A visit to Zuccotti Park

It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon when I went to Zuccotti Park in New York – precisely on November 13. Finally I was in the middle of this famous protest. After all, it now has a worldwide notoriety – I am Brazilian, by the way. I was with my cousin, who lives in New York for a long time. However, this was her first time at the protest site. I guess many people think the same way as her. “This is not my protest, things are not as bad as they are trying to show”, and the list could go on and on.

My first impression when I got there was: “Hey! Things look pretty calm around here. The park is so peaceful, everyone is just trying to live together, even the cops are just standing there, talking to each other and watching the people in the park. It’s a beautiful life”. Everything was in perfect “order” – if I may use this word. I took some pictures, walked around the park, talked to some people, visit their library, their kitchen and their “energy generator”, which was basically two guys on a bicycle (truly a clean energy). And all of this was shared by everyone.

I saw almost every kind of people there: hippies, scholars, farmers, Native Americans (who wanted to “decolonize Wall Street”), blue-collars workers, old and young, black and white people, social activists, curious, rich, poor, middle class. I can affirm that it was a small world inside another small world, namely, New York City. This was pretty symbolic, almost if we were seeing a meta-world coming from another meta-world. Yes, all of this was happening at Zuccotti Park. By the way, I didn’t feel any “strange smells” whatsoever and I didn’t see “an ocean of filthiness”. Later I heard that the police action was based precisely on those “facts”. So, two days after my visit, all was gone…

I was still in New York when the police “wiped out” the people, the tents… the whole spirit of the place. It struck me as very paradoxical the fact that in the middle of the park there is a sculpture called Joie de Vivre (Joy of Living). It remains now as the sole participant of a shattered dream. I thought there was really a chance for us to live in peace, but I think I was wrong. For some strange reason the slaves were (and still are) acting in favor of the slave-masters, they are fighting against themselves. I simply can’t understand why they do that. Maybe this is some sort of twisted trait of the “human nature” (or the human condition, if you want to be more philosophical). What I learnt from this experience? Well, human beings simply can’t stand peace, or tolerance…

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