposed to what — authorized disruptions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  11. James Joyner says:

    @Kathy Kattenburg: Yes. In DC, at least, groups get permits to march or demonstrate in public areas all the time. Areas are cordoned off and police protection is provided. It’s inconvenient for all concerned but far better than having mobs tie up traffic, deny people rightful access to property, and the like.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. @James Joyner: Yes, James, permits are required for marches and/or demonstrations in NYC as well. Of course, the entire point of the Occupy movement, in NYC and all over the U.S. and the world, is to disrupt business as usual. I understand that you don’t like or agree with that concept, but telling us that the OWS protesters in NYC are conducting an “unauthorized disruption” is pretty, um, clueless, sorry.

    And they’re not “mobs,” by the way. There’s a difference between a “mob” and a massive group of mostly peaceful protesters even when their purpose is to stop the everyday functioning of a city, or part of a city. Would you have called the crowds of protesters in Tahrir Square “mobs”? If so, at least you’re consistent, but you’re not correct. “Mob” is the correct word to use if you’re talking about the 1863 Draft Riots in NYC, e.g., or the mob that burned and lynched Jesse Washington in the early part of the 20th century in Texas. I’m sure we can come up with other examples that are perhaps less atrocious, but they still have in common that the purpose is to maim and murder.

    Again, I understand that you don’t like or agree with what the OWS movement is doing in these protests, but that’s really not an excuse for using grossly inaccurate language to talk about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. James Joyner says:

    @Kathy Kattenburg: Large groups of people acting lawlessly are a “mob.” Some mobs are more violent than others; that we usually call a “riot.”

    Liking a cause doesn’t change definitions. I’ve called our Sons of Liberty, engaged in a cause I very much support in hindsight (I wasn’t there, obviously) both a “mob” and “terrorists.” The Tahrir protestors were also a mob.

    I’m actually broadly supportive of OWS’ efforts to highlights actual unfairness and rigging of our system. My point all along, though, has been that now that they’ve gotten attention for the cause, they have to be about political change. The difference between the United States and Mubarrak’s Egypt is that there are meaningful ways to change the system through means other than mob rule.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. @James Joyner:

    My point all along, though, has been that now that they’ve gotten attention for the cause, they have to be about political change. The difference between the United States and Mubarrak’s Egypt is that there are meaningful ways to change the system through means other than mob rule.

    In theory, there’s no reason they, and we, cannot do both (occupy public spaces in large groups, and advocate for political change). In practice, however, there really aren’t meaningful ways to change the system in addition to or in place of what the OWS protesters have been doing. I assume by “meaningful ways” you mean passing laws, voting, running for political office, and so on. Obviously, one can do those things, still, but they are not, any longer, meaningful ways to make the kind of change the Occupy movement and those who support it want to make. Our democratic institutions exist in name only. They don’t work anymore. The entire system of running for office, selecting candidates, winning elections, getting laws passed, and influencing the people who write those laws and who control and operate what are supposed to be our democratic institutions has been corrupted and subverted by money, by corporate greed and corporate power over politics. Do you believe that it’s possible to change financial and economic arrangements via a political process that itself is designed and controlled by the very actors who most benefit from those arrangements? I don’t. I think that as a society we have to completely rethink every premise and assumption that underpins our political process. We need a paradigm shift.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. James Joyner says:

    @Kathy Kattenburg: The institutions have the ability to work just as they have in the past. The problem is general apathy, which means that organized interests have outsized power.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. @James Joyner: @James Joyner: @James Joyner:

    You are assuming that the “general apathy” came first, rather than as a response to a rigged system that doesn’t work for anyone but the people it was meant to work for. I disagree. That said, I think it’s true that ever American who was eligible to vote actually voted, present arrangements could not and would not continue. That is the reason (not one of the reasons, THE reason — the only reason) that the GOP has been working so hard to restrict voting rights. That in itself is an example of how the system is rigged to work for the rich and powerful, not ordinary Americans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. @Kathy Kattenburg: @Kathy Kattenburg: @Kathy Kattenburg:

    Correction: “That said, I think it’s true that IF EVERY American…”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0