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Occupy Wall St.


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#2301 PeaceFrog

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:56 PM

you know what, for the first time (I think) in history, I believe your opinion is correct.

Fortunately, sane people are not anarchists and can see through Hannity for what he is trying to do... He scraped up the most radical person he could find from OWS and then put him on TV...

He's a tool, you are right.

And Rupert Murdoch wasn't even born in America... so why would you trust his news network? He's an Australian.

#2302 vic

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:20 PM

don't feed the pigtroll

#2303 Joker

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:54 PM

Occupy Wall Street members making Brooklyn their economic hub

Shops running coop style in Boerum Hill without a boss

Occupy Wall Street protesters may be marching for change in Manhattan, but they’re making money in Brooklyn.


More than a dozen savvy OWS entrepreneurs have opened a printing shop, a T-shirt operation and a tech venture - all running coop style without a boss.


“OWS has different sides. There are the kids who drum all day and piss people off. But we are trying to show people that a democratic economy can work,” said Dale Luce, 25, cofounder of OccuCopy print shop at 388 Atlantic Avenue.


Two of the businesses got their start last fall in Zuccotti Park where OWS set up camp.


Now, the budding businesses are based on or near trendy Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill with more in the works - many stashing cash aside to loan to other start-ups.



Read more: http://www.nydailyne...2#ixzz1uPbYBBv3

#2304 PeaceFrog

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:14 PM

Posted Image

#2305 Joker

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:17 PM

UC sues over Occupy the Farm protest in Albany



A standoff between UC Berkeley and Occupy activists who planted renegade crops on university land is headed from the farm to the courts.

The University of California Board of Regents filed a lawsuit Wednesday against 14 protesters, claiming they and others conspired to cut through chains that secured gates and trespass onto the Gill Tract, a patch of land along bustling San Pablo Avenue in Albany.

The activists, who call themselves Occupy the Farm, moved onto the tract April 22. They are pressuring the university to preserve part of the tract, which has been the subject of development debates for years, for agricultural study and urban farming.

The protesters tilled 2 acres on a site used by the College of Natural Resources for research. They planted vegetables, set up a drip system and pitched tents. Ever since, the two sides have been trading demands.

When UC turned off the water, the protesters began hauling in 30-gallon tanks. On Wednesday, the university put in concrete barricades to cut off vehicle traffic, so demonstrators began bringing in water by the jug.

Police officers were on hand and read a statement warning people not to interfere with them, but they did not prevent activists from coming and going.

With the lawsuit, UC is trying to ratchet up the pressure further. The civil action, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, seeks a restraining order and an injunction against the pitchfork protesters, with violations punishable by up to six months in jail.

The suit says that a 24-hour-a-day encampment is not consistent with agricultural experiments, and that the demonstrators are delaying an annual corn planting.

"We're happy to have a conversation about both the short- and long-term future of the Gill Tract," said Dan Mogulof, a UC Berkeley spokesman. "But that conversation must include members of the Albany community who have been involved with us in a collaborative planning process for more than eight years."

A UC master plan adopted in 2004 called for the land to be used for recreational and open space if the university halts agricultural research, Mogulof said.


One of the protesters named in the lawsuit, UC Berkeley alumna Anya Kamenskaya, gave a reporter a tour of the property Wednesday. Beyond signs reading, "Resistance is fertile" and "Free the land," activists had set up a kitchen tent, brought in five portable bathrooms and arranged a "youth educational garden."

The interlopers took away chickens they had brought to the land Wednesday morning, fearing they would be seized in a police sweep.


