In the dead of night the NYPD came, evicting everyone in Zuccotti Park and destroying what infrastructure had been cobbled together there.
Juan Cole has written an eloquent argument about First Amendment rights; worth reading.
The obvious question — what’s next? This development could be an opportunity, not a defeat, for OWS. It was probably about time to move on to a new phase, anyway. Earlier this week the founder of Adbusters — the magazine/organization that originally called for the occupation — had suggested it might be time to declare victory and scale back the occupations.
The founder of Adbusters, Kalle Lasn, raised the idea that it might be time for a tactical retreat earlier this month, telling CBC Radio, ”Now that winter is approaching, I can see this first wild, messy, crazy occupation phase kind of slowly winding down.”
Last week, Mr. Lasn added, in an interview with The Guardian, that he was concerned that “The other side is owning the narrative right now. People are talking about drugs and criminals at OWS.” To change that, Mr. Lasn said, it might be time for “a grand gesture.”
Lasn’s idea was a weekend of big global demonstrations followed by cleanup and evacuation of the encampments. I’m thinking that frequent, smart, coordinated, and nonviolent “guerrilla” demonstrations — something like raves — could serve to keep OWS alive.
Update: See the Maddow Blog for photographs and links to videos.
Update: Mayor Bloomberg is served with a temporary restraining order requiring the park to be re-opened to protesters. I understand there is to be a hearing. Whether BLoomberg is abiding by the order, I do not know.