United States: Occupy Wall Street, One Year Later

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

September 15-17, 2012, marked the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Many similar scenes that transpired at the start of the movement last year recurred this time around: hundreds of arrests were reported on Saturday 15 during the demonstrations that culminated on Monday 17 in the area surrounding the stock exchange. Occupy created three hashtags on Twitter—#S15, #S16 y #S17—alluding to the three days that marches, concerts and religious ceremonies took place throughout southern Manhattan.

The movement that began in 2011 led to much discussion among members of the public, the media and political experts, and the repercussions of this conversation were seen on social network sites. The impact of the Occupy movement especially on the internet prompted Global Voices to include the panel #occupyeverywhere at the most recent summit held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Despite an awakening of an activist sentiment throughout the United States, Occupy Wall Street has confronted a series of obstacles that have made a dent in its progress on a local level: the sudden eviction ordered by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration and the low temperatures at the end of the year.  The protests took on a new spirit under the name “99% Spring” in the second quarter of this year, although its media presence did not match that of the last months of 2011.

Today Occupy faces another challenge, this time with the New York district attorney's office after the city's Attorney General subpoenaed Twitter on September 14 for information about protester Malcolm Harris–who was arrested during a protest on the Brooklyn Bridge last year–and the publication of his tweets over a period of three months. Although the effect that this legal request will have in the future remains to be seen, organizations like Electronic Frontier Foundation and ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) voiced their protest, and maintained that allowing the government access to social media accounts without a warrant can have grave consequences for freedom of expression.

And although Twitter has become a legal battlefield, those who want to express their opinions on the Occupy Movement, such as the OWSTactical (@OWSTactical), are doing so on the site:

@OWSTactical#S16 we celebrate. #S17 we rise

The official account for Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) provides statistics:

@OccupyWallSt: There's 1500 newspapers, 1100 magazines, 9000 radio stations, 1500 TVstations, & 2400 publishers all owned by 3 corporations @InjusticeFacts

Lacy MacAuley (@lacymacauley) shares her thoughts:

@lacymacauley: I was arrested by NYPD for nothing, charged with obstructing sidewalk. Now out of jail, ready to get back to streets! :) #S17 #OWS

David Seaman (@d_seaman) criticizes the actions of security forces during this past week's protests.

@d_seaman: A republic shows its strength by tolerating and addressing the grievances of protesters. 51 arrests before #S17 even starts? Not good.

Pablo Solon (@pablosolon) argues that the fight is not limited to Occupy Wall Street

@pablosolon: The fight of Occupy Wall Street is the struggle of all movements in the world. http://focusweb.org/node/1922 #S17 #OWS

Adbusters Magazine (@Adbusters), one of the precursors to the movement, asserts that the anniversary of Occupy wall acts as a catalyst for future projects:

@Adbusters: After a year of struggling against an unrepentant corporatocracy, our goals are now deeper, our dreams wilder… http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/s17-one-year-anniversary.html #S17

Next a series of images from September 17, 2012 (all shot by the author):

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

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