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We are the 99 percent

Wall Street: #Occupied

Posted 11 years ago on April 10, 2012, 4:59 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

sleeping on wall street

For the first time since our movement against economic inequality and political corruption began, Occupy Wall Street is literally occupying Wall Street. As of 3am eastern time, over 40 Occupiers are sleeping on Wall Street near the corner of Broad across from the New York Stock Exchange. Everyone angry at the greed of the financial system is encouraged to bring a sleeping bag! Follow on Twitter: #SleepOnWallSt, #SleepfulProtest. Update: Just before 8am Eastern, NYPD arrived with zipties and informed the protesters they had to be out of the way by 8. Occupiers are engaging with stock traders, tourists, workers, and other folks in the financial district and plan to hold an assembly in Liberty Square later.

Background: On March 16, we attempted to peacefully re-occupy Liberty Square (formerly Zucotti Park), the small park just south of Wall Street that had become home to Occupy Wall Street exactly six months earlier. The NYPD had other plans. They attacked us once again. When many homeless Occupiers were left with nowhere to go, many went north to Union Square in midtown Manhattan. Union Square, which has been a central point in popular struggle in New York City for over a century, quickly became an important hub for the Occupy movement as well.

As an excuse to arrest and harass Occupiers, the NYPD began enforcing a midnight park closing rule for the first time in history. In response, Occupiers developed a new tactic: Sleeping on sidewalks directly in front of banks. Rather than allowing the NYPD to muddy our message by re-framing the narrative as ¨police versus protesters,¨ we returned to the banks for our real battle: the 99% versus the 1%. The police merely enforce the system; Wall Street is our real enemy.

On April 6, NYPD gathered once again for the nightly ¨eviction theater¨ only to find Occupiers had moved to the sidewalks and erected a sign declaring their legal right to do so. When police moved in arrest them, Occupiers on livestream read the law permitting sleeping on sidewalks as political protest. In Metropolitan v. Safir, the U.S. District Court covering New York City ruled that ¨ the First Amendment of the United States Constitution does not allow the City to prevent an orderly political protest from using public sleeping as a means of symbolic expression."

The police backed down. The tactic quickly became a model for other Occupations. Occupy DC can be found sleeping outside of a Bank of America near their old encampment at McPherson Square, while Occupy Philadelphia have taken their message and sleeping bags to Wells Fargo on Chestnut Street, near occupied Independence Mall.

Now, the tactic has been applied to, finally, occupy Wall Street.

These bank protests are part of the latest wave of the spring resurgence of Occupy leading up to a major day of demonstration and a General Strike on May 1st. From the Chicago Spring to recent attempted re-occupations in San Francisco, Minneapolis, and many other places, as long as banks keep taking our homes and receiving massive public bailouts from corrupt governments, we will make our discontent known by making our new homes right in front of them.



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[-] 7 points by sclewis111 (7) from Binghamton, NY 11 years ago

awesome! solidarity from occupy binghamton!

[-] 3 points by DCInsider (54) 11 years ago

Don't forget the 99% Spring is occurring from April 9-15. Get involved with thousands of other OWS people in teach-ins in preparation for May Day. Details can be found at http://the99spring.com/

Let's get involved and spread the word.

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8708) 11 years ago

Thanks. May 1st is VERY important for this movement.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Excellent News !!! SOLIDARITY !! ;

Thus to follow : 3 Tunes ; 1 Article & some suggested viewing :

a) The 'Voices o EH' - "March Across This Land" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TL0J03ngA50 ,

b) Curtis Mayfield ----- "Keep On Keeping On" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-l91O9VxN0 &

c) Curtis Mayfield ----- "We Got To Have Peace" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QglEbgON9o .

Also, please see :

For those who may wish to learn or remind themselves what OWS and all things "Occupy" are all about, please try to make time to view the excellent and insightful, award winning documentary film .. "Inside Job" : http://documentarystorm.com/inside-job/ and for some further recommended viewing : http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/category/economics/ .

Resistance Is Fertile ...

