November 18th, 2011
Occupy the Brooklyn Bridge
6PM: I’m sitting in my office working hard to meet a deadline. I was already distracted during the day writing for the occupy movement I support of freelancers who aren’t represented in the labor market, so I was working late. As I’m singing to myself, I begin to hear screaming at one moment, then cheering. At first I figured my partner’s music was just loud, but the cheering continued. I then thought it was coming from a boxing match down at Gleason’s gym right under me but, they are ususlly louder that the cheering I was hearing.
7:30PM: The screaming and cheering turns to chanting. With so much time haing passed and the noise becoming organized I realized I wasn’t hearing things and ran to the window. Sure enough right outside on the Brooklyn Bridge hoards or people were marching chanting "Outrage Outrage Outrage!" They bore flags and held up their cellphones as lighters singing "Change when do we want it, Now!"
As the earthquake that rocked us here in Dumbo over the summer I go on Twitter (the people’s news network) to verify the march on Brooklyn Bridge. #OccupyBrooklynBridge. It was offical! I tweeted "#NYC is a big place filled with parks we’ll find another spot to #occupy."
After trying to record from the office window I realized that it wasn’t enough; I can’t tell my children I stood in a building snapping images. As an artist it is my duty to be in the mix and as a citizien my duty to participate in democracy. I ran out the office with my iPhone ready to join the movement.
Welcome to Occupy Brooklyn Occupy Dumbo
As I made it up Washington Street to join the march, the police shouted at those who weren’t on the Bridge to get away, get back & stay off the block. It seemed like Dumbo wasn’t allowed to join from the bridge walk exit. But, that didn’t stop us. Dumbo gathered on the other side of the street still under the bridge, shouting "Welcome to Occupy Brooklyn FINALLY." "Occupy Dumbo!"
It was a sight to see. Helicopters flew as low as the tenth floors near the Dumbo, Washington Street apartment buildings. News 12 plotted their plan of attack for coverage on the Brooklyn side. A man shared the view with a friend via Skype. Urban sound stage’s camera man tried to keep his camera steady and children from Dumbo waved at marchers offering them a warm welcome. Dumbo’s citizens weren’t going anywhere and the police left us alone as were cheered and chanted "Occupy".
Some might think that Dumbo is hardly a neighborhood that needs an occupy spirit but the reality is Dumbo does need it. We have it all, in Dumbo we have small businesses about to be evicted, large global businesses taking over floors but not hiring freelance and job applicants, we have the ghetto, working class, middle class and the F’n lap of luxury all in 5-7 blocks.
Dumbo is a picture frame of NYC. We see what the occupy movement is about every single day. It is great that occupy has visited our door steps. Are we going to unite in support, Dumbo?
Post written by Danii Oliver, Interactive designer and developer. CDO of DAMN Digital Studio, an Interactive Agency in Dumbo Brooklyn.