This past Friday, a clean up crew was expected to come into the infamous Zuccotti Park to provide maintenance from “unhygienic” conditions. Clearly, there was much skepticism of the stated claims: after all, it seemed like a glorified bureaucratic excuse to break up protestors. Yet at the last second, the clean up was postponed. Was it due to the mass clean ups organized by protestors on the morning of? Or perhaps the reluctance of police to engage with the crowds? When all is said and done, my personal opinion rests on the National Lawyer’s Guild, who decided specifically to over see the operations on the day of.
Despite popular opinion, Zuccotti Park is not a public park. Owned by Brookfield Office Properties, the clean up actually seems very legitimate on legal grounds. Thus, any confrontation that the protestors could’ve provided would’ve seen ignorant of legal precedents and the foundation of society as it exists today (for those political buffs, its about time to get reintroduced with “Second Treatise” by John Locke). And for all of their attempts to clean up, it appears like a pitiful excuse by protestors to even attempt to believe that their attempts would be enough to satisfy a multi-million dollar property mogul.
The postponement can be directly attributed to the National Lawyer’s Guild, who came out to the park to specifically over see the operations to ensure that no police brutality, or demonstration violence occurred. If the officials were worried that the protestors were going to make a scene, I assure you, they would’ve loved to enter the park. Rather, they were far more concerned of how the police would appear as Youtube videos of female protestors getting pepper sprayed in the eyes still run rampant on the Internet.
Still, it is worth stating that so far, that appears to be the most direct rallying point the “Occupy” movement has. Complaining about “Corporate Greed” has existed as long as corporations have existed. Furthermore, in an odd way, it plays right into the hands of some of the most powerful officials in office and business. The Obama administration can now officially claim their “center” approach as Wall Street witness’s the true angry left and Mitt Romney has gotten far more endorsements for Wall Street than Obama has, even during his 2008 campaign.
It was a bold and brave move for the National Lawyer’s Guild to step in and provide a much needed oversight to the demonstrations. However, until they are a little more even handed, for instance, putting some blame on protestors for sleeping in someone else’s private property, they will not receive the rightful credit that they deserve. There are no angels and demons in this world, no blacks and whites to be seen in the horizon. What we live in is a world of grays and until we can all accept this point, then messages of clarity come off as arrogantly optimistic.