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 5 points by chappellart (5) 11 years ago

occupy tucson began sleeping on the sidewalks on december 22, 2011. it was our means to "hold ground" until taking a new park (di anza) in early february. wewent back to this tactic after being evicted from di anza in march ... and were indiscriminately arrested for our efforts. all this is to shout out "soulidarity!" and HOLD YER GROUND!!!! <3. - chappell

[-] 5 points by Revolutionary (311) 11 years ago

Our duty is to struggle because our philosophy is better than our rulers.We are 99%.We want rights,justice and dignity for all.

[-] 5 points by LJ14 (4) 11 years ago

I'm proud of all you Occupiers!!!! Way to stand up for the roots of our country and the rights of our citizens!


I'd be joining you if I wasn't residing in rural Montana.

I wish people could just understand that fairness, love, and respect to your fellow brothers is the key to the peace and happiness of all!!!!!!!

[-] 4 points by EeshaWilliams (6) 11 years ago

Thank you to the protesters!

-Eesha Williams, Dummerston, Vermont www.ValleyPost.org

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 11 years ago

I just followed the link to your paper, and noticed the story about the armored vehicle funded by Homeland Security (for Keene) /// disturbing story (I wonder why the heck our tax dollars are being wasted to provide tiny towns in the middle of the woods, armored military vehicles)?

[-] 4 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 11 years ago

THIS is how you win! Great job with the changing tactics!

[-] 4 points by DonQuixot (231) 11 years ago

God Bless the U.S. District Court covering New York City. If enough judges follow the constitution in its spirit instead of the 1 %, there is hope. This is III World War.The rulers against the ruled. Judges appointed by rulers are useless unless they are honest and brave.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8708) 11 years ago


[-] 4 points by bernadene (3) 11 years ago

Hah! Sleep protests in NYC!!! We can do that in DC...Flash sleep-ins! Just twitter where the next one will be! Solidarity!

[-] 4 points by ZinniaM (3) 11 years ago

Please let's begin another "Don't Buy Anything" day. Just like we did on November 26th!!! I value the comrades who occupy the streets, but I have a newborn baby and the moratorium is a better (and more accessible) way for moms like me to get involved. Let's spread the word and have a "non-spending" Mother's Day :)

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8708) 11 years ago

Wow! Somebody's really doing some good thinking! This is Great!

[-] 3 points by nobnot (529) from Kapaa, HI 11 years ago

This action called for by days of rage in August 2011? Love to see it.Bloomberg must be deciding on how to break this law.

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

Its about time.

[-] 2 points by e2420 (-28) 11 years ago

any plans to organize a mass volunteering day? Get everyone to clean up parks, work soup kitchens, etc... Basically pitch in and try to make the community better.

[-] 5 points by MachineShopHippie (216) from Louisville, KY 11 years ago

Agreed. Can we have an organized day where we agree not to do any banking or shopping, but we all give something to our community, whether it be our time or labor or clothing or food or whatever?

I think that part of the problem people have with identifying with Occupy is that they view us as a negative influence. Like 'Yeah, I don't like the fact that Mitt Romney's tax rate is half of what mine is, but I don't want to go sleep in a park about it either.'

Once they see that we are not just a voice of change, but a force for POSITIVE change, I think the movement will spread even faster across a lot of demographics that don't really identify with it yet, even though they are classic victims of the type of greed and corruption we are against.

If we all committed to perform one selfless deed on a certain day and reported back what we did, we could have an Occupy For Good movement that would introduce people to the positive change we want to make in the world.

[-] 4 points by cmoylanc (32) 11 years ago

Such a great idea. Occupy, of course, does a lot of good in so many ways--from sheltering the homeless to working on foreclosures. But I love your idea of turning a mass protest into a mass volunteer service action...

[-] 1 points by TheIllusionCalledMoney (56) 11 years ago

Agree. It's necessary to both awaken people to the massive failings of the current global system (politics, money, government, etc.) through action (education, civil disobedience, etc.) while also proposing solutions through action. Volunteering en mass is gifting en mass. The antithesis of debt-based currency and separation is gifting and community. The system that is dying and on its way out is money as we know it today. The future is the gift, community, and knowing that we are all in this together for a better world for all 100% of us....

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

Thats called community service. NOt direct action.