Read more: http://www.sfgate.co...L#ixzz1uUoOrmsY

#2306 Joker

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 01:37 PM

Occupy Wall Street: Disturbing New Black Bloc Video


May 25, 2012 12:20 AM EDT
3 people recommend this | comments: 1


The Occupy Wall Street has proven to be an opportune forum for a dangerous faction called the Black Bloc. Although Black Bloc is not the only militant faction in the OWS movement, the Black Bloc is the most prominent and has been around for years. There is dispute within OWS as to whether the various militant factions are helpful or harmful to the OWS anti-capitalist message. The Black bloc thugs are self-described anarchists and they like to create havoc. Although they are also anti-capitalist and closely associated with the OWS movement, their tactics are violent.
Posted Image
On April 30, the Black Bloc trashed the Mission District in San Francisco. They defaced property, smashed windows, vandalized vehicles and basically destroyed everything in their path. They posted themselves causing the destruction online, where one can hear them scream, "F**k the Police" and "Occupy will not be stopped, especially by some f**king cop!" and "What do we want? Dead Cops!" As much as the Occupy movement seeks to distance themselves from violence, many of the Black Bloc group are active in the Occupy Movement.
Watch the video here (graphic language):




The "Ruckus Party" was advertised on a since-scrubbed invitation on the Occupy Oakland Website. "We call upon all of our comrades from every corner of the Bay to descend upon Dolores Park for a ruckus street party to counter gentrification, capitalism, and the policing of our communities."

Regarding the criminal destruction, the local San Francisco news reported, "100-150 people were involved and that the police station was also a target. "At the Mission police station at 17th and Valencia streets, pink and yellow paint was thrown on the barricaded glass doors, which someone cracked with a hammer or similar weapon." One person surveyed the smashed window at her business said, "Occupy is saying it's not them, but we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Occupy, now would we?" The Occupy Wall Street movement has mixed feelings on the militant faction of the movement, but that a radical element exists is not in question.

Sfgate reported that people wondered why this gang was not stopped by police; "protesters damaged more than 30 stores and restaurants and vandalized cars, questioned Tuesday why activists had singled them out and why police hadn't done more to halt the rampage." No arrests were made, except for one, who was cited and released for a "vehicle code violation" and resisting arrest. "Some business owners said that given the extent of the damage, the arrest total should have been far higher."

Reporter Wendell Goler asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney this week, "The President has voiced support for the Occupy folks in the past. Did their actions in Chicago sour his support?" Carney is clearly uncomfortable, shown by his body language and dancing between expressing support and disapproval can be seen here:




http://news.gather.c...281474981354618

#2307 PeaceFrog

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:30 PM

"dancing" between expressing support and disapproval...

that's no kind of dancing I've ever seen... not sure about anyone else. I didn't see any dancing at all matter of fact.

Why didn't the cop get out of the car and arrest the guy banging on it?

How much of this shit is caused by agent provocateurs in a direct effort to discredit the movement?

#2308 Joker

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 03:31 PM

Didn't hear a thing about any kind of Occupy protest of Obama when he was in NYC for fundraisers with the fat cats yesterday. Did they even bother or was it another free pass for their man? :bang:

#2309 Feck

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 03:53 PM

have not seen anyone down here for weeks.

not one Friday afternoon march or anything.
5/1 + done ?

they even gave them 1/2 of the steps of Federal Hall to use for debate, etc.
i can't remember even one person using it.
takes away from the amount of people that can eat lunch there like we use to, but that's another story.

#2310 PeaceFrog

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:23 PM

Didn't hear a thing about any kind of Occupy protest of Obama when he was in NYC for fundraisers with the fat cats yesterday. Did they even bother or was it another free pass for their man? :bang:


why didn't you organize something? You'd rather just sit on your couch and complain?

I, personally, see no gains to be had by protesting Obama at this point. After he gets elected again, that's a different story.

Right now it would cause more harm than good, and that is only my personal opinion, though if others feel the same way I wouldn't be surprised.

#2311 Feck

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 02:30 PM

http://www.silive.co...wsuit_proc.html

Judge lets Occupy lawsuit proceed against cops

A judge gave the green light Thursday to a lawsuit against police officers in the arrests of 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters last year on the Brooklyn Bridge, but he dismissed the city and its top officials from liability.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said in a written ruling that the marchers had adequately backed up their claims at this stage of the litigation that they were not properly warned by officers that they would be arrested on the bridge Oct. 1.

But the judge tossed out as defendants the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, rejecting the argument that the city and its top officials had a policy of making false arrests designed to discourage protesting.

