Monday, March 26, 2012

Desecrating Liberating the Wall Street Bull

This is a much longer video that explores the action on March 21 when perhaps a couple of hundred marchers in the Million Hoodie March split off to go to Wall Street.

What it shows is that the action was completely spontaneous: after completing the regular march they wanted to do more, so they went to Wall Street -- quite a distance from wherever they started from, whether Washington Square or Union Square or somewhere else, I couldn't tell from the video.

Apparently, there was only one cop that accompanied them. He could not stop them from doing what they wanted, of course. And what they wanted was to tear down the barricades, which they did, quickly and efficiently, tossing them into the street and throwing them chaotically about.

This appeared to be completely spontaneous, not a tactical part of a strategy at all. And that was part of its brilliance. The symbolic power of ripping down the police barricades is enormous.

But even more powerful was the mounting of the Bull by a number of demonstrators, one of whom appeared to ride it for a time. Others stood with raised fists and posed for pictures. The Bull and its protectors were powerless.

More police began to arrive, and after surrounding the Bull -- to protect it, of course -- and ordering the miscreants on top of it down (one of whom they targeted for arrest, but he was rescued by his comrades and escaped the police clutches) the crowd hurled insults. When more police arrived, the crowd began to disperse. As they did, the police were more concerned about re-erecting their precious barricades than anything else, and the crowd simply vanished. The sight of the police frantically trying to re-erect their barricade around the now-desecrated Bull was pathetic.

Later scenes show police behaving badly and assembling in huge numbers at Union Square -- mostly behind their barricades -- while, so far as the video shows, there are no demonstrators around (of course they are there just out of camera range.) The last scene of the police filing through parking area for their vehicles while in the distance the illuminated tents of the Occupy protesters head toward the park is priceless.

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