Saturday, October 22, 2011

occupy new york (general assembly, people's library), 10.21.11

One of the things that struck me last night, as we wandered through and around Zuccotti Park, was how peaceful it felt, and how strong in its simplicity. The few minutes of the nightly General Assembly that we listened to, shouted in stilted phrases from one round of voices to the next because the NYPD has forbidden the use of megaphones and speakers, was about how to deal with the laundry. A woman was frosting cupcakes with chocolate frosting for a group of children in the designated children's area. Two men, one with an accordion, wandered the square like minstrels of old, singing The Occupy Wall Street Song. The ground was swept clean, and people's belongings were safely tucked away under tarps and roped off from pedestrian traffic. Most of the milling, massing people -- scruffy teenagers, seemingly homeless folks, mothers and fathers and toddlers, well-dressed elderly Upper West Side dames, and everything in between -- were polite and friendly and smiled back whenever I smiled at them.

I wished, in those moments of grinning with pride for these people, for this city, that my father were here to see this, to wander Liberty Square with me, to perhaps lend his oh so powerful voice to the goings-on of the General Assemblies. It might have assuaged some of his anger, calmed his percolating dissatisfaction with his government, with his country.

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