OWS Has a Challenge: No Space to Occupy

The removal of Occupy Wall Street from its camp has created two distinct populations: the activists and the Occupiers.

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Occupy Wall Street (Getty Images)

Since their eviction from Zuccotti Park nearly a month ago, the primary problem facing Occupy Wall Street protesters is a lack of space to occupy, according to J.A. Myerson at the Nation -- and a growing division between activists and Occupiers.

... The Occupy activists have tried to help find shelter for those left homeless by the eviction, sending out urgent bulletins almost nightly to arrange accommodations. Some have been sleeping at a shelter in Far Rockaway, some in churches in Harlem and on the Upper West Side. As with national numbers on the homeless, it is difficult to tell exactly how many occupiers need housing, but it is surely in the hundreds.

These include not just experienced urban survivalists like Ghengis Khalid Muhammed, or GKM, who works with the support organization Picture the Homeless, which helps people find food stamps and soup kitchens, but also people who have no idea how to live on the streets and who are freezing, starving and unable to get MetroCards to travel to places where shelter may or may not be available. Lauren, of Occupy’s Housing Committee, tells me that two pregnant women have so far been turned away from churches.

The activist core of the occupation -- the people who met over the summer in Tompkins Square Park, who set up and continue to participate in working groups and who spend their days in meetings -- sees this as an Empire Strikes Back moment, taking the opportunity to plan actions and events for the winter. In the atrium at 60 Wall Street and in the Occupied Office at 50 Broadway, they are planning important things, chiefly the continuation of the Occupy Our Homes foreclosure resistance project that kicked off last week. They have their eye on the Jedi’s return.

Read more at Alternet.

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