After a march of several thousand people last weekend, an occupation has begun in Zuccotti Park on Liberty St in Lower Manhattan. Braving rain, arrests and censorship, news is beginning to spread.

Estimates for Saturday’s march ranged from one to five thousand people. The atmosphere was festive and nonviolent, but a heavy police presence nonetheless blocked them from many streets. On Sunday a general assembly was held in order to set directions and demonstrate direct democracy in action. In the two days since then, protests have continued, through yesterday’s miserable rains and are continuing to get some attention. This morning there were a number of arrests as police did what they could to dismantle the camp, targeting people for malicious use of megaphones, tarps and sidewalk chalk. Nevertheless, protesters continue to occupy the square and are vowing to remain. Another general assembly was held tonight, and the story is beginning to spread.

One part of this story really caught my attention: it seems occupywallstreet.org was added to yahoo mail’s spam filters in a very serious way. Attempting to send this address got messages blocked and accounts singled out for “suspicious activity” (from then on requiring Captcha text to send messages). Yahoo has since apologized, calling it a mistake, but this has done nothing to calm the sea of angry web users. This sort of action sets a very bad precedent – what rights do we really have using a corporation’s email accounts?

These protests may be small, so far. North American protests usually are (what does that say about us?). Nonetheless, they’re inspiring. The seeds of the overseas directly democratic revolution are finally being sewn on this continent, and it’s happening in the heart of the American financial district. For all of our sakes, let’s hope it grows.

Occupy Wall St @ Adbusters
Occupywallst.org
Pictures from today
Excessive Police Force in Occupy Wall Street Arrests (with Video) @Death and Taxes

Advertisements