After a two month "occupation," Occupy Wall Street faced a major hurdle as police evicted them from their camp at downtown Manhattan's Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning. Undeterred Occupy-ers marched through the city, looking for a new place to regroup. Thursday they planned a "Day of Action," hoping to flood the streets that surround the New York Stock Exchange and wreak havoc on the financial industry. However, police thwarted the plan by barricading the neighborhood and arresting some 75 protesters by 11 a.m. The turnout for the protest itself also fell short of expectations. Finance employees had little trouble reaching their desks and the New York Stock Exchange opened on time with no problems. Some of the protesters returned to Zuccotti Park, tearing down the barricades and clashing with the police. They also plan to protest in the New York public transportation system later in the afternoon, but authorities say they are prepared for any disruptions on the subways.
The "Day of Action" may prove to be a milestone for "Occupy" and many remain optimistic about the movement, despite the evictions that plague not only New York, but "Occupy" protests in Dallas, Portland and elsewhere across the country. Of Tuesday's eviction U.S. News blogger Leslie Marshall said, "This is an opportunity for Occupy Wall Street to show those on Wall Street, the politicians, the police, etc.—everyone that is trying to reduce their numbers—that this will not stop them from their goal."
Susan Milligan agreed, arguing,
The evictions are not a long-term defeat for the 'Occupy' movement. In fact, it is better for them from a public relations perspective to appear to be the victims of 'The Man' (elected or corporate) than to pack up and leave voluntarily because it was getting too darn cold.
However, Robert Schlesinger is skeptical of their "Day of Action" protests:
But the thing about protesting against 1 percent of the population is that mass actions end up have deleterious effects on the 99 percent. In the case of lower Manhattan, it's having a negative effect on a neighborhood still trying to recover from 9/11.
He, as well as Milligan, advise the movement to put their energy into political action, rather than just protests.
What do you think? Will Occupy Wall Street survive eviction? Take the poll and comment below.
Previously: Is SOPA a Form of Censorship?