By GARY BAUMGARTEN
I hung around Zuccotti Park again on Thursday afternoon trying to get a handle on the direction the Occupy Wall Street movement is going. My conclusion: it’s still, impossible to say.
I met so many people, there for so many different reasons.
Tracy Postert is a 40-something bio-chemist with a PhD from New York City. A former high school teacher and university professor who is well published in peer review journals. Tracy is unemployed. She was busy handing out resumes, hoping that someone might know someone who might be able to give her a job.
Postert is willing to relocate anywhere for that job, by the way. You can reach her at email@example.com.
I also met a man who is an unemployed banker. He says he was let go because the bank he worked for made cutbacks. Occupy Wall Street is a place where he can vent his frustrations and get a sympathetic ear.
Among the others hoping to get sympathetic ears for their causes was Carl Dix, from the Revolutionary Communist Party. His group is marching on the New York State office building in Harlem Friday and he was busy imploring some of the occupyers to join him.
Dix wasn’t the only representative of an organized group attracted to the concentration of frustrated Americans in lower Manhattan. Anti-capital punishment organizations, pro-green energy groups and the Black Panthers were there too.
They are welcomed along with anyone else joining the menagerie. But there are those who wonder if their presence will change the tone of the movement which, until now, has been organic and not controlled or unduly influenced by long-established political or advocacy organizations.
The consensus among the Occupy veterans I posed this question to was that the participation of organized groups is expected but doesn’t change the movement’s still-not-clearly-defined focus.
I also met a very articulate, interesting and engaging couple protesting the Federal Reserve, which they blame, at least in part, for the nation’s current economic situation. Their low-key argument is that the Fed’s policy of just printing new money whenever the government or the banks need it is counter-productive. The Fed, they say, should be elminated.
It wasn’t until we were parting company and exchanging email addresses that I learned that these two Brooklynites just recently left New York City’s shelter program for the homeless.
Finally I chatted for some time with Anthony Adams, a recent college graduate from San Fransisco with two Masters degrees, one in city regional planning, the other in transportation engineering. He is – you guessed it – unemployed.