By Valerie Carmel
HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 30 — Friday marks the thirteenth day of the occupation at Liberty Plaza, in the financial district of New York, and the numbers of occupiers has grown. On Thursday there were approximately 400 people present at the square.
Most of protesters, as one activist asserted “are committed to the movement for as long as it goes.” The gathering that started as a call to action against corporate greed and social inequality in the U.S. has expanded its focus and organizational skills.
In collaboration, the movement has created the facilities to ensure a prolonged stay.
Nancy, a 59 year old woman from Indiana was proud of what “this people [at Liberty plaza] have created.” They have set up a kitchen at the center of the plaza, where they provide free food, fruits, and water.
They have all organized a media center where several activists work on spreading more information about the daily happenings (including visits and addresses by progressive intellectual Cornell West, and filmmaker Michael Moore), and clashes with the police.
The most popular reason why people are at Liberty plaza continues to be that, in the words of one activist—Jerry, an Iraq veteran—he “doesn’t agree with an economic system that caters to wealthy individuals and corporations, while taking advantage of the poor.”
Nancy claimed that she is here because she is “interested in supporting the grassroots for change by getting corporate money out of politics.” She considers that corporate money in politics force politicians to “pass legislation in accordance to the interests of who gave them the most money.”
One point of tension that has emerged over the past couple of days is the fact that the occupation has not yet drafted a set of demands. When asked about this, Nancy said: “It is a grassroots movement. We should not have a set a demands yet because want to define it narrowly.”
Jerry also said that he is ok with not having demands yet, but clarified that “we will have to have a clear, written set of demands.” The general opinion seems to be that it is preferable to wait for the demands and not bypass the democratic spirit of the occupation.
U.S. media outlets, which generally fail to provide coverage to leftist manifestations, have responded to the relentlessness of the occupiers. Although it took the use of excessive force on the part of the police to really spike the interest of some media outlets. Today, Time magazine published an article highlighting the levels of organization and openly discrediting a previous article by the New York Times that characterized the occupiers as aimless.
Most occupiers are well aware of all the articles published on the occupation. Many also contribute to disseminating what they consider to be a more honest account of what’s going on in Liberty plaza.