Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Who is to Occupy Wall Street?

As far as I am concerned, a revolution could not have started in a more convenient spot that this. Liberty Plaza is where I transfer from my train from New Jersey to my bus to Brooklyn. I go there almost every other day, for about 15 minutes to half an hour. On the weekends, I take my daughter to watch the drummers, before hitting a posh play ground around the Battery Park condos (or highly selective rentals, as the residents would like to call them). On Wednesdays, I interview people for an oral history project. Last night I came out of the Path train with a woman who was carrying aluminum trays which obviously contained hot food. I asked her if she was heading to the protest as well, and she said yes. As I helped her carrying the food through the crowd of tourists and downtown workers coming out of their offices, she told me she was a priest, and she had cooked something vegan for them. When we arrived at the kitchen of the protest, we exchanged contact information and good wishes, trying to quickly get out of the way, for the line of the hungry had grown long. Later I met a student from the Columbia University who was finishing her anthropology degree and looking for a job. She told me she spent most of the day at home or at school, but at night she came over to help with the information desk, and sometimes she slept at the park, although she did have an apartment at Washington Heights. This is a great place to encounter people, she said, but even a better place to see a seriously mixed crowd is the bathroom line at the Mac Donald's across the street. On Sunday, I chatted with a mother from Los Angeles who was in the city for a short period, and decided to sleep at the park in support of the protest. She did not know for how long, because she had no gear. As we spoke, another protester, a college student form New Jersey informed her that at 6 pm there will be a free sleeping bag handout. This morning when I saw her again, she told me she decided to stay until Thursday. So, who is to occupy Wall Street? Looks like everyone.. Read more on this article...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Hello readers,

I am happy to report from New York that there are signs of positive social change in late imperial America.

The photos accompanying this post were taken by the Brooklyn Bridge on October 1, 2011.

I've been in China for the last few months and unable to update this blog because Blogger is blocked by Beijing.
Although Chinese internet controls can be a nuisance, or worse, block vital information that citizens need to understand and improve the society in which they live, I don't really dispute the right of a sovereign nation to block data-mining products that collude with the US government.

The surreptitious statistical surveillance conducted by Google, Facebook and other "darlings" of late-era US imperialism takes the joy out of technological innovation and erodes trust on the creative commons of the Internet. As such I refuse to post on Facebook and am winding down my use of Google products; as attractive as some of the technology is, the company is not to be trusted.

Please look for future posts on Wordpress under my name, or by my internet tag, jinpeili.

Phil Cunningham Read more on this article...