The "Occupy Wall Street protest," entering its consecutive 14th day Friday, has advocated itself as a peaceful protest against corporate greed – but what goes on in Zuccotti Square by night?
Protesters have reported that things remain peaceful around the clock, adding that the protest has a sense of community and brotherhood.
“There’s a lot of solidarity at night. It’s a large family, and everyone looks after each other,” an anonymous protestor told The Christian Post. “I’m 50, and seeing these [protestors] who are young enough to be my kids gives me so much hope for the young generation.”
Nighttime activities in the square include dance parties, complete with bongo drums.
“There was an altercation last night. It was juvenile and didn’t escalate very much,” said Shirley (who refused to share her last name).
Shirley and fellow protestor K-La hitchhiked from Nova Scotia, Canada.
Another protestor chimed in: “A few things have come up missing, but that’s only because not everyone here is an idealist.”
Zuccotti Square, located in the Financial District in Manhattan, is the main sight for the protest. Scattered with sleeping bags, tarps, cardboard signs and abandoned pizza boxes, the square serves as the protest’s sanctioned sleeping area.
Mark Aloysious, who spends his nights sleeping on a little slice of cardboard, noted that the police presence is most frustrating, because it gives the protestors no credit for maintaining peaceful relations.
“Any issues brought up are handled in a way more organic and cost effective way than cops using brute force,” said Aloysious, who dons a small headlamp to help him see through the square at night.
When asked about maintaining watch over the protest all night long, an NYPD officer described it as “annoying.”
According to Aloysious, people have maintained a pleasant demeanor for the duration of the protest.
“Joining first timers want to stay up all night, but everyone is being respectful,” said Aloysious.
Aloysious is a documentary filmmaker hoping to make a movie out of the event.
In a few days, he plans on taking the train down to attend the “Occupy Washington D.C.” sister protest, which begins Oct. 6.
One protestor, who chose to remain anonymous, said, “this event has a lot to do with the Christian belief ‘help thy brother.’”
“Here there are many people with many different beliefs and we all make sure [they] are taken care of,” he added.
Zuccotti Square includes a “cozy corner”, which is an all donations area set up on the southwest side of the square. The cozy corner is completely volunteer run, and provides protestors with blankets, toiletries and dry clothes.
“We are only here because we want to make a difference and make that change,” said Chelsea Potter, a volunteer at the “cozy corner.”
“People have to find their humanity again,” she added.
Potter flew by plane from her home state of Georgia and has been at the protest for three days. She plans to stay until Oct. 27.
When asked what she does for a living, she replied “nothing.”
Questions have begun to surface regarding whether the protest will continue into the winter months.
The protest has gone national, with ‘occupations’ scheduled for Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Portland.