The destruction of the two-month-old camp at Zuccotti Park near Wall Street in Manhattan early Tuesday morning threatened the integrity and birthplace of a movement that has spread worldwide, but the protesters are likely to hold out and continue staging new events, intent on maintaining the fresh dialogue they’ve initiated about economic inequality and corporate power even if activists remain uncomfortable with engaging like-minded elected officials on key issues.
And yet those very same elected officials, many of whom support the ideas and spirit of the protests, are wary to see the occupations continue in their backyards.
“We agree that Zuccotti Park must be open and accessible to everyone — OWS, the public, law enforcement, and first responders — and that it is critical to protect the health and safety of protesters and the community,” said the state senator and U.S. congressman who represent the Wall Street area in Manhattan, Democrats Daniel Squadron and Jerry Nadler. “Irrespective of this incident, OWS is now bigger than Zuccotti Park, and no one has the power to silence this national movement.”
A distinct possibility is that the protests will become daytime affairs, the camping out and 24-hour occupations falling by the wayside in favor of targeted actions that don’t require the amenities of a makeshift home.
“We will continue,” said an activist named Nikita, a member of the “Occupy” press team. “Having the tents and sleeping out may be a different story.”