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Warmer weather doesn't only mean the return of the romper — it's also bring that other sexy back. And which sexy is that? Why, the anti-corporate-personhood-sign-holding-drum-circling kind of sexy, of course.
Occupy Wall Street is likely to come out of its cave this spring, but if you ask its most dedicated activists, there was no winter hibernation. After the eviction from Zuccotti Park last November, Occupy started meeting in churches and other public spaces.
"I think that there's a convenient narrative which is, 'Occupy went underground,'" Veteran Occupier Justin Wedes told Gawker this week. "That's completely false. All of the structures that existed in the park — in terms of the people structures, not the physical structures — continued to exist in some form, or in a modified form, outside of the park. They continued to meet at 60 Wall Street, or at different spaces around the city. They continued to keep doing what they were doing."
As for good-old-fashioned protesting, last Saturday seemed to signal a return to a more public form of dissent. Seventy-three protestors were arrested after camping in the park on the six-month anniversary of its eviction. (What do you get someone as an eviction anniversary present? I'm thinking a gas mask.)
Either way, it’s likely OWS will need to focus on tactics other than occupying this time around. The NYPD recently shut down an encampment at Union Square, and it’s unlikely any large encampments will be tolerated again. Here’s how Gawker’s Adrian Chen smartly puts it:
"In the end, the NYPD's zeal might help the movement — it really took off after last fall's pepper spray video, after all. And Wedes says Occupy is shifting focus to entrenching itself in local communities, rather than taking over public spaces. However they do it, Occupy needs an influx of new energy. The movement never went away, but at points this winter it seemed to disappear into its own internal divisions...
But now it's spring, and Occupy can stretch its legs. We're going to see a few weeks of dramatic actions, as Occupy tries to capitalize on a winter of organizing to reassert itself as the force that brought thousands over the Brooklyn Bridge in October. Whether anyone else will care enough to join them on May 1 is still very much an open question."
We’ll just have to wait and blog.