new york

Occupy Returns

Weekend again. It must be time for a blog post.

It’s been a long week, beginning with the Occupy Wall Street protests on Monday and ending with moving my office’s IT room into a new space as part of an office move. This time last week, I was filled with pep, but tonight I can barely keep my eyes open. Moving a server room is a long of work, mostly of the physical variety. It takes a lot of oomph and I’m rather low on oomph these days.

The Occupy protests were not as bad as previous ones. The police did a good job of keeping the protesters off of the block with the NYSE, which happens to be where my office is located. Our building was under high security, which meant proving to the police that I was supposed to be there before being let in. Apparently I appeared really nervous while scrambling for ID, because the officer kept telling me to take my time. Memories of the past protests no doubt had me in a bit of a state, but having to talk to people with guns in order to get to work doesn’t help either, even if the people with the guns are meant to be on my side.

The protesters were supposed to storm our block around 10 a.m. on Monday, but I don’t think it happened, because I couldn’t hear them. When they’re nearby, the noise is inescapable. Instead, I had the noises of helicopters all morning long, which thankfully ceased shortly after lunch. The constant background noise had me about ready to jump out of my skin, so I was pleased to see it end.
I’m very conflicted about Occupy. On one hand, people have a right to be angry at a whole lot of people. On the other hand, most of those people do not show up to work on my block just because there’s a stock market there, so trying to physically block us from getting to work is not very effective, other than as a statement. It is a statement, for sure, but I’m not sure who is receiving when the Occupy people congratulate their protesters for blocking traffic in intersections. That’s a public safety problem there – ambulances and firetrucks need to get through intersections. People going to doctor’s appointments need to get down the sidewalk. I need to buy lunch from the distinctly not 1% folks who are selling lunch in the neighborhood, but when the Occupy protesters are there, I can’t. When those workers get sent home because no one can get into the restaurants to buy lunch, does Occupy really win?

You can argue that it was only one day and I would have to concede it, though that’s not Occupy’s dream. One day probably does no harm, but the aggressive nature of the protesters and the amped up energy of the crowd scares the dickens out of me, as someone who is just trying to walk by and go to work at my dot com workplace that’s just near the stock market. We have nothing to do with it, other than running into the brokers when we go about our neighborhood.

Speaking of the neighborhood, I moved offices at work. The new one has a *lovely* view.

One Comment

  • Sinéad

    oh I feel for you. Working in Government buildings, I have protestors ALL the time. Although I don’t have to pass men with guns to get into my office. Stressful stuff.

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