99 Nights with the 99 Percent: Dispatches from the First Three Months of the Occupy Revolution

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  4. 99 Nights With The 99 Percent: Inside The Occupy Movement

Though there appears to be a troubling lack of diversity in some areas, particularly race and ethnicity, our local news ecosystem does have dedicated troopers representing various ages and backgrounds and living from the Quincy shoreline to the hills of Somerville. More than 90 percent of respondents were white, 70 percent went to college in the Greater Boston area with more than half studying communications, they like to primarily write articles but also shoot videos and photos, and for the most part make peanuts considering the number of hours they work.

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On the bright side, there are still a lot of places in the Hub buying articles, with at least 50 outlets cutting freelance checks. We will be using all this research to help guide BINJ forward; for example, we now have a much better idea about just how poorly news organizations are paying, and plan on working even harder now to correct that. Finally, while this survey is geared toward helping us help reporters, and does not necessarily serve as an accurate picture of the Greater Boston media landscape, we do encourage media students, editors, and anyone else to use the results in any positive way possible.

If I had wanted to be loved by those people I would have joined the Peace Corps. This is a collection of the diaries and letters of Sir Ernest Mason Satow. He was the representative for Britain in Tokyo, where he was appointed Minister in His presence in Tokyo assisted the process of comin [ Color illustrations throughout text. From Publishers Weekly Markale, now in his 70s and retired from teaching Celtic studies at the Sorbonne, has lost none of his boyhood exuberance for the remarkable history and architecture of the great cathedral at Chart [ The story of their rise and sensational fall is the subject of this splendid book.

The Observer [ Review The major strength of this work is that it engages with the best egalitarian writing over the past twenty years. This is a massive work which is unique in its breadth and detail. Sharon James, Evangelical Quarte [ Review If it is possible to write with stark sensitivity then Eva has managed it, illuminating both the frailty and strength of the human spirit. After 60 years Eva Schloss is finally telling her [ One of his photos of the meeting survives on his blog, the only picture of its kind I've found.

In that cluster of people around the banner, almost everyone is looking toward the camera; a guy I now know as Richie, dressed in white, is pointing right into the lens. Some look curious, some suspicious, some scared, some indifferent. I'm barely visible in a far corner of the group. I recognize most of the others now in a way I couldn't then. Some have had their names and faces broadcast on the news all over the world. When I showed Arihood's picture to a friend, he recognized his former roommate from art school.


I try to guess what the ones I know best were thinking, what it was exactly that they imagined they were doing there-so expectant, so at odds with one another, so anxious about being watched. The saying "You had to be there" typically comes at the end of a joke that didn't get the right reaction, that set up high hopes but by the time of the punch line fell flat. If you were there, after all, you'd know that something happened that really was significant, or funny, or worth repeating.

I keep wanting to say those words again and again about Occupy Wall Street-"you had to be there," "you had to be there! Those words are a conversation stopper. If I say them I'm giving up on even trying to convey why Occupy Wall Street was such a momentous thing and such a rare moment of political hope for us who were born during the past thirty years in the United States of America.

For nearly two months in the fall of , a square block of granite and honey locust trees in New York's Financial District, right between Wall Street and the World Trade Center, became a canvas for the image of another world. In occupied Zuccotti Park, thousands of people ate, slept, met, talked, argued, read, planned, and were dragged away to jail.

Many came to protest the most abstract of wrongs-the deregulation of high finance, the funding of electoral campaigns, the erosion of the social safety net, the logic of mass incarceration, the failure to address climate change-but what they found was something more tangible. There was a community in formation, which they would have a hand in forming; there was work to be done, which they would do with people and ideas that the world outside had insulated them from ever considering.

Before the occupation itself, there was a process by which a few hundred people, inspired by what they saw happening overseas, found the wherewithal to imagine, plan, and resist. After the encampment ended, the many thousands who had experienced it faced a crisis of what to do next. Over the course of a year of being immersed in Occupy Wall Street, I saw a veil being lifted.

Etymologically, the lifting of a veil is what the word apocalypse refers to; after that, one can't go back unchanged.

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The preceding world has passed, and a new revelation is at hand. Nobody who worked to make Occupy Wall Street happen imagined anything much like what actually did: it altered them, and transformed them, and messed with them. The movement's most unsettling features were often the same ones that made it work-in addition to being at fault for the extent to which the Occupy joke ended up falling flat. But disappointment is part of any apocalypse. The fact that the most radical aspirations of Occupy Wall Street remain unrealized is also a symptom of success; images that it promulgated of shutting down Wall Street and mounting a general strike became implanted in people's minds, if even just to provide a measure of how those images failed to become manifest.

This was movement time, the nonlinear and momentous kind of temporality that the Greeks called kairos. The dumb piece of red sculpture that towers over Zuccotti Park-the Big Red Thing -now has in my nervous system the chill-inducing and undeserved status of Beacon of the Real, as the first thing I'd see when approaching the occupation from the subway.


Under that distracting piece of corporate abstraction, this other work of art brought every aspect of life into a sharper kind of focus. It was a utopian act, but in the form of realism. With artists mainly in charge, Occupy Wall Street was art before it was anything properly organized, before it was even politics.

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It was there to change us first and make demands later. And so it did. Like probably thousands of other underemployed Brooklynites who otherwise had no business being in the Financial District, I came to know that area's twisty streets like the neighborhood I grew up in. And, now, fearing that my generation might slip back into irony and apathy and unreality, I feel an urgent, evangelistic duty to record as best I can the sliver of this reality that I experienced.

What first brought me to Occupy Wall Street, in some respects, dates back to My first and only reporting job there was to cover a protest against the invasion of Afghanistan, just a few days before the invasion began. I followed the course of the march, and interviewed people, and wasn't sure whether I should be marching too or standing at a professional distance.

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It was a moderately impressive display, and yet of course the war went on. Then, in early , the same thing happened, only more so. The worldwide protests against the invasion of Iraq were the largest mobilization in history, and the war happened anyway. The newspapers hardly even noticed the opposition. A lot of us who were young enough to believe that we could turn back the bombers if our slogans were loud enough retreated into disappointment and the complacent cynicism of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

But those protests lodged a question in my head: What would it have taken to make a difference? What would it have taken to capture people's imaginations and keep them from letting the politicians lead us into disaster again? For the most part, though, I turned my attention to other things. I converted to Catholicism and studied religion. I went to graduate school and started writing for magazines. By the time the middle of came around, I was putting off finishing a quixotic book I'd been writing for years about how and why people concoct proofs about the existence of God.

This put me in a fidgety mood, primed for apocalyptic distractions.

99 Nights With The 99 Percent: Inside The Occupy Movement

I had been watching revolutions from a distance since the beginning of the year, when people rose up and expelled dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, stirring up Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, and more. Continually refreshing my social media feeds, with Al Jazeera on in the background, I tried my best to blog each day about whatever was happening in the Middle East.

I wanted to understand where these movements came from, who organized them, and how. Experts in the United States were satisfied with attributing the uprisings to global food prices and Twitter, but the revolutionaries themselves didn't use the language of economic or technological determinism.

In interviews, they seemed instead to talk about having rediscovered their agency, their collective power, their ability to act. Over the summer, I attended a seminar in Boston with civil resisters from around the world. Some were still glowing from recent success, like the Egyptians who'd helped overthrow Hosni Mubarak, while others, like the Tibetan and the two from Burma, remained so far from what they longed for.

They shared their goals and their strategies, as well as their sacrifices-for many of them, imprisonment and torture. They had arguments and epiphanies.