[-] 1 points by Pinwheel (10) from New York, NY 11 years ago

No, it's called directly impacting the world with action. :)

[-] 2 points by Pinwheel (10) from New York, NY 11 years ago

Brilliant, MachineShop. The more familiar I become with Occupy, the more I think "being the change you want to see" is the way to go. If all Occupiers start focusing on truly creating an alternative society (not just mimicking one on city squares with folding tables) we'd be off to a good start. I.e., buy lots, turn them into thriving community farms. Don't buy new things; as much as possible, recycle but even better -- re-use. Or just keep using what you currently own if it's not broken. Do we really need the latest new whatever when the old one works fine (honestly, how much speed do you need in a phone? Isn't that old office chair just fine?) Invent new "green" housing structures, get people to sign up for clean fuels (and those who can afford to invest, invest in solar/other clean sources). While crafting a new government system, use the current system (because it IS here right NOW) to VOTE IN people you can believe in. Don't see them on your ballot? Then come up with your own candidate at the city/county/state level, vote them in, see them rise into state and then Federal government. Change from within. Pressure the government, media, everyone to adopt campaign reforms. "Just Do It." Every Occupier should walk or bicycle instead of driving when possible to demonstrate "green" living. (I am serious. I don't have a license; my bike has been my transport in four cities, and counting.) Consider switching to a more plant-based diet (better for you, better for the environment, definitely better for the animals -- I don't care how much you like bacon ;-) There is SO MUCH YOU CAN DO AS AN INDIVIDUAL TO TANGIBLY CHANGE THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER.

[-] 1 points by mymarkx (40) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

Everything else you suggest Pinwheel, is a form of noncompliance with the system. But doing your civic duty to the system by voting or running for office, is not. Bank of America is here now, do you use it? If not, why aren't you depositing your money there, or trying to get a job there so that you can change it from within? Even if the popular vote had to be counted, which the Supreme Court says is not Constitutionally required, even if we had honest, verifiable elections, which we don't, and even if the popular vote was the final say and couldn't be overturned, which is not the case, how many hundreds of years do you think it would take you to get a majority who aren't dependent upon corporate and military-industrial campaign donations so that they would be free to enact campaign reforms?

The Occupy movement is about direct democracy. It is not about delegating the power of the people to a government that cannot be held accountable. It is not about voting to legitimize whoever wins an election to authorize the police to beat our heads in for exercising our unalienable rights. It is not about declaring ourselves incompetent or too busy and apathetic to manage our own affairs and appointing guardians to tell us what we can and cannot do. It is not about delegating war power to warmongers or fiscal powers to corrupt banksters and revolving door corporate executives. Remember, your vote is your consent of the goverrned and you are not consenting to be governed by the candidates you vote for, you are voting to consent to be governed by whoever wins, or whoever the rigged voting machines, the political party super-delegates, the Electoral College, Congress, or the Supreme Court substitutes for whoever wins.

This is our society and we are responsible for it. Delegating our responsibility to others, particularly in a system where public opinion is not allowed to influence policy decisions, is the height of irresponsibility. There are some things others can do for you, such as cook your food, mend your clothes, or repair your bike, but there are some things only you can do. Nobody can breathe for you, eat for you, or know better than you what you want. Self-governance, also known as direct democracy or as Lincoln put it, government of, by, and for the people, is one of those things that elected representatives, no matter how enlightened and benevolent, cannot do for you.

So don't buy corporate stuff, don't patronize corrupt banks, don't help fund the wars, and don't vote. If you aren't apathetic and there is really any issue, such as human rights, civil rights, the environment, etc., do you really want to delegate such decisions to government? You can use a computer, you can ride a bike, and you can understand or at least parrot some humane principles, so why do you consider yourself incapable of self-governance and in need of elected officials to make your decisions for you?

You can't bring about change by working within the system because the system is a bureaucracy designed precisely to ensure that cannot happen. As anarchist Emma Goldman said a hundred years ago, "If voting could change anything, they'd make it illegal." Do you really think that corporations would spend billions of dollars funding elections campaigns if there was the slightest possibility that voting could remove their influence from government?