City lawyer Arthur Larkin said the city was pleased that the judge found neither the mayor nor the police commissioner was liable. He said the city was considering its legal options, including appeal, regarding the remainder of the decision.

The judge began his decision by citing the contributions of people such as Thomas Paine and Martin Luther King Jr., saying "what a huge debt this nation owes to its 'troublemakers.'"

"They have forced us to focus on problems we would prefer to downplay or ignore," he said. "Yet, it is often only with hindsight that we can distinguish those troublemakers who brought us to our senses from those who were simply -- troublemakers. Prudence, and respect for the constitutional rights to free speech and free association, therefore dictate that the legal system cut all non-violent protesters a fair amount of slack."

The ruling came in one of several lawsuits that resulted from the protest in which protesters were surrounded by officers in the middle of the bridge and arrested.

The protesters were demonstrating against financial inequality. Their lawsuit seeks a judgment declaring their arrests were unconstitutional and unspecified damages.

Police said the protesters were arrested and given disorderly conduct summonses for spilling into a roadway despite warnings.

The judge, in his ruling, said the plaintiffs had made an adequate showing that police failed to give fair warning to the majority of protesters that they would be arrested if they marched in traffic lanes on the bridge. He said the protesters were further confused when police officers walked into the lanes themselves and stopped traffic, making it seem as if it was all right to be there.

The judge said the videos offered by both sides show that the police officers "exercised some degree of control over the marchers, defining their route and directing them, at times, to follow certain rules."

He said the use of one bull horn to warn demonstrators where to go was clearly inadequate because "no reasonable officer could imagine, in these circumstances, that this warning was heard by more than a small fraction of the gathered multitude."

"Indeed, the plaintiffs' video shows what should have been obvious to any reasonable officer, namely, that the surrounding clamor interfered with the ability of demonstrators as few as 15 feet away from the bull horn to understand the officer's instructions," the judge added.

#2312 Joker

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:35 PM

Even when I agree with this guy I still want to slap the smug off his face




#2313 PeaceFrog

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:10 PM

Even when I agree with this guy I still want to slap the smug off his face


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skiWxrzXeJc&feature=player_embedded


only further evidence that you may be bigoted (wanting to inflict violence upon somebody based upon their facial expression) and have violent tendencies (imagining that you can slap, or shoot, or stun gun somebody).

#2314 Feck

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:40 PM

how do you feel about the content ?

#2315 PeaceFrog

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:22 PM

I think it's very funny and accurate, just like every other time I've seen Bill Maher. I don't really watch him that often, though, because he bums me out.

#2316 PeaceFrog

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:25 PM

I mean, Bill Maher makes me laugh but his jokes are kind of obvious to me and I might as well just watch the news.

I like the Daily Show better... it's slightly lighter.

#2317 Joker

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 08:17 PM

Attention, Occupy: police use YouTube too


After a dozen Occupy Minnesota protesters were arrested at a downtown demonstration, the group quickly took to the Internet, posting video that activists said showed police treating them roughly and never warning them to leave.


But Minneapolis police knew warnings had been given. And they had their own video to prove it. So they posted the footage on YouTube, an example of how law enforcement agencies nationwide are embracing online video to cast doubt on false claims and offer their own perspective to the public.


"It certainly frustrates the street officers to see their work being twisted into something that didn't happen or things being taken out of context," said Minneapolis police Sgt. Bill Palmer. "Frankly, the use of force, which is what most people want to film, is never going to look good, and the context can easily be twisted."


After years of seeing officers' misconduct captured on video, police departments across the nation are trying to use the medium to their advantage, releasing footage of their own to rebut allegations and to build trust within communities. One department even posted video of an officer punching a woman to show why he was fired.


Weeks before the Occupy demonstration in April, Minneapolis police created their own YouTube channel to give officers a venue to tell their own stories.


"We want to be transparent," Assistant Chief Janee Harteau said. "Here is what we did. You can see for yourself and be your own judge."


Larger departments in cities such as Boston, Baltimore and Milwaukee have had YouTube channels for years. They often post surveillance video, updates on cases, messages from the chief and public-service announcements.


