Activists of the movement, splintered and diminished since it prompted worldwide protests against inequality, reunited and reflected on Black Lives Matter, Bernie Sanders and the legacy of Occupy
Five years after the tents sprouted, the protesters faced pepper spray and a call went out against inequality, the mood in Zuccotti Park on Saturday evening felt more like a family reunion than a political rally. Around 100 former Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered in downtown Manhattan to reminisce on the fifth anniversary of their movement, which spurred international protests if not decisive action to counter the growing divide between rich and poor.
Organizers hugged each other and introduced new partners and babies at the park where theyd spent months, sleeping in tents, fighting with police and challenging Wall Street bankers with their call: We are the 99%.
But five years later, Occupy is splintered and largely absent from the political arena, although the ideas of the movement anti-Wall Street policies and opposition to corporate influence on politics have ascended to become central issues of the 2016 presidential campaign.
I remember in this park five years ago having arguments with people and debates: Should we run Occupy candidates for office? And now, five years later, maybe we dont have any Occupy candidates, but every candidate wants you to think that they are the Occupy candidate, said Caleb Maupin, 28, who was working for an insurance company during the Occupy heyday and is now a journalist for RT, the television network funded by the Russian government.