Editor’s Note: This terrific personal account of visiting OWS is a MUST READ and has many amazing images.
|Occupy Wall Street – Liberty Square
Jim Quinn: The Burning Platform
The Burning Platform
First I’d like to start off saying that Saturday was one of the most invigorating and inspiring days of my life. I came back from NYC with hope that the young people of this country, with the help of some members of the older generations that care about the future of this country, have the will and the fortitude to sweep away the existing corrupt corporate fascist state that exists in this country today. It was such a whirlwind day that my narrative is unlikely to have much structure. I’ll just unleash everything I can remember.
The Quinn clan piled into our minivan at 7:40 am and headed to the Big Apple. We hopped onto the PA Turnpike and headed east to the NJ Turnpike north. One thing you realize as you travel this route is that the entire storyline about needing hundreds of billions for infrastructure jobs is a crock of shit. The entire length of both Turnpikes is under construction, with lane widening, new bridges, new overpasses, and road paving. They are even working on the weekends. Any new money designated for infrastructure jobs wouldn’t be spent for three years. You know you are getting close to NYC when you see the refineries spewing whatever from their smokestacks and the smell of rotten eggs permeates the atmosphere. It was a beautiful sunny day, but winds of 30 to 40 mph were expected in the afternoon. It was going to be a bad hair day for Avalon. We reached the Lincoln Tunnel in about 90 minutes.
My mind is constantly thinking about crazy stuff. As we sped through the EZ Pass lane (only $9.50 for the privelage of entering NYC – $12.00 without EZ Pass) and entered the tunnel, you realize how susceptible it is to a terrorist. If there truly are dangerous terrorist cells roaming our countrysides, they must realize the damage they could inflict by filling a van or vans full of explosives and stopping in the Lincoln Tunnel and detonating them. The economic damage caused by shutting down one or more access points to NYC would be devastating. And there is nothing in place from the NYPD to keep that from happening. But they can shoot down a plane.
We parked in the first parking lot we could find at 35th and 8th Ave. You too can park in NYC for the low low price of only $44. At least it was valet parking. I was confident no one would want to steal anything from our twelve year old minivan unless they wanted old water bottles, candy wrappers and what I like to call debris. We sauntered over to 7th Avenue and hailed a cab. It was a non-minivan variety, so I had to sit up front with the angry cab driver. Are there any non-Muslim cab drivers in NYC? I told him to head to the World Trade Center. I can’t help it, I just love cab rides in NYC. It’s like being on a thrill ride at an amusement park. Our silent, angry Muslim cab driver proceeded to try and reach the World Trade Center in record time by cutting off any car that dared cross his path. He veered from right to left, ignoring those pesky red lights and pedestrians. I did find myself applying the invisible brake on my side and let out an occassional gasp as he worked his magic. He pulled off the 30 block trip in 10 minutes for under $10. I was truly impressed.
As we headed off in the direction of the WTC site, my first impression of the atmosphere was one of stifling, overwhelming, intimidating police presence. A convoy of at least 10 NYPD vans sped past us. There were cop cars parked everywhere. There were groups of policemen on every corner. And this was a few blocks from the protest site. I saw multiple NYPD buses and joked to Avalon that they were to transport us to the jails when the protest really got going.
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