Saturday, December 20, 2014

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OWS protesters maintain movement without campsite

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Albany/HV: OWS protesters maintain movement without campsite
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One week since the police raid on Zuccotti Park, the Occupy Wall Street movement moves forward. But what does its future look like without a central, physical headquarters? Our Michael Herzenberg takes a look.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- A week has passed since police removed the Occupy Wall Street protesters and their tents, tarps and sleeping bags from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan.

The private park, owned by Brookfield Properties, is certainly cleaner and quieter now, with newly-seeded gardens, but think tanks of demonstrators continue debate.

"Right here, this is a community that we've built. This is Occupy Wall Street," said a protester.

What they built has moved to different places, like public parks, houses of worship and, for students of several schools, a study center at the New School.

"What we had here before in this home base is meeting all over the place in Manhattan," said a demonstrator.

They communicate on computers, with mass texting and even by foot.

"I'm a runner. We notify everybody in the meetings what's going on," said a protester.

Those who have been involved in the movement from the beginning admit they now face big challenges.

"We're not all together anymore, which does make things difficult, so it's scary as far as for the future," said a demonstrator. "We'll get organized. We're doing it right now. I think we'll be fine for the movement."

One big day of action was planned for Thursday, before the eviction, and the movement likely got a boost by it.

"In a sense, they opened up a beehive," said a protester.

Several visiting in Zuccotti Park for the day got involved as a reaction to the raid on the park.

"When I saw the prospect of it ending was real, that's when I decided to come out and be supportive of it," said a demonstrator.

Brookfield Properties had a man charged with trespassing for lying down and not following the rules of the private park.

"What if I bring my child here, she wants to lie down. You gonna arrest my child too?" the accused man shouted.

It keeps out some of those who say they dream of a better democracy, just in time for the holiday season. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP