March 26, 2012 : OWS Challenges Cops to Rap, Dance Off; New Tactics Abound



Protesters pushed out of Zuccotti Park are bringing the party to NYC's historic Union Square, where each night cops move them out and erect barricades, according to the Village Voice. The park is a public space and as such has different rules than Zuccotti, which operated under a “public-private” partnership. Historically, the much larger park has allowed for small groups to sleep over night, but the cops are having none of it.

The energy shifted away from confrontation as Friday night saw the first public rap/song/dance battle where protesters challenge police to rap about social political issues and offered “high-fives” and “good games” to police as they left the park.

Who will be the first cop to challenge the protesters with their own rap? No doubt instant fame and celebrity and a ticket out of boring work/occupy detail for he or she who does. Top Dog Rap Celebs  like Mos Def are expected to attend this Friday.

UWS Digital News, as always, will make efforts to provide on the ground coverage as the drama unfolds in the new space.

The Voice also documents cops action toward journalists and photographers as they try to clamp down on news coverage of the event.

Gothamist says protesters led cops “on a meandering march” yesterday from Zuccotti to Union Sq. to protest NYPD police brutality. Ever present Council members Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez were in attendance. 14 were said to be arrested.

Occupy Town Square staged its own rally in Fort Greene, as documented here at the neighborhood's city blog.

Further upstate, Occupy Rochester is apparently now debating whether to leave their encampment.

Occupy Portland staged their own march in protest of that city's crackdown on camping.

Occupy Eugene also got creative, providing free haircuts to the community and donating the chopped locks as wig material to the American Cancer Society.

Occupy tactics, and themes, appear to be spreading through nearly every aspect and issue of American civic life. Exhibit A is Occupy the Department of Education, scheduled to take place in DC beginning March 30. The Occupation is supposed to be a “a 96-hour congregation and discussion of like-minded educators, students, and parents who are resisting the prominence of high-stakes standardized testing, railing against attempts made by ALEC and other privately funded organizations to draft model legislation to ultimately privatize public schools.” Huffpost

Similarly, Occupy Ames/Iowa State held a seminar/teach-in to over-flowing crowds as they probed links between Energy company Agrisol and the state university. Iowa State Daily

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that the “99% Declaration group” AND the Occupy movement are both planning to hold summer conventions, in apparent parallel with each other. The 99% group is calling theirs “Continental Congress 2.0” but Occupy considers its approach to fielding candidates overly exclusive and hierarchical.

Finally, the fall out from the initial declassification of DHS documents continues as reports that the National Lawyers Guild says the initial data drop contains limited sources. They expect the next round to be more of a treasure trove, showing actual DHS coordination with local police agencies, helping to orchestrate the occupy clamp downs and clearing of camps nation-wide.