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Liberty Plaza - First Impressions of S17

Liberty Square

A bit before 8 AM, and before I even had my coffee (!!), I walked from my hotel to Zuccotti Park, passing the famous old Trinity Church on the way where young people were camped out in their sleeping bags on the sidewalk, most still sleeping. There were cops everywhere, strolling in twos and threes on the streets, or sitting over breakfast in coffee shops.

It's a sunny tranquil September morning, perfect weather for walking the long New York blocks. Private security workers chatted with sanitation workers putting fresh garbage bags in the cans in Zuccotti. Cop cars and large sanitation trucks lined the narrow streets around the park, which looked so small to my eyes. As I waited to order coffee and juice from a truck stand, I thought of all that has happened in this narrow space—enough to send fear through the Masters of the Capitalist Order.

It's so quiet right now.

Intended as a place for the servants of capitalism (clerks and programmers and janitors and secretaries and traders) to eat their sandwiches and drink their coffees in brief breaks from work, this park became the focal point of protest, rebellion and an embodying of possibilities, a catalyst inspiring hundreds of encampments and assemblies worldwide.

From this park—just a dot on the huge island of Manhattan—people learned how to speak their rage and dreams on the People's Mic; how to connect and live with strangers who became comrades, allies, friends, lovers; how to stand up to the Powers that Be and manifest the Powers that Will Be, the powers of compassion, solidarity, justice, imagination, courage and love.

And now off to Washington Square Park.


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