Some agencies don't rely on YouTube. After Oakland, Calif., officers were criticized for the way they handled an Occupy protest in October, police there released four videos on their website showing hostile protesters surrounding police and throwing paint at them. Officers later resorted to tear gas.



More
http://www.cbsnews.c...se-youtube-too/

#2318 capt_morgan

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 08:31 PM

the movement is dead...accept it and move on.org

#2319 Joker

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 08:36 PM

It's not dead, it's just pining for the fjords

#2320 capt_morgan

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:04 PM

great more zombie apocalypse

#2321 PeaceFrog

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:07 PM

your life must be really dull

#2322 Joker

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 11:34 AM

Here's a follow up to an earlier post. Be careful with those tweets


DA Gets to See Occupy Tweets


Twitter Inc. must turn over messages posted by an Occupy Wall Street protester, a Manhattan judge ruled on Monday, another move toward giving law-enforcement agencies broad access to comments made on social media.


Monday's order was the second time Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino Jr. has ruled that law-enforcement agencies can subpoena messages posted on Twitter.


In April, Judge Sciarrino ruled Malcolm Harris, a 23-year-old writer charged with disorderly conduct during an Oct. 1 protest on the Brooklyn Bridge, couldn't quash the Manhattan district attorney's office's subpoena to Twitter.

On Monday, the judge rejected Twitter's argument that its users have a reasonable expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment, much as people who write emails do.


He acknowledged that legal interpretations of the First Amendment and Fourth Amendment's protection of online commentary are still evolving. But the judge ruled that Mr. Harris had "no reasonable expectation of privacy for tweets," comparing the posting to screaming out of a window.


"The Constitution gives you the right to post, but as numerous people have learned, there are still consequences for your public posts," the judge wrote in an 11-page decision. "What you give to the public belongs to the public. What you keep to yourself belongs only to you."


A Twitter spokeswoman said in a statement that the company was "disappointed" and is reviewing its options.


Mr. Harris's attorney, Martin Stolar, called the judge's decision "not very 21st century."

"It's rooted in old law," he said.


The Occupy Wall Street protests last fall brought to the surface a growing debate in legal circles over how much access law-enforcement agencies should have to statements made on social media websites. Protesters used Twitter to communicate, often publicly acknowledging they were breaking the law, prosecutors said.


"It's sort of the modern equivalent of asking a witness, 'What did he say?' It's just a shift from asking witnesses to asking Twitter. It's the new version of an old problem,'" said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor who specializes in electronic evidence and Internet law.


Mr. Harris was one of 700 people arrested for allegedly marching in the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge on Oct. 1. Prosecutors have said in a court filing that Mr. Harris's tweets, under the handle @destructuremal, "made clear…that he was well aware of the police instructions that day, and acted with the intent of obstructing traffic on the bridge."


Prosecutors subpoenaed Twitter on Jan. 26, after Mr. Harris's tweets disappeared.


Mr. Harris is set to go to trial on Dec. 12 for disorderly conduct, a violation. He contends police directed him and others onto the bridge.


Mr. Stolar, who is representing several Occupy protesters, said Manhattan prosecutors have subpoenaed tweets in at least four criminal cases related to the demonstrations. In two of those matters, the subpoenas were dropped when defendants accepted deals that would expunge the charges after six months without criminal charges, said Mr. Stolar, who isn't representing the other defendants whose tweets are being sought.


Another protester Jeff Rae, 31, whose tweets were subpoenaed until he accepted a deal for six months probation, said he wants Twitter to file an appeal.


The Manhattan district attorney's office wouldn't discuss how many times it has subpoenaed Twitter.


Under Monday's order, Twitter must turn over Mr. Harris's tweets between Sept. 15, 2011, and Dec. 30, 2011, to the court.


The judge will inspect the messages and turn over "relevant portions" to the district attorney's office. Any tweets after Dec. 30 would have to be obtained using a search warrant.


"We are pleased that the court has ruled for a second time that the tweets at issue must be turned over," Chief Assistant District Attorney Daniel Alonso said. "We look forward to Twitter's complying and to moving forward with the trial."


