It was an interesting weekend in New York City!
On Saturday, I was innocently having a coffee at Joe’s after some Greenmarket shopping when I was swept along by protesters who were marching up 5th Avenue from Wall Street, where they have been occupying the streets since September 17th as a statement against capitalism.
The New York Times’ Ginia Bellafante wrote what I think is an apt critique of this #takewallstreet movement. She pointed out that its decentralized organization and anonymous (literally, Anonymous) sponsorship makes it seem like an incoherent and poorly aimed reaction to the obvious fact that capitalism as we know it is causing more ills than good.
“The group’s lack of cohesion and its apparent wish to pantomime progressivism rather than practice it knowledgeably is unsettling in the face of the challenges so many of its generation face – finding work, repaying student loans, figuring out ways to finish college when money has run out.”
And the best part is the end of the article, when a NYSE trader walks by the protest in Zuccotti Park and scoffs: “Look at these kids, sitting here with their Apple computers. Apple, one of the biggest monopolies in the world. It trades at $400 a share. Do they even know that?”
I will say, however, that the energy I felt when the marchers (maybe two to three hundred of them) paraded by me, stopping traffic, with a train of NYPD following them on all sides, filled the streets with a spark of something difficult to describe. Maybe it reminded us that complacency is perhaps just as subject to critique as a disorganized and poorly articulated protest stunt.