(Occupy Wall Street protesters pose for a picture in their new office space near the New York Stock Exchange in Manhatten. Photo courtesy of justinwedes on Twitter)
Here’s an ironic twist for you: the counter-culture many of the Occupy Wall Street protesters have unpitched their tents in Zuccotti Park and settled into cubicles in an office just a block away from the New York Stock Exchange.
The move was in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s raid on the park back in November and the cold weather (who wants to hold an outdoor protest in the middle of winter?!), according to an article on the Huffington Post.
CNN got an exclusive tour of the new digs; rent, furniture, food and water has all been paid for with donations.
In the CNN video, the Occupied Office looks similar to any other office space – copy and fax machine included. The only notable difference might be the protest signage proclaiming “We are the 99 percent” plastering the office doors and the attire of the people working there (decidedly street casual).
There’s a doorman who checks his database of verified working-group members before letting anyone in and everyone wears a numbered tag that reads, “The Occupied Office” (a way to help ensure Occupiers don’t violate building fire codes, according to an article on MotherJones.com). There are even rules to limit the noise levels in the office: cellphones must be on vibrate, workers must talk in low voices and large meetings have to be held in the hallway.
(Before Mayor Bloomberg evicted them from Zuccotti Park, signs like this one used to offer Occupy Wall Street protesters information about events. Now Occupied Office workers post schedules via various types of social media and online message boards. Photo courtesy of david_shankbone on Flickr.)
Occupy workers keep track of what the print media is saying on giant bulletin boards and use whiteboards — and even windows and glass doors — to write down ideas.
The gray-carpeted office, which consists of large communal workspaces and a some private offices, serves as a communication hub for protesters who had been getting information about meetings, concerts and more from boards and signage in the park, according to a recent article on newsobserver.com.
“People were like, ‘Where do we stay? What do we eat? Where do we go? What are the events?'” thirty-three-year-old Evangelina Jimenez, told the newsobserver.com recently.
In addition to their office space, Occupy Wall Street has a storage space nearby, where they stock donated supplies including bedding, towels, clothing and shoes for protesters who are now homeless.
(An example of the outdoor work and living space Occupy protesters used before cold weather and eviction set in. Photo courtesy of david_shankbone on Flickr.)
They also have a meeting place in the most unlikely of spots: the public-private atrium of Deutsche Bank (although Salon.com reports the bank has recently posted rules to limit protesters activity in the space).
Occupy Wall Street activists are tight-lipped about the exact location of the office and who’s paying for it. Its existence comes at a convenient time for the group – and not just because of the weather. Many members of the movement have been calling for a more goal-oriented political action, according to Gawker.com, and nothing says goal-oriented quite like a cubicle.