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A snapshot from Occupy Wall Street



Nancy J. Parisi

We live in interesting times. More Buffalonians than usual were in Manhattan last week, thanks to the Buffalo on the Bowery event, an art auction that benefited both Hallwalls and PUSH Buffalo. Most of them took the opportunity to check out the scene at Occupy Wall St., the ongoing demonstration encamped in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan; Spree writer Nancy J. Parisi was there and took the photo you see above. The momentum of this protest has been growing, both at the original site and in cities across the United State and worldwide—including here in WNY with Occupy Buffalo demonstrations now taking place in Niagara Square.

Though there have been mass demonstrations (protesting the Iraq conflicts, the IMF/World Bank, and other matters) over the past couple decades, many observers compare this movement—even though it is in its infancy—to the marches, rallies, and sit-ins for social change that characterized the sixties and early seventies. Who knows if OWS will even begin to rise to the levels of those seminal events. What's interesting is that—in spite of the dire economic environment that has in large part sparked this movement—it nonetheless seems pervaded with excitement and a stubborn optimism. Like the "We can do it" philosophy of the 1940s, OWS seems to represent DIY America at its most ambitious. It's encouraging on many levels that this vocal and mostly young group has the courage and energy to try to make change happen.

We will be offering some perspectives from Spree writers in further posts this week and in the coming weeks.

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