5 Wild Stories from the Occupy Movement
The Occupy movement has become one of the most legendary socio-political movements in the recent past. Since the movement was so widespread a lot of people have their own stories and anecdotal experiences to share. Some people were in the movement, others were onlookers, and some were cops!
But everyone has a story. Some of these stories are absolutely wild – which is the usual when it comes to movements like this. Here are some of the craziest stories that came out of the Occupy movement:
The Zuccotti Park occupation was the kick off of what would become a global movement. But it almost didn’t happen! AdBuster and Anonymous alike called for 20,000 people to Occupy Wall Street; however, only about 3,000 people initially showed up. A lot of people were worried that the movement wouldn’t be supported and it would fizzle out like previously staged protests.
Plus the protest was originally supposed to be staged at Bowling Green park. The protesters decided that they wanted to move to a different park in fear of getting shut down by police, so they picked Zucotti Park. The picked the park not for any special reason other than it was the closest of a few back-up locations the protesters had picked out.
The protesters that took part in Occupy weren’t just college students – though a lot of protests did happen on college campuses – they were people from all walks of life: teachers, lawyers, and even US Veterans.
Iraq veteran Scott Olsen nearly lost his life during an Occupy protest. He was hit in the head with a police projectile and wound up with a fractured skull, a broken neck, and brain swelling.
Oakland eventually ended up awarding Scott with 4.5 million dollars for his injuries as this incident forever changed his life.
Davis Pepper Spray Incident
While Scott almost lost his life due to force used by police, other people in California sustained some less serious but still painful injuries after protesting at UC Davis.
Students protesting in the quad at UC Davis took a seat on a paved walkway where they were asked to move by police. When they didn’t move a lieutenant sprayed three students in the face with pepper spray. A video of this incident – which is now infamous – spread like wildfire on social media leading to him getting fired. However, he was awarded restitution by the state which didn’t make sense to me… the students, on the other hand, were also awarded restitution from the state.
This incident sparked a discussion about protesting on campuses and the use of police force at colleges across the nation.
Brooklyn Bridge Trap
Another instance of police misconduct was what is now referred to as the Brooklyn Bridge Trap.
During a march that took them over the Brooklyn Bridge, protesters deviated from the walkway onto the road and were waved forward by the police. Thinking that the police were directing them onto the road or that this is what they wanted them to do the protesters followed only to be cut off on both sides by police and arrested.
Because of the volume of people arrested, they were forced to wait for hours in the rain to get transported to police precincts. Women were denied access to restrooms during this time which resulted in accidents and harassment from other inmates.
Breezy Douglas and Deb Zep
One positive story to come out of this whole thing is that Breezy Douglas proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Deb Zep at an occupation! He asked her to “occupy his life,” and she said yes!