If you're addicted to voting, that's none of my business. But when you try to encourage others to join you in an activity so detrimental to society that it got us to where we are now, it is my responsibility to at least try to intervene.

There were people like you in the Spanish revolution. José Peirats, in Vol. 1 of his book, The CNT in the Spanish Revolutionown, said of them, "For my own part, I have always reproached the políticos for standing in the elections because that was tantamount to wiping out the potential for revolution in economic, political and social terms or, in other words, destroying the very basis of the revolution."

It's not just the economy, not just health care, not just housing, not just jobs, not just education, not just institutionalized racism, not just pollution, not just toxic foodstuffs, not just corruption, but all of these things and more. You might prefer that we spend decades, if not centuries attempting to reform each problem designed to be resistant to reform, but it isn't you who will bear the burden if you get your way, it is our children and grandchildren who will suffer from your lack of urgency.

Withholding your consent and delegitimizing the government by refusing to vote to grant it your authority and delegate to it all your power, is legal, nonviolent, effortless, and in countries like South Africa and Cuba has been proven to be effective. I'm not very impressed by people who get brutalized and/or arrested for exercising their rights, yet continue to vote to authorize the government to decide whether or not to brutalize and/or arrest them. I was a lifelong voter and I only stopped voting six years ago. I'm 72. If I can do it, so can you. And if you can't, ask for help. There are people who care and will support your efforts to stop. If there isn't a Voters Anonymous group near you, start one. I wish you all the best.

Boycott 2012!.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

So your position is that we should kill democracy, let the Repblican Party determuine the court for another twenty years, give the TEA party greater say over public policy.

I think everything you say is designed to hurt us.


[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

way to buy the bullshit

[-] 1 points by skippydetour (1) 11 years ago

Agree with your thoughts here !

To the ORGANISERS OF WALL STREET SLEEP OVERS : there are many " homeless " joining in , so see ht they get registered into the " home " of a registered person so as to avoid the rest being tainted by this discrepancy ! So many have lost their homes , to the greed of the 1% ,so helping them in this small way will avoid difficulties when the " NYPD " revert to their " bullying tactics ! " Ocupy Innsbruck " was allowed to exist by the authorities until the end of Dec 2011 , lets hope they are allowed to return , if they are not already back there in their park .

The WORLD supports your actions when in compliance with Lawful Authoritarian orders , sad that the Authorities have to stoop to subterfuge when they cannot gain the upper hand .


[-] 2 points by musicdeva (1) 11 years ago

you people are my hero/ines!!! :)

lets start to occupy the courts too--the system within IS Clogged

please follow my self represented war with a "distressed business-hedgefunder-attorney" wall streeter in california--I'm in my 3rd YEAR--robbed of my stockholdings of a net company i helped start in my home 18 years ago--my home leased in my name



[-] 1 points by proudofOKC (361) 11 years ago

Wow, how could you say that to another human being? Please take a deep breath and regain your dignity, sir.

We are all guilty of something. That's no reason for you to say that someone should be shot. You are a human being equipped with a heart capable of deep feelings and an extremely intelligent mind. A lot of violence and pain is happening in our world, but if it bothers you enough to lash out about it, then use that empathy to educate and heal your fellow man.

[-] 1 points by decolodc (1) 11 years ago

It's great to see y'all doing this, but just a quick fact check - Occupy DC came up with this idea a while back. We've been out front of BofA and Citibank since early March, and arrests have been a common occurence since April 3:


Y'all have inspired us to do some great actions, but this one isn't one of them. We came up with it independently, as did many other smaller occupations; I'd love to see that one sentence - "The tactic quickly became a model for other Occupations" - changed to reflect that fact.

[-] 1 points by Pinwheel (10) from New York, NY 11 years ago

Hear hear! But this sentence kills me: "…many went north to Union Square in midtown Manhattan…" Union Square is most definitely NOT in "midtown Manhattan." It's south of Gramercy and Flatiron. I know I'm picky but if you're occupying my city, get it right. ;-)

[-] 1 points by sadierebelle (43) 11 years ago

haha, fair enough. but a lot of Occupiers are New Yorkers too :)