Drew Hornbein, an Occupy protester who works with its technology operations group, said he appreciates how Twitter has tried to fend off prosecutors' subpoena requests.


"I think they're doing a great job, but they are still a business," he said. "They can't fight if it means they're going to get cut off. I think they want to do the right thing."


Occupy protesters have tried to create communication networks that can't be seen by outsiders.


http://online.wsj.co...1484529174.html

#2323 Feck

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 04:47 PM

i think we all pretty much agree that the City & NYPD have leaked false stories about OWS.
I found it very cusious that almost every paper ran the Subway Chain DNA link to an Unsovled Murder story on the front page, but chose to burry the retaction somewhere in the middle.

no one rembers the retraction/aquitals.
papers don't like to show their mistakes

A day after reports that DNA found at an Occupy Wall Street-affiliated protest had been matched to an unsolved murder case, a law enforcement official said the link was a lab mistake—and not a break

http://news.yahoo.co...-130802454.html

#2324 PeaceFrog

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:24 PM

it's bullshit, but some people can't help themselves from lapping it up.

#2325 Joker

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:10 PM

i think we all pretty much agree that the City & NYPD have leaked false stories about OWS.
I found it very cusious that almost every paper ran the Subway Chain DNA link to an Unsovled Murder story on the front page, but chose to burry the retaction somewhere in the middle.

no one rembers the retraction/aquitals.
papers don't like to show their mistakes

A day after reports that DNA found at an Occupy Wall Street-affiliated protest had been matched to an unsolved murder case, a law enforcement official said the link was a lab mistake—and not a break

http://news.yahoo.co...-130802454.html

From what I'm seeing the cops never said anything about it being from someone affiliated to OWS, only that it matched DNA found at the scene and they specifically stated that it could just be a coincidence.

Seems this was more of a case of the press blowing it all out of proportion rather than the city/cops leaking a false story.

#2326 Joker

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:39 PM

Riot police, Occupy protesters clash in Los Angeles


Police clad in riot gear skirmished with protesters, including Occupy demonstrators, in downtown Los Angeles late Thursday, leaving two officers injured and an estimated dozens of people arrested, local media reported. At least one man, who said he was not part of the protest, reported being struck by a rubber bullet.


A woman who said she was an Occupy member told the Los Angeles Times that protesters attended the monthly “ArtWalk” on Thursday to give support to those who had previously been arrested for writing on the sidewalk with chalk.

The demonstration started at about 8:40 p.m. (11:40 p.m. ET) Thursday, when protesters began taking over the intersection of Fifth and Spring streets, Officer Karen Rayner of the police department said. At times during the first hours of the protest, crowds and police could be seen running from the area. Police ordered the crowd to leave around 11 p.m., and a few skirmishes appeared to break out as officers tried to move the protesters.

At least two officers were injured in the skirmishes, the LA Times reported, and dozens of arrests were believed to have been made, though exact numbers were not available, Rayner said.


More
http://usnews.msnbc....os-angeles?lite

#2327 elder

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 03:18 PM

LA loves a good riot. Something in that orange summer air just makes them all bonkers.

#2328 vic

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:33 PM

http://rt.com/usa/ne...violations-113/

#2329 Feck

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 02:15 PM

i hate to say it but why do i have a feeling the "group of legal experts" were not unbiased.

the problems with the NYPD go back to when Rudy had is thug squads that were shut down bythe feds.
that was replaced by "stop & frisk" which quicky went to we can get away with anything.

i am glad to see the officer that sprayed the women in the oragne fencing now has 2 federal law suits against him.

http://www.silive.co...taten_isla.html

#2330 concert andy

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 01:22 PM

The Occupiers, three years later: Where are they now?

Read more: http://www.philadelp...l#ixzz3G1yYamsu

 

 

Briana Barton got a call the day before she was set to head to New York in fall 2011. It was her roommate, Sean. It sounded important.

