Occupy This: Stay Tuned For More

Reggie Watts at Occupy This. Photo: Meredith Scardino

The Occupy This show that took place on Monday November 7 was an academic and comedic romp through the issues surrounding the Occupy Wall Street protests, as seen through the eyes of our speakers, including Reggie Watts, Mike Daisey, Anya Kamenetz, Martin Dockery, Greg Barris, and Gregory Smithsimon. Here is a detailed description and review of the show from Newsweek’s Daily Beast

Gregory Smithsimon. Photo: Meredith Scardino

I was perhaps most surprised by the comments of Gregory Smithsimon, an assistant professor of sociology at Brooklyn College. What he said has kept nagging at my brain. Apparently, because of a rule that says high-rise developments must provide some outdoor public space to offset their towering height, New York City has approximately five hundred public spaces where people are legally allowed to enter at any time of day or night. However, these public spaces are purposefully designed to appear uninviting, and most look as though they are private. Consequently, New Yorkers don’t have access to public space that legally belongs to them, but most of us don’t even know it. The relation to Occupy Wall Street is that the now infamous Zuccotti Park is one of those spaces, but it has been reclaimed. Sounds like a case of the 99% vs. the 1% to me. Here is a fascinating explanation of the issue that Smithsimon wrote for the New York Observer.

Gregory Smithsimon, Mike Daisey, Anya Kamenetz, Martin Dockery, Greg Barris

I’m proud to have helped produce the first Occupy This event, and because of the enthusiastic response, there may be more to come, so stay tuned. We just may have an evening devoted to the relationship between our food system and the OWS protests, and I can tell you we have some great speakers who have already agreed to take part. We’ll post a video of the November 5 show on the Occupy This Facebook Page soon. To all those who came out to see the show, and to our wonderful host and speakers, many thanks!

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