Armed with nothing more than sleeping bags and revolutionary spirit, dozens of occupiers have slept on Wall Street for the past few days. Under a recently uncovered 2000 federal court ruling, protesters have a right to sleep on the sidewalk in New York City provided they only take up half of it and do not engage in disorderly conduct.
The real-deal occupation of Wall Street is an outgrowth of the Union Square occupation where occupiers recently conducted a teach-in aimed at the New York Police Department (NYPD). David Graeber read off from an enlarged copy of the 2000 federal court ruling to the NYPD (you know the country is in trouble when anarchists are schooling cops on court rulings), occupiers showed the NYPD a large map of the Union Square area, explained where they intended to lawfully sleep, and did so without evictions or mass arrests.
Turns out that Clay Claiborne of Occupy LA was right to insist on using existing laws against state repression is the way to go.
With this in mind, Occupy Wall Street decided to occupy Wall Street, minus the tents and the baggage that came with them. Occupation 2.0 is lighter and more mobile, able to move off the sidewalk when necessary and back on when the danger of arrest passes. The People's Library is back and a makeshift kitchen will probably soon follow.
The Spring of Assemblies, the weekly marches on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) starting in Zuccotti Park on Fridays at 2 p.m., and the new and improved Wall Street occupation are part of the American Spring grand strategy building up to the May 1 general strike.
If this occupation reaches critical mass, with hundreds or even one thousand to join the re-occupation of Wall Street with sleeping bags, the sidewalks around the New York Stock Exchange and the New York Federal Reserve will be lined with people from all walks of life, creating a dramatic visual contrast between the well-dressed con men who work there and the 99% who are literally sleeping on cardboard to make their voices heard just in time for May 1. "A day without the 99%" could mean the 1% and 99% staring each other down in the Financial District. Luckly for them, we don't have torches or pitchforks.
So if you spent any time in Zuccotti Park during its glory days, come down to Wall Street and Nassau or join the Friday marches on the NYSE.
Welcome to the post-post-eviction phase of Occupy.
Pham Binh’s articles have been published by Occupied Wall Street Journal and The Indypendent. Check out thenorthstar.info, the first national collaborative blog by and for occupiers.