Think it’s a worker’s paradise at Occupy Wall Street? Guess again –there’s strife, dissent and violence. Two people who have been at Zuccotti Park from day one discuss how the internal order hasn’t worked for them.
Sage: I’m leaving today, because this is no longer safe. Like, I had somebody–
Q: I’m still recording.
Sage: Sure. I had somebody in our sanitation team take a swing at me. And then I had like three really calm, friendly individuals telling me that they–that they didn’t just take a swing at me. It was, like, I was just…
Channing: Yeah. I had beef with sanitation ’cause they took my s*** down. They took my, like tent thing down that I made.
Sage: Oh, sure, sure, I was just saying that.
Q: But yeah, yeah, all I–
Channing: Yeah, no–they took my stuff. They–I had like a little tarp tent at the end of the park. Their whole thing was they were trying to clean out some of the people that were doing, like, drugs and stuff. But they started with–
Channing: Yeah. Oh, my God. But they started with my tent. And, like, they threw away my toiletries, my food, and, like, a bunch of papers I had, that were really important from the hospital. And then, like, I tried to get them to help me, like, rebuild the tent or something, and they’re like, “We didn’t do it, it wasn’t us,” and I’m like, “I saw you doing it.” Like, I got called from direct action because they doing it.
Q: But I’ve got–
Sage: Yeah, so–
Q: –let me get you to just finish that, because–
Sage: I’m just gonna say the same thing. I don’t call it corruption anymore, ’cause corruption is when a good thing goes bad. And what I think this is–people go, “Oh, they’re so stupid.” No, they’re not. They’re smart, for their purposes, which are not for this camp to function as a community.
Q: Who’s “they”? You say, “they.” What do you mean–who’s “they”?
Sage: Well, once you start pointing fingers, you get–you’re already co-opted.
Q: Well, I mean, just general–I don’t know who you mean. I don’t know who you mean.
Sage: It’s an entire–it’s an entire attitude and community of apathy, and focusing on problems. And focusing on–and I’m a part of it, and that’s why I’m leaving, ’cause I can’t get out of it. Like, just by being here, I’ve started focusing on good things, and then all of a sudden I get integrated.
Q: How long have you been here?
Sage: My name is Sage. I’ve been on the ground since Day One.
Q: Since the 17th [of September].