Occupy Albany – Zuccotti Park Pics still in limbo
But now as the “heavy, wet, damaging snow” begins to fall in Albany I am getting warm at a little restaurant with Wi-Fi just up the street from Lafayette Park where the Occupy Albany protest is happening. I decided to check it out today for the same reason I went to Zuccotti park, because I want to watch! I’ve gotten to the point where I treat almost every bit of information that I see on the internet as entertainment. There’s no “news” so to speak, there’s very little information that I don’t question. That’s a good thing, but it’s not very efficient. And I find that many of my friends and acquaintances have even less of a desire to sift through the what’s, why’s, how’s of information they see online. It’s for that reason I go to Occupy Albany, or Occupy Wall Street, because I want to see for myself. Because it’s important to me to see for myself. If this is beneficial for others, great. It’s beneficial for me, so I go and I see and I take a few pics, I talk to a few people and I try to be present to get a sense for what is going on. This is what I found:
It’s cold! It’s wet! It’s New England. Winter is coming. There is no way to do what they are doing now in January. Almost every taxi cab that drove by honked in support. There were about 100 tents set up. As I was asking about donations about 5 people came up with donations. There is plentiful amounts of food and clothing and the people I spoke to said the donations haven’t stopped coming. There are more old people than young people. There are parents with kids. There are a few hippies but they are outnumbered by people with nice shoes. The process that happens at General Assemblies is a long and physically demanding process that will be difficult to maintain if conditions aren’t right. The Occupy Albany encampment is in Lafayette Park which is right across the street from the State Capital, which if you haven’t ever seen it, is mammoth and under construction. Downtown Albany, in general, is about as government as it gets. There are tremendous buildings dedicated to the workings of the State and the residual workings of the State (the organizations that work for or in support of the State but are not part of the State). I mean TREE-Mendous…entire plazas and city blocks, towering spires and Roman pillars – it is awe-inspiring until I begin to think of how much money must go into the development and maintenance of these buildings and all the people that are necessary to fill them.
I find it as appropriate that there is an Occupation in Albany as on Wall Street. The combination of the two make for a pretty complete picture of our priorities as a society or, perhaps, in spite of our priorities as a society (we will see).
What is OCCUPY? Well let’s start with what it’s not. It’s not hippies. It’s not unemployed (only), it’s not transients, it’s not freaks (although a little freakiness is good for the soul)…What I saw in Lafayette Park is people like me. I saw students with back packs, I saw children of all ages, I saw tons of people who look like professionals in their 50’s and above. I saw organization and commitment. I saw a desire to be serious and to be taken seriously. I saw naivety and hope and community.
Check out the pics…