Photo: Robert Johnson — Business Insider
Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street threw a party called the Occupy Mayor Bloomberg’s Mansion Drum Circle Protest and Anti-Dictator Art Show. It was a celebration of sorts: a celebration of the beginning of the Occupiers’ action against the Mayor.The sting of being forced out of Zuccotti Park in the middle of the night last week is still very much with the movement. Since then, Occupy Wall Street’s lawyer, Norman Siegel, has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out details of the city’s raid on the park including which cops were involved,their command structure, how much the raid cost, and the vehicles that were used.
All of that is important to the movement because, as Aaron Black, one of the event organisers, told me, “we just want to open up a dialogue with Mayor Bloomberg… I don’t give a sh%t about tents… I have a problem with them beating up defenseless people.”
This event was one of Occupy Wall Street’s ways of inviting the Mayor to come over and chat.
Bloomberg lives on 79th street between Madison and Fifth Avenues—the NYPD had barricaded off that street completely. Straight ahead on 5th Avenue, however, there was a line of noise, costumes, and colour that unmistakably brought Zuccotti Park to the Upper East Side.
The party was in stark contrast with the serious letter that Siegel sent to the city earlier that morning. Signed by other lawyers, and a New York State Senator, it detailed all of Occupy Wall Street’s grievances surrounding their eviction from Zuccotti. It specifically addressed the role of the press, the destruction of property, and the city’s disregard for the Temporary Restraining Order the protesters got to let them back into the park just hours after they were kicked out.
All of this just means that the Occupiers are working with a multi-pronged attack. On the surface they’re trying to be as anti-establishment as possible. Underneath, they’re trying to work within the system.
Passersby took in the spectacle and started asking questions. Legally, the protesters could only use half of the street, so there was a barricade splitting the park-side of 5th Avenue, and the demonstrators were required to stand behind it.
One observer froze and asked, “why are you guys blocked off right now? I don’t understand.”
That started an entire conversation about the movement.
At the end of his conversation with Business Insider, Black said, “I just want to, at the end of the day, shake the Mayor’s hand and say ‘let’s fix this.”
But the word on the street was that Bloomberg wasn’t even at home.