 

The valedictorian of her Moore College of Art and Design’s graduating class just five months earlier, Barton knew she wanted to settle in Philadelphia, but was feeling lost. After leaving the small, elite, Center City college with a fine arts degree, she had yet to find a job. Moreover, she was becoming dismayed by the very idea of using art in the service of capitalism: “I just didn’t want anything to do with most of the art world,” she says today. “Art is something that’s pretty sacred, one of the most beautiful things about being human. To see it used to persuade people—that’s evil to me.”

 

But everything was about to change. Inspired by New York’s Occupy Wall Street protest, thousands of people around the country had begun pitching tents in the name of fighting corporate capitalism.

 

Barton had planned to take a train up to Manhattan and see for herself—perhaps participate in the movement. Now, that plan was moot. Because, as Sean told her: “It’s happening here.”

 

The following morning, she met with hundreds of people in Rittenhouse Park and marched to Dilworth Plaza immediately outside City Hall, Center City’s centermost point, where tens of thousands pass through each day to and from their jobs. Separate groups supporting Occupy Wall Street marched from four separate points in the city, and the protest officially began that morning. It would continue for almost two months.

 

That was three years ago, this week. For Barton and many others in Philadelphia and around the world, the Occupy movement, which peaked in fall 2011, was a defining moment in their lives. Now, looking back, many former members of Occupy Philly view those two fall months with everything from nostalgia and happiness to anger to remorse.

 

The Occupy movement was born out of a manifesto in the Canadian anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters, which called for citizens of the world to emulate young Middle Easterners’ “Arab Spring” protests against their repressive governments. “On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months,” Adbusters wrote. “Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.”

 

What was that one simple demand? Well, that was the central dilemma of the Occupy movement: Nobody really knew, or at least agreed. Nonetheless, by early autumn, every inhabited continent boasted its own Occupy encampments as hundreds of cities’ anti-corporate protesters first mimicked Occupy Wall Street—and then began to localize, working to bring change to local problems even as they suffered problems of their own.

 

“I came here with my tent and a backpack of stuff and we were like, ‘OK, we’re gonna change the world now,’” Barton recalls. “I had no idea what I was doing—at all. Throughout college, I was aware of what was going on in the world, I was up on current events, but I was never part of any sort of protest. I had never done any organizing before—and then I was suddenly doing it 24 hours a day.”

 

Today, Barton works as the garden manager at Historic Fairhill Farm in North Philadelphia. With three years worth of life experience lending heft to hindsight, she suggests: “I think we could have benefited from not feeling like we had to fix the world that week.”

 

Her story is one that’s echoed by numerous Occupy Philly alumni. The protest was messy, and often ineffective—but ultimately, a new wave of Philadelphia-area activists and thinkers rose from the encampment’s dirty concrete and damp tents.

 

Khadijah White was a Ph.D candidate at Penn’s Annenberg School of Communications in 2011, and she was looking for a new kind of connection with the city. “I felt that I hadn’t really lived in Philadelphia,” she says, even though she’d been in West Philly for five years. “I lived on 48th Street—not too far from Penn’s campus, but I felt like it was hard for me to plug into the community outside of the campus.” In part, that was because the most visible African-American activist groups she found gave her pause. “They were mostly black-nationalist groups that still had a lot of black-nationalist leftover positions, like misogyny, homophobia,” she says. “I didn’t want to invest myself in those.”

 

The absence of a singular message at Occupy Philly meant it was a space White felt she could help mold. She did notice a racial disconnect there, though: “I felt like it was a group of predominantly white young people who were interested in doing activism in Philly, but weren’t necessarily thinking about what people in the city were concerned about.”

 

Early on during Occupy Philly, accusations and rumors of racism were rampant. A People of Color Caucus was set up to be exclusively for people of color, denying entry to so-called “allies” in the movement. Communist groups, anarchists and others quickly became radicalized, White says, and much of what she learned as an Occupy participant was how to help organize those people around a common cause, not dwell on their divisions.

 

The movement helped her understand the city in a stronger way, White says. She would later help organize protests around several issues: the curfew enacted by Mayor Michael Nutter in response to flash mobs; the ban on feeding homeless people; and police brutality. Today, she’s an assistant professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University.

