Occupy Movement Holds “Day Of Disruption”; Some Supporters Annoyed

You Cant Evict An Idea

Yesterday was the two month anniversary of the launch of Occupy Wall Street movement. To commemorate this day, the movement held a day of action, with the purpose to shut down the New York Stock Exchange and disrupt subway service around the city. With the police raid of Zucotti park at 1am on Tuesday morning, it appears as though police had attempted to head off this day of action. It was unsuccessful. It seems to have had the opposite effect. Not only have most of the protesters returned, but the eviction has galvanized the people participating in this ongoing movement for economic justice. This is where the rallying cry “You can’t evict an idea” has emerged from.

While many are in support of this movement, and believe in the righteousness of the cause, people are understandably upset about protesters choosing to disrupt traffic and subway service with their presence. This makes it difficult for everyday people to move about, and puts working people at odds with the protesters in many ways. It is clear that the Occupy Movement will not merely go away, no matter how many tents are ripped up, and protesters roughed up and arrested en masse. But, the question of what tactics the movement employs will make a big difference as to whether it continues to receive the support and sympathy of the other part of the 99 percent who are in many cases hanging on by a thread themselves. Should the Occupy Movement seek to disrupt the commute of many people? Is it a necessary tactic?


Marc W. Polite


  1. Protests are supposed to be inconvenient.
    The Montgomery Bus Boycott disrupted transit service in that city for TWO YEARS.
    The 1941 Fifth Avenue Coach Company strike and boycott in 1941 shut down bus service in Manhattan for TWO MONTHS.

    However, as a result of this protest jointly called by Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, the Communist Party and Transport Workers Union local 100, Fifth Avenue Coach set up the first Affirmative Action program in American history, at a time when racial discrimination was still legal in this country.

    There is no way to have an effective protest without inconveniencing somebody – but it’s worth it.

  2. I vote yes–I say yes because the question is framed in a way that the only logival answer is yes. If the OWS want to shut things down then crippling mass transit is a must. The question is should OWS shut things down? It’s a far more complicated question where you have to factor in the 99%ers who still need to get to work. Protesting for sure is supposed to make people uncomfortable but I only wonder if this tactic might hurt those alligned with the cause quicker and deeper than those to whom the message is addressed. I suppose this is always the way–two years boycotting the bus in Montgomery must have been tough on those working who now had to walk–the only difference was boycotting the bus was a choice made by those who did the walking.

    Regardless things gotta change, voices need to be heard and demonstrations must be held. Can’t make an omelette….

  3. Great points Greg and Brandon. We will see how this plays itself out. Its a mixed bag, but it seems like people don’t take a movement seriously until it disrupts the day to day functioning of everything. Thank you both for your commentary.

  4. Thanks Marc, Greg and Brandon, enjoyed all articles:-) Agree with Greg and Brandon, don’t know too many comfortable protests….

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