Armed with nothing more than sleeping bags and revolutionary spirit, dozens of occupiers have slept on Wall Street for the past few days. Under a recently uncovered 2000 federal court ruling, protesters have a right to sleep on the sidewalk in New York City provided they only take up half of it and do not engage in disorderly conduct.
The real-deal occupation of Wall Street is an outgrowth of the Union Square occupation where occupiers recently conducted a teach-in aimed at the New York Police Department (NYPD). David Graeber read off from an enlarged copy of the 2000 federal court ruling to the NYPD (you know the country is in trouble when anarchists are schooling cops on court rulings), occupiers showed the NYPD a large map of the Union Square area, explained where they intended to lawfully sleep, and did so without evictions or mass arrests.
Turns out that Clay Claiborne of Occupy LA was right to insist on using existing laws against state repression is the way to go.
With this in mind, Occupy Wall Street decided to occupy Wall Street, minus the tents and the baggage that came with them. Occupation 2.0 is lighter and more mobile, able to move off the sidewalk when necessary and back on when the danger of arrest passes. The People’s Library is back and a makeshift kitchen will probably soon follow.
The Spring of Assemblies, the weekly marches on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) starting in Zuccotti Park on Fridays at 2 p.m., and the new and improved Wall Street occupation are part of the American Spring grand strategy building up to the May 1 general strike.