To mark its 25th anniversary, pioneering activist organization Act Up teamed with the rabble-rousers of Occupy Wall Street for a downtown demonstration. The march drew attention to Occupy's ongoing call for financial accountability and served as a reminder that the AIDS crisis is far from over.
After two months of encampment in Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street protesters were evicted by the NYPD in November. Following the late-night raid, the movement was forced to go mobile—but members were still dedicated to preserving momentum. “More people began working out of cafés and off their phones,” says Dana Balicki, who has served on OWS’s media-relations team since late September. “Staying organized was [about] people going to the general assembly [meetings], and [making] a real commitment to meet in person and help with e-mail organizing. Action has been happening every single day still.” As winter came and went, OWS’s purpose expanded beyond the city’s financial epicenter. Meanwhile, affiliated movements in Los Angeles, Oakland, Denver and Philadelphia began operating on much larger scales: Occupy Philadelphia protester Nathan Kleinman initiated a run for the U.S. House of Representatives against incumbent Allyson Schwartz, while Occupy L.A. took to the city’s Bank of America Plaza to encourage an overhaul of the United States’ banking system. Closer to home, Occupy’s New York chapter launched its Spring Offensive in early March. The initiative is centered on several major campaigns: Occupy Student Debt, which aims to eradicate loans through debt strikes (refusing to cooperate with banks); Disrupt Dirty Power, targeting the “corrupt partnership between Wall Street, politicians and the business of pollution”; Occupy Our Homes, focusing on eviction defense and foreclosure activism; and Break Up Bank of America, which stages protests at financial institutions. On Wed 25, OWS will join forces with Act Up (actupny.com) for a demonstration and march starting at city hall and ending on Wall Street. Another large part of the offensive is May Day, a national moment of action planned for May 1, celebrated worldwide as International Workers’ Day. For the event, OWS will partner with members from labor, student and immigrant movements across the country and mobilize for the rights of the 99 percent. In New York, expect to see pop-up occupations throughout the city, along with educational events, musical performances, street theater and acts of nonviolent civil disobedience.Related"Occupy Wall Street" exhibit at South Street Seaport MuseumRelationship styles at Occupy Wall StreetStreet survey: Occupy Wall Street, November 2011Street survey: Occupy Wall Street, October 2011See more in Things to DoRead more