Spending the Night at Occupy Wall Street

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

When the TV cameras are gone, what is it like to spend the night at Occupy Wall Street? It's been a month since protesters first began to occupy Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street in New York City. Since then, temperatures have been dropping as the number of protesters in New York and across the globe grows. This leaves many wondering how many protesters will be left when winter hits. Well, we aimed to find out — and to understand better just who was spending the night there and why.

Digital editor and producer Ben Brock Johnson spent the night at Zuccotti Park, and spoke with protesters there.

 

Interviews and photos of some of the people Ben spoke with, below: 


Ben Johnson/WNYC
Nate Barchus, 23, helped start an Occupy protest in his hometown befor heading to Occupy Providence and then Occupy Wall St., to "see the mother ship."

 

Ben Johnson/WNYC
Saman Waquad, 28, volunteers in the Occupy Wall Street kitchen. She says it's going to take a long time for protesters' demands to be answered.

 

Ben Johnson/WNYC
John Murdock, 36, who is a sanitation volunteer at Zuccotti Park, says he's been "waiting a long time for Americans to overcome their apathy."

 

Ben Johnson/WNYC
Gina Weldon, 19, of Brooklyn, says she came to support a cause and that her education costs, "just to better myself," are unfairly high.

 

Ben Johnson/WNYC

Victor Sheely, a local artisan and performer, was drawn to the group's "courage" in questioning powerful interests. He also narrates an altercation with one of the Occupy Wall Street organizers and some younger participants trying to drink alcohol in the park.

 

Ben Johnson/WNYC

Jason Harris, a recovering alcoholic who is also a substitute teacher, returned to Zuccotti Park, where he used to drink as a homeless man, to be part of "a historic time."

 

Ben Johnson/WNYC
Cynthia Verillo has been living at the park for three weeks. She says she'll stay until a genuine dialog with powerful interests and politicians happens.

 

Ben Johnson/WNYC
A band playing late into the night at the park delivered their own version of "Ring of Fire," with some of the lyrics changed:

 

Produced by:

Posey Gruener

Contributors:

Ben Brock Johnson

Comments [2]

Greg from New Bedford, Massachusetts

What next for the "Occupy" movement? In a free economy, prices and salaries are set by whatever-the-market-will-bear. Perhaps the protestors' noise is that of a market that can bear no more. I suggest they propose a national summit of banks, insurers, manufacturers, unions, etc., to discuss mututal disarmament: a cooperative, cross-competitor back-down from prices and salaries in the interest of the national good. Voluntary, and by good will, in order to avoid government regulation.

Nov. 21 2011 09:12 AM
Brandt Hardin

We live in a country no longer represented by the people but by the interests of major corporations and the money they use through lobbying to pay off our elected officials. These politicians no longer voice the opinion of the voters who put them in office but instead speak for the special interests which pay them more and more money to turn a blind eye to the destruction of our environment and the extinction of the middle class. How long will the occupations have to last before a SINGLE government official asks what WE the PEOPLE want changed? Visit my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/09/occupywallstreet.html to see my art for the movement and also see videos of the protests and police brutality as well as get other sources for coverage of the movement.

Oct. 18 2011 03:29 PM

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