In New York City one year ago, Occupy Wall Street protesters took to Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan to protest the disparity between the rich and poor in the U.S., among other things. Now, 12 months later, OWS supporters are still protesting, but like any other movement, writes New York Magazine, there are factions within the group.
… Aaron Black, a longtime Occupy organizer, who caused something of an internal firestorm when he said at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte that occupiers didn’t really want to protest Obama.
In fact, the Charlotte Occupy protests (composed of roughly 200 people according to most news reports, though in an interview Black used the number 70, referring to those who lived in a nearby camp) appear to have been at least as large as those at the Republican convention in Tampa. Which is to say: not very large. Though it’s possible bad weather was at least partially to blame for the low turnout; after all, the hurricane forecast led Republicans to cancel their first day of events.
In any case, Black has helped sustain the movement through a rough stretch by taking a leading role in a series of targeted actions in recent months, including a surreal July visit to Mitt Romney’s fundraiser at David Koch’s house in Southampton. He represents a wing of the cause that has spawned several candidates for office and has sought ties with traditional political actors like organized labor.
“We changed the conversation,” Black said of the events of last fall, when Occupy managed to draw significant public attention toward rising income inequality.
“Are we happy with that and do we leave it at that? Or do we push for more? I think we push for more, and you really have to pay attention to the one candidate who has participated in our conversation. I’m not speaking for the movement, but a lot of occupiers support Obama.”
Read more at New York Magazine.