Photos: Jess Root
After Brian's inspiring coverage of Occupy Wall Street, I had to show support to my NYC brothers and sisters fighting the good fight against the 1% negatively ruling America.
I expected to emerge the Fulton St. subway to a band of marchers, but not doing my homework ahead of time, I was directed -- thanks to a street food vendor -- to Zuccotti Park. I wouldn't march (bummer -- I saved my voice so I could shout!), but I'd join the pool of protesters during their version of lunch hour. What I stumbled upon was a fascinating "base camp" operation. My boyfriend and I squeezed and bumped our way through the park paths housing a diverse crowd of protesters. What the protest camp seemingly lacked in organization (I meandered through the crowd unsuccessful in finding a Bill McKibben-like leader or "hub" for Occupy Wall Street to speak to), was made up for in compassion and sustainable efforts.
There was hardcore humanity and camaraderie in the air. I was blown away by the well-executed lunch station where friendly servers were scooping out heaps of donated pasta, salads and pizza from trays to a hungry line of protesters. Those manning the food booth were quick to feed you with a smile. Mountains of bottled water, locally grown apples, granola bars, hot tea and coffee were for the grabbing.
I was impressed by the pop-up kitchen's greywater system courtesy of Mobile Design Lab, being used to water park plants. And, similarly impressed by the pop-up library lending out donated books and donated clothing piles standing to provide a chilly protester with a sweater or two.
Pockets of anarchist sub-culture resided harmoniously aside dreaded locks. Sharply-dressed progressives dotted the paths representing organizations like Avaaz.org (sign their petition!). Tourists stopped by to scope out what for me was a proud vision of a fed-up America -- exercising democracy by doing, not bitching and complaining.
It was a very patriotic, very American, very New York City kind of moment -- and unless anything has changed, it's going on right now.
If you wish to check out and join the growing movement -- that has a lot to do with us environmentalists -- check out OccupyWallSt.org. While it is a deliberately leaderless resistance movement, the website and social media tools can keep you posted on its whereabouts and schedule of events.
More on Occupy Wall Street:
Climate Activists Join 10,000 Protesters to Occupy Wall Street (Video)
Why I'm Occupying Wall Street with the Green Movement Today
Why Environmentalists Should Care About the Occupy Wall Street Protest