What’s next for the Occupy Wall Street movement?
If you go to Zuccotti Park and ask the remaining Occupy Wall Street
protesters what’s next for the movement, there are as many responses as are there are people in the park: a couple dozen.
“There’s a lot of talk about numerous things going in different directions,” said Shane Patrick, 32, a member of OWS from Queens who works in press relations for the movement. “There are a lot of people working toward occupying another space.”
Many displaced campers are staying at local churches. Protesters still hold regularly scheduled meetings, including the 7 p.m. general assemblies, but the number of attendees is no longer in the thousands, Patrick said.
Dec. 6 has been selected as a second “Day of Action” to replicate the crowds of people that turned out on Nov. 17 for marches through the Financial District and across the Brooklyn Bridge. Protesters have said they will stage sit-ins at foreclosed properties throughout the city.
“What occurred on the 17th, such as disrupting the opening bell on Wall Street or protesting outside the homes of the wealthy, that will continue,” Patrick said.
Some OWS members admit their numbers have dwindled since the NYPD raided the camp.
“I think everyone’s going underground until spring,” said Christopher Geist, 38. “Zuccotti is gone; it was our sanctuary. I’ve seen people fading.”
But protester Matt Sky, 27, said the movement is just entering a transitional phase. “I think we’re seeing a much stronger global presence of the ideas that started here,” Sky said.
Burned on books
Occupiers say they lost thousands of books when the city kicked them out of Zuccotti Park nearly two weeks ago. Police trashed roughly 4,000 books and other documents, according to William Scott, a member of the Occupy Wall Street people’s library.
Occupy Wall Street protesters said they have retrieved 1,099 books that belonged to the library from the police, of which only 800 are usable. Protesters say they are still looking for about 2,900 books. Less than one-fifth of the original collection is still usable, they estimate.
The last reported amount of Occupy Wall Street’s general assembly donations left the number at around half a million dollars.
Protesters said the money would be distributed through consensus at the general assembly, as always. Even though Zuccotti is gone, they said, there’s still work to be done.
Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.