Yesterday’s May Day protest in NYC might have failed to shut the system down, but it did successfully galvanize Occupy’s disparate interest groups into one powerful amalgamation, proving the movement’s lack of cohesion, more accurately its complexity, is a strength that defines it.

At around 3pm, Union Square swelled far beyond the capacity of Zuccotti Park, which made it possible for many different pockets of people to develop and do their own thing. Of course, there were drum circles, plural, and anarchist pamphleteers — common staples of Occupy Wall Street, but their presence was rivaled by a big brass band stand, the orations of a poetry assembly and the deafening silence of group meditation. And, how could I forget the Occupy Arts and Labor group, whose colorful fabric banners and hand painted posters provided a much appreciated dose of creativity, among the multitude of cardboard and marker signs.

As the various labor unions arrived to march on the street, the police barricades set up to corral the rest of the mass within the park became permeable somehow, and soon all walks of life — in the tens of thousands — occupied Broadway. No rioting was to be had, mostly peaceful strolling with sporadic bursts of chants, but the march was a resounding victory given May Day’s objective: to resurrect what began last fall. Occupy Wall Street might have seemed to be in hibernation post-Zucotti Park, but it is clear that Occupy is a different beast than what it was before, with a multifarious face that defies the diminutive recognition of bygone headlines.

Here are some images from the protests more art-related moments.

All photos by the author for Hyperallergic.

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Robert Cicetti

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11 replies on “Occupy Is Back!”

  1. Some LA protest pictures here:

      1. If affecting legislation is truly on Occupy Wall Street’s agenda then how are the protests in their varied manifestations working toward that end?

        1.  If anything, public awareness will lead to change. How did MLK Jr. work in tandem with the likes of Malcolm X or even the black panthers to create change? A populist movement is not the same as a non-profit.

          1. Theatrics might be its only objective. OWS is getting people to watch and listen. How else do you sustain the attention of a 24 hour news cycle? Occupy is the reason “income inequality” dominated the national conversation this past fall: The conversation spurred by Occupy continues today:
            By whatever means necessary, Occupy will continue to prop up a political platform that no number of lobbyists could provide.

          2. OWS should think about how best to pressure politicians into enacting better laws like for instance more strategic protests at government offices rather than wasting so many resources preaching to the choir.  If you know of any Occupy groups that need writers let me know and keep up the great reporting!

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