TRACIE WILLIAMS
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The Night The Raid Came

The Night The Raid Came

On September 17, 2011 Occupy Wall Street emerged as a new kind of people-powered social movement revolving around social and economic injustice. The initial home of OWS was Zuccotti Park (renamed Liberty Square) – a 24-hour privately owned public space located in the heart of the financial district in Lower Manhattan.  Occupy Wall Street transformed this space into a radical platform where ideas were cultivated, knowledge shared, and creativity flourished.

The encampment offered a new form of protest by emulating an idealistic community based on mutual aid; fully equipped with a kitchen, a library, a medic tent, and a media outpost - to name a few. The idea was to create a non-hierarchal, transparent, accountable community that made decisions utilizing the tools of direct democracy. People who had never previously engaged in activism found themselves holding signs on their lunch breaks, participating in General Assemblies and carrying out civil political conversations with those on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

At approximately 1.30 am on November 15, 2011 swarms of NYPD officers - accompanied by sanitation crews - flooded the area surrounding Liberty Square. When news spread of the imminent raid, supporters found themselves unable to reach the park and it’s perimeters due to bridge, road, and public transportation closures. Journalists – including NYPD press credentialed media – were forcibly removed from the park, and those on the outskirts denied access. “Miscommunication” between the NYPD and mainstream media news helicopters resulted in the absence of aerial coverage and consequently an official media blackout.

Every item in the park was tossed into sanitation trucks including medical supplies and over 5,000 library books. Despite repeated denials by theNYPD and the NY Department of Sanitation that compactors were used, shredded guitars and keyboards shaped like accordions would suggest otherwise.

In defense of both the physical and the ideological representation of the encampment, 80 occupiers put their bodies on the line; locking arms and legs around the park’s epicenter - the kitchen.  In the 24 hours that followed, 250 protesters were arrested in total - some with extreme violence.

The Occupy Wall Street encampment served as a home, a headquarters and a constant physical presence against the corruption of Wall Street.

TDW_Raid_2.jpg
TDW_Raid_3.jpg
TDW_Raid_4.jpg
TDW_Raid_5.jpg
TDW_Raid_6.jpg
TDW_Raid_7.jpg

The Night The Raid Came

On September 17, 2011 Occupy Wall Street emerged as a new kind of people-powered social movement revolving around social and economic injustice. The initial home of OWS was Zuccotti Park (renamed Liberty Square) – a 24-hour privately owned public space located in the heart of the financial district in Lower Manhattan.  Occupy Wall Street transformed this space into a radical platform where ideas were cultivated, knowledge shared, and creativity flourished.

The encampment offered a new form of protest by emulating an idealistic community based on mutual aid; fully equipped with a kitchen, a library, a medic tent, and a media outpost - to name a few. The idea was to create a non-hierarchal, transparent, accountable community that made decisions utilizing the tools of direct democracy. People who had never previously engaged in activism found themselves holding signs on their lunch breaks, participating in General Assemblies and carrying out civil political conversations with those on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

At approximately 1.30 am on November 15, 2011 swarms of NYPD officers - accompanied by sanitation crews - flooded the area surrounding Liberty Square. When news spread of the imminent raid, supporters found themselves unable to reach the park and it’s perimeters due to bridge, road, and public transportation closures. Journalists – including NYPD press credentialed media – were forcibly removed from the park, and those on the outskirts denied access. “Miscommunication” between the NYPD and mainstream media news helicopters resulted in the absence of aerial coverage and consequently an official media blackout.

Every item in the park was tossed into sanitation trucks including medical supplies and over 5,000 library books. Despite repeated denials by theNYPD and the NY Department of Sanitation that compactors were used, shredded guitars and keyboards shaped like accordions would suggest otherwise.

In defense of both the physical and the ideological representation of the encampment, 80 occupiers put their bodies on the line; locking arms and legs around the park’s epicenter - the kitchen.  In the 24 hours that followed, 250 protesters were arrested in total - some with extreme violence.

The Occupy Wall Street encampment served as a home, a headquarters and a constant physical presence against the corruption of Wall Street.

The Night The Raid Came
TDW_Raid_2.jpg
TDW_Raid_3.jpg
TDW_Raid_4.jpg
TDW_Raid_5.jpg
TDW_Raid_6.jpg
TDW_Raid_7.jpg