“If we stay up all night without sleeping bags we’re going to get sick and we’re going to look crazy on TV…Activist burnout is a real thing. If you can, take one night to sleep at a friend’s house and rest up.”
The Occupy Wall Street protestors face an odd dilemma on Friday. Because Zuccotti Park is private property owned by Brookfield Properties, the demonstrators must abide by the owners’ rules, with one stipulation. Due to its zoning laws, Brookfield is required to keep the park open to the public at all times. However, it has the right to impose “reasonable” rules of conduct.
On Friday, Brookfield Properties intends to enforce this right.
It appears that Brookfield is going out of its way to accommodate the rights of the protesters. The company circulated its plan to “clean a third of the park at a time, allowing protesters to return to each section once the job was done.” Brookfield also intends to enforce what seem to be quite reasonable rules:
“[N]o camping, no tents, no tarps, no sleeping bags, no lying on the ground or on benches, and no storage of personal property on the ground or walkways ‘which unreasonably interferes with the use of such areas by others.”
Demonstrators have threatened to form a human wall around the park, should the firm attempt to enforce these rules.
New York Police have publicly stated they will forcibly remove protesters if necessary, opening the possibility of a showdown tomorrow.
As I have mentioned on several prior posts, I believe that the movement is destined to fail unless it does one of two things: 1) joins a more traditional power base to realize the movement’s as yet unidentified goals; or 2) resorts to violence.
Over time, I believe the protesters will pursue the former option, accepting what they likely perceive as a Faustian bargain by becoming an arm of the Democratic Party. I think the latter option is remote, as the movement is too used to creature comforts like tents and sleeping bags to accept the deprivations inherent in a violent struggle.
After all, winter is coming.