 

Jeff Rousset has been part of inclusive social movements for as long as he’s lived in Philadelphia. A graduate of the Valley Forge Military Academy, he opted not to join the military after high school. Instead, he studied at Drexel University, where he was part of Students for a Democratic Society—a reincarnation of the student group that flourished in the ’60s, and was the basis for much of the direct action and participatory democracy structure witnessed at Occupy protests.

 

After graduation, Rousset got a job as national field organizer for the Prometheus Radio Project, an independent, nonprofit radio station based in West Philadelphia. He and others from the station met at what would eventually become the Media Tent on Oct. 6. He was immediately struck by the number of opinions and perspectives settling in the plaza. “There wasn’t one faction dominating any area of Occupy, which was a beautiful and really challenging aspect of the movement,” he recalls. “It was so decentralized and diverse—not necessarily diverse from an age and race perspective, but diverse in terms of a political perspective and understanding and ideology.

 

One moment of the national Occupy moment managed to unify participants everywhere: On October 25, 2011, Iraq veteran Scott Olsen was shot with a lead-filled beanbag by police at Occupy Oakland. “Following that,” Rousset says, “we felt it was important—given the magnitude of police violence in Oakland against the Occupy movement and the assault on free speech and assembly—we felt it was important to escalate our movement in support of economic justice and human rights.” A national day of action was coordinated; in Philly, protesters stormed the Comcast Center to sit-in against corporate greed until they were arrested. Rousset was one of nine to be taken away in handcuffs. He had never been arrested before.

 

But any unification quickly broke down again. As was evident from media reports of the time—including not just political differences, but incidents like a reported rape—the inhabitants of Dilworth Plaza found it difficult to get along. All the while, a central question had not been answered: Was Occupy Philly its own movement, or was it there to support Occupy Wall Street? And if those stresses weren’t enough, protesters were agitated by rumors that plainclothes police were living among them in the encampments. (The reality was that police were at least monitoring Occupy’s social media, as explained in a February 2013 case study by Philadelphia Police Corporal Frank Domizio.)

 

Between the police, the hard leftists, the hard rightists, the communists, the anarchists, the mainstream Democrats, the union representation and community organizing groups, division was inevitable. “It was really difficult and challenging to get along with a lot those people,” Rousset says. “I felt that most of the battles I fought at Occupy were not against the 1 percent, but trying to unify the 99 percent.”

 

But not everyone looks back on the splintered movement with frustration. Comedian N.A. Poe—a 35-year-old comedian whose real name is Richard Tamaccio—credits Occupy with teaching him all about things like direct action and networking.

 

Granted, he says, “it was like the Anarcho-Communist Super Bowl. They’d be outside a bank, yelling at the bank, yelling at people coming home from work, and the general public is like, ‘Fuck you!’ It’s kind of like a fraternity with these leftist groups. They don’t really engage the public; they just want to be angry.”

 

The movement in and of itself, he thinks, was a failure—but what it spawned wasn’t.

 

Throughout 2013, several groups around Philadelphia—some of whom, including Poe, met in the media tent at Occupy Philly—put together monthly protests called “Smokedown Prohibition,” which fused speeches, comedic pitches, a large crowd and peaceful protest to fight the prohibition of marijuana in the United States. Many of those involved—and specifically Chris Goldstein, chair of Philly NORML—met with local political leaders in addition to putting on the protests, arguing for the decriminalization of marijuana in Philadelphia. “Occupy is about economic inequality and the drug war and marijuana prohibition are part in parcel with that conversation,” says Goldstein today. “Certainly I have been involved with marijuana reform well before Occupy, so what I brought into camp was that aspect. I found many like-minded people there who agree with those principals.”

 

Earlier this month, those like-minded people won. Mayor Nutter signed legislation on October 1, 2014 making less than 30 grams of marijuana a non-criminal offense.

 

“People talk shit about Occupy Philly,” Poe says, “but without Occupy Philly, marijuana would not be decriminalized.” That’s a policy shift that’s expected to save more than 4,000 small possession arrests and $4 million in policing in Philadelphia.


