Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Photo: Andrew Burton/2011 Getty Images
After a volatile day of protests and nearly 300 arrests, Occupy Wall Street rang in its two-month anniversary with a show of force across lower Manhattan on Thursday. But it doesn’t change the essential fact that nobody will be sleeping in Zuccotti Park tonight, or perhaps ever again.
The “Day of Action” saw Occupy Wall Street organizers trying new tactics: a roving protest model; continuous, decentralized direct action; and disruptions to New York City that reach beyond the boundaries of downtown’s financial district.
The leading occupiers are spinning the eviction as creative destruction, a way to refresh and revitalize a movement that had grown stale and claustrophobic. Amid reports that the recent spate of police raids were nationally coordinated and federally planned, organizers hope to boost coordination themselves — from Oakland to Albuquerque. The new message: Leave the parks and take to the streets; occupy offices, bridges, subways, and Ivy League schools.
Harrison Schultz, a central organizer of the protests, has been at the occupation since it was just a handful of people in used sleeping bags. Along with the AdBusters crew, he was among several early arrivals who laid the occupation’s foundations; now, they’re racing to rethink them. “Many of my colleagues and I do think that this is the beginning of a new phase for the occupy movement,” he told New York. “New tactics are in order to respond to a national effort against the occupymovement.”
Jackie DiSalvo, a former member of SDS and English professor at Baruch College who has helped coordinate Occupy’s dealings with the labor movement, said that unions will intensify their efforts outside of the park. “The labor movement is pretty angry,” she told me. “They’re going to get their forcesout.”
More broadly, DiSalvo said, “things are spreading out.” As Brendan Burke, a security-minded occupier, told the Village Voice, it “doesn’t have to be about holding ground anymore.” The occupation’s presence will grow in Brooklyn and Harlem. Their motto: “Occupy the Hood.” In Harlem, a group of occupiers are planning on occupying old brownstones. And although many reports alleged that the occupation intends to “shut down” the subways, organizers say the real plan is to “recruit people on thetrains.”
But even as the protesters talk about roving further afield, Thursday’s protests were still concentrated downtown: Zuccotti Park, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Given the eviction, this is harder to justify. Not many of the traders and bank CEOs that inspire so much ire among the protesters actually work on Wall Street these days. The New York Stock Exchange, site of Thursday morning’s opening protests, does virtually all of its trading electronically; the few remaining blue-jacketed traders are mostly visual props for CNBC. The major banks are all headquartered in midtown, Manhattan’s real business district. The hedge funds are in Greenwich. The new tactics may never hit pay dirt if they remain clustered around Occupy’s former stronghold in Zuccotti. In other words, Occupy Wall Street may need to forget about WallStreet.
A Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZenecaAZN 0.08% PLC showed a promising immune response and low levels of adverse reactions in the elderly and older adults, according to an interim analysis that the drugmaker said was encouraging.
The vaccine, now in late-stage human trials aimed at showing its efficacy and safety, is a front-runner in the global sprint for a shot to protect lives and jump-start economies hobbled by the pandemic. Trials in the U.K. could produce results before year-end, fueling hopes among scientists and government leaders that a vaccine might be available for high-risk groups here by early 2021.
The results showed positive outcomes for adults over 56, including the especially higher-risk age group of those 70 and older, and were based on analysis of previously conducted interim safety and immune-response data, AstraZeneca and Oxford said Monday.
Just what we need as COVID-19 cases surge: an understaffed HHS
At least 27 political appointees have exited the embattled Health and Human Services department since the start of the Covid-19 crisis in February, according to a POLITICO review, and senior leaders are bracing for dozens more officials to depart swiftly if President Donald Trump loses re-election.
Such a wave of departures would leave only a shell staff shepherding the department through a uniquely challenging winter of coronavirus outbreaks and drug and vaccine authorizations until Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, according to interviews with 17 current and former HHS officials, some of whom requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue.
In the final stretch of the campaign, we find three Southern battlegrounds that could still go either way. Our estimates show Joe Biden with just a two-point edge over President Trump in Florida, Biden up four points in North Carolina, and the contest even in Georgia. …
[V]ery different views on the coronavirus pandemic still shape the race in all these states. In all, most Biden voters are very concerned about getting it, and Mr. Trump’s voters, by comparison, are far less concerned. Biden also gets better marks overall on how he would handle the outbreak.