OCCUPY WALL STREET: The Anniversary Was A Flop And The Movement Is Fading

anonymous mask

Photo: Michael Kelly

Today marked the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, and having reported about the movement since its beginnings, we thought we’d seen it all — all except for the moment when the Occupiers lost their ability to surprise.That’s what we saw today.

This morning the police chased protesters from one end of the Financial District to the other, taking down the most vocal leaders and anticipating the group’s movements.

Back in Zuccotti Park this afternoon, the spontaneous drum circles and the catchy chants were old news.

From a journalist’s perspective, it was a lot like watching a movie you’d already seen before. The police, tired and frustrated last fall looked almost blase and carefree by this afternoon/.

Around 6:00 PM, Business Insider asked a group of police officers outside Zuccotti Park where they thought the protesters were headed next.

“Where are you going next,” responded one Officer Cross beaming. He explained that he was happy right there as he had been working 18 hours at $55 an hour.

“I don’t even know how to calculate that,” he laughed. “I have 30 college credits.” 

Cross also has a mortgage from Wells Fargo at a 3.75% fixed rate. That’s a rate Americans haven’t been able to get since 1956, he told us. Naturally, he was thrilled.

The protesters seemed happy too though.

Either way, not exactly hell-raising civil disobedience of fall 2011.

This Bain monster was the first thing we saw at the park, and probably the most creative thing we saw all day.

Of course, there were familiar faces.

Like the Granny Peace Brigade

And some new faces — Mitt Romney wasn't in the conversation last year.

The spectacle remained.

And the costumes.

But on the north side of the park, where there used to be tents, there were now actors doing skits about corruption.

And while the park was packed, we didn't see anyone representing unions or other traditional progressives advocacy groups.

Here's Officer Cross looking at his phone.

And even laughing and joking with people passing by — a definite no-no last fall.

It makes us long for the days of seriously creative protests>

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