Nate Kleinman sits inside a small hut made of old tires and concrete at Peace Park on Bolton Street in North Philadelphia—a formerly empty lot that he and local residents have turned into a food forest, where they grow organic tomatoes, kale, collared greens Swiss chard and other crops. He asks if it’s OK that he removes Tepary beans from their pods as we talk. It’s his first time growing the bean, which is native to the southeastern United States.

Back in 2011, the then-Jenkintown resident was working as a legislative aide for Josh Shapiro, who represented the 153rd District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Shapiro and Kleinman drove into Philadelphia to attend a talk at the National Constitution Center hosted by George Stephanopoulos on October 11. It sucked. He left. When he got to Occupy Philly, the group was in the midst of a vote on whether to accept a union’s offer of a port-o-potty. “I was pretty familiar with the consensus process, because I went to Abington Friends, and Quakers are all about consensus,” he says, “so, that definitely appealed to me.”

 

He began going every day after work for six weeks, then quit his job to Occupy full-time. “I felt like what I was doing in those two to three hours after work was way more important than what I was doing in the office all day,” he says. When the protest was over, he still felt that way. On January 24, 2012, Politico reported the “first Occupy candidate” in American electoral politics would come out of Philadelphia. It was Kleinman: He’d announced he would be challenging Rep. Allyson Schwartz for her 13th District seat.

 

Her campaign would eventually knock him off the ballot before the primary could take place. After that, Kleinman joined local union-backed organizing group Fight For Philly before finding his true calling after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey and New York on October 22, 2012. As a volunteer helping families impacted by the storm, he spent much of 2013 cleaning up destroyed coastal towns and neighborhoods throughout New Jersey. He partially credits a network called Inter-Occupy, through which organizers would host nationwide, online conference calls, providing updates on the relief effort.

Currently, Kleinman and fellow Occupy alum Dusty Hinz work on a farm in South Jersey, and are hoping to create a farm network through online organizing, bringing people and rare, alternative seeds together, as detailed in a recent Daily News story.

 

One thing that would come to divide Occupy Philly: There were those who wanted to do this for the rest of their lives, and those who didn’t. Occupy Philly called itself leaderless, but perhaps the leaders were realized after the fact.    

 

For many involved, Occupy ended the night of Nov. 29, 2011, when Dilworth Plaza got raided, the Occupiers’ tents and bicycles taken or destroyed. For others, it ended gradually during the following months, as the media slowly stopped paying attention. For others, however, when they’d lost their home and 52 demonstrators were strapped with handcuffs on 15th Street, the protest just began.

 

Take Occupy member Dustin Slaughter. In recent months, he’s teamed up with locals Kenneth Lipp and Joshua Scott Albert to work on online media outlet The Declaration. “I think it’s important to continue reporting on the hard organizing work Philly’s political movements are doing, and the way to do that is to report without rhetoric, and to give factual context to why this group marched or why that group chose to get arrested,” Slaughter says. “After all, post-Occupy activists have matured, gotten smarter, and still fight as hard as they did, and I see no reason why I shouldn’t do the same with my work.”

Briana Barton doesn’t know where her life would be today if not for Occupy, she says as she looks at Dilworth Park, which finally reopened this fall after renovations, a flatter, more polished version of its former self. “This was the most life-changing thing I’ve done,” she says. “My closest core of friends and mentors all came from people I knew here. It was here I was able to realize that I have a set of values that I have to live by.”

 

“Nobody thought that tens of thousands of people from all over the country, from big cities to small towns, would engage in direct action to confront corporate capitalism,” adds Jeff Rousset, who now works at the Media Mobilizing Project in West Philadelphia, “but that happened … and it could happen again.”

 

Khadijah White agrees. “A lot of people left Occupy angry, disgusted, upset because there were hurtful moments and strong feelings, but that’s not unusual,” she says. “What I was struck by was that it happened at all. They had yoga; they had a library; there was a media tent; there were people fed three times a day; there were people who hadn’t seen a doctor in years getting their blood pressure checked. I can’t believe that it ever happened much more than I can’t believe it ever fell apart.”