Drum Circle Debate Shakes Occupy Wall Street


Within what to many has become a tiny slice of utopia, the drum circle on the west side of Zuccotti Park has been one of the most polarizing aspects of the Occupy Wall Street protest, based on complaints both symbolic (as some argue it reinforces the “dirty hippie” stereotype) and practical, with neighbors and fellow protesters complaining about the noise. “The drumming is a major issue which has the potential to get us kicked out,” one organizer told us last week. A percussion proponent countered: “They are becoming the government we’re trying to protest,” he said. “They didn’t even give the drummers a say … Drumming is the heartbeat of this movement.” After a few rocky days, the dispute appears to have been settled, at least among the demonstrators.

Last night, the literary magazine n+1 posted an anonymous (and somewhat histrionic) letter from a “respected activist” declaring Occupy Wall Street “over after Tuesday” if the drum situation didn’t get sorted out. “The drummers are fighting among themselves, there is no cohesive group,” the note said. On their own site, Occupy Wall Street all but pleaded for protesters to “look inward and converse with each other about our actions in this space.”

And then, a miracle. n+1 reported in an update at 12:44 a.m.:

A community board meeting is still scheduled for tonight. The day’s drumming is supposed to be over by then.

Earlier: The Organizers vs. the Organized in Zuccotti Park
Monday Night Urgent OWS Message [n+1]
Drumming and the Occupation [OWS]