Occupy Wall Street – October 14

The dramatic showdown between thousands of demonstrators and NYC Mayor Bloomberg was averted at the 11th hour when faced with overwhelming force, the Mayor decided the inhabitants of Zuccotti Park had sufficiently tidied themselves up, at least for the time being, and Occupation Wall Street continues. Feeling their power and wanting to celebrate, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets and sidewalks of lower Manhattan Friday morning. In the end, the creativity and sheer numbers of the demonstrators was too much for the NYPD. A few scenes from Friday morning.

There was at least one grotesque moment of police rage captured here See 1.41 seconds. And I noticed two occasions when plain clothes suit and tie higher ups, with no visible identification or badge number, bolted from the crowd and got physical.

Saturday October 15, Occupation Wall Street moves to Times Square.
All photos ©Nina Berman 2011, All Rights Reserved

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is an ongoing demonstration in Lower Manhattan — a bold and audacious act to create meaningful public dialogue about economic inequality and human rights in the USA and beyond. It began September 17 when a group of young people set up camp in a small city park, normally home to construction workers on lunch break from the former World Trade Center construction site. In 21 days it has grown fantastically, and virally, spanning similar movements in the USA and beyond. Their occupation is a symbolic act, yet their demands are quite specific. Entering Zuccotti Park, where they are encamped, is a beautiful experience. People are kind, they are talking as opposed to texting, they are reading, drawing, sharing stories, listening, being human. Food is free. Help is offered. People are taking care of each other. Where in all of this is the enemy? Egyptians had Mubarek, the New York demonstrators have….. Wall Street. As Mayor Bloomberg correctly said (and he should know) Wall Street is no longer on Wall Street. The money makers and masters of the universe are spread out, holed up in their trading bunkers and investment banks all over town. Wall Street is more of a theme park now, a place for tourists to snap pictures of the gated NYSE, or a community of high priced condos where people see the demonstrators as a public nuisance. See NY Times story. here My own visual prejudices have been challenged photographing OWS. I am used to seeing the man in the suit as a symbol of the elite class, and then I saw men in suits marching with the demonstrators. I am used to thinking that when people take off their clothes and shout greed is bad, to not take them too seriously, and then Michael Shaw at Bagnewsnotes opened my eyes to my own picture. Personally, it’s been inspiring to see this energy and creativity, especially in New York, which hasn’t felt this free in decades. Here are a few images from some evening visits. For a complete set, visit NOOR . All photos ¬©Nina Berman 2011, All Rights Reserved