On September 17, 2011, protesters with the Occupy Wall Street movement began demonstrating and living in New York’s Zuccotti Park. They called the small plaza in Manhattan’s Financial District “Liberty Square.”
That’s where Occupy Wall Street is. But what is Occupy Wall Street? According to their official statement, “Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders, and political persuasions. The one thing we have in common is that we are the 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.”
Visiting Liberty Square, I felt fascinated and inspired by the protesters’ energy and message of social and economic justice. Far from the filthy, youthful, disorganized scene that depicted in the media, there is cooperation and impressive organization, including a “Comfort Station” distributing clothing, bedding and toiletries, a kitchen serving three meals a day, a medical station manned by volunteer physicians and nurses, an art station, and a relatively sophisticated media station putting out live content to media outlets worldwide.
Since my first visit, I’ve returned to the square twice and attended the Occupy Wall Street protests in other New York locations, too. Their demand that the scales of our social and financial systems be recalibrated to allow everyone a fair shake is inspiring.