Cause is too big to die down | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 17, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 17, 2011

Anti-Wall St Movement

Cause is too big to die down

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Retired cop Ray Lewis protests outside Zuccotti Park after eviction of protesters in New York City.Photo: AFP

US authorities may have closed the camp that started the whole Occupy Wall Street movement -- but protesters say their fight against economic injustice can't be so easily shut down.
The surprise night raid by New York police to demolish the movement's most famous tent camp at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan left protesters without its symbolic headquarters.
The ruthlessly thorough operation in the dead of night underlined the authorities' desire to see the back of the protest. Within hours, the last trace of the cramped tent village had literally been power-hosed away.
But even as tired protesters wandered Manhattan in a fruitless search for a new base they were confident the movement itself would survive.
"The idea will continue. It is bigger than Zuccotti Park," protest spokesman Bill Dobbs said.
For sure that idea -- tax the rich, make government accountable to regular people, and curb the power of the elites -- seems likely to endure ahead of next year's presidential election.
But how will Occupy Wall Street movement promote it?
Unlike the right-wing Tea Party, courted by the Republicans, Occupy Wall Street has no leaders or concrete agenda. Activists rule by consensus in enthusiastic, but cumbersome general assemblies, meaning there is no easy way to predict future strategy.
A judge backed a ban on pitching tents in the private area, ruling the demonstrators could gather but not camp or sleep there.
In the evening, police reopened the park and let the demonstrators back in one-by-one, stressing they would not be allowed to stay there for the night.
A test of strength is likely today, the start of the third month since the movement was born. "A day of mass action" has been announced in New York, with plans to march from squares to subway stations to city bridges.
One of the movement's big union backers, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, urged supporters Tuesday to "show your solidarity by attending a Nov 17 bridge action near you," the Politico news site reported.
However, some believe that Occupy Wall Street now has an opportunity to look beyond its battle for Zuccotti Park and to start thinking big.

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