On Sunday afternoon, October 23, 2011, I traveled to the southern tip of Manhattan to experience the Occupy Wall Street demonstration first hand.
I had heard people say that it was very dirty, with tons of litter, and that many homeless people had taken up residence there. I had also heard that the park had become quite smelly. So when I arrived, I was especially suprised to find that nothing could be further than the truth.
I guess the negative commentary must be generated by people who oppose the protester's message — not how they are peacefully delivering it. In typical New York style, the protesters have created a rather well organized mini city within the confines of Zuccotti Park — a small park made entirely of of pavement. There are different areas including an array of sleeping areas, 2 different locales for musicians/bands to play inspiring music, a flagpole area with 5-6 hand made flags with various messages on them and small circles of people exchanging ideas to better define their message. There also is a huge buffet table where delicious looking sandwiches, vegetables and organic Vermont apples were being distributed at no charge to pariticpants wearing badges of identification.
Regardless of their point of view, I give a great deal of credit to these passionate individuals who are so committed to a cause that they are literally eating, sleeping and living it in order to bring about change. I found the few hours I spent there to be truly inspiring and energizing. Of course I left wondering what ideas or expression I feel so passionate about that I would be willing to make a similar commitment?
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Enjoy the photo tour.