OWS: All the Angry People

The New Yorker

A man out of work finds community at Occupy Wall Street.

[A good long read… -DS]

…The protesters in Zuccotti Park were angry about things that Kachel recognized from his own life: the injustice of an economic system in which the rich and the powerful sucked the life out of the middle class. He had long felt critical of the big banks, the oil companies, the huge corporations that didn’t pay taxes. Fracking, the hydraulic extraction of natural gas, was a particular concern of Kachel’s. He was also an obsessive follower of Rachel Maddow—he loved her wit, her agreeableness—and Occupy Wall Street was starting to come up on her cable news program.

Kachel had four hundred and fifty dollars from the sale of his copy of Final Cut Pro. For two hundred and fifty, you could travel to New York City on a Greyhound bus. He had never been farther east than Dallas, but New York City was so dense and diverse, and so full of ideas and ways to make money, that if he could learn to exist there he could surely find a place to exist. On the last night of September, he went to bed telling himself, “Oh, this is just absolutely nuts, you can’t do that.” He woke up in the morning with a clear thought: This is exactly what I’m going to do.

Kachel didn’t tell his few friends about his plan. But on the night of October 3rd, on a WordPress blog that he had set up, he wrote, “About to board a bus to NYC. Not sure if I’ll ever come back to Seattle. . . . I have had some moments of panic, asking myself if I’ve completely lost my mind. That’s entirely possible. But those moments pass quickly and my sense of adventure takes over and I’m ready to hit the road all the more.” He had abandoned most of his remaining possessions; he was travelling with only a small duffel and a daypack, and they contained not much more than a few changes of clothes, a portable hard drive with some of his movies, and a “relatively stupid” cell phone with enough memory to send and download tweets. The bus left at midnight. At five in the morning on October 6th, Kachel arrived at the Port Authority bus terminal, in Manhattan. By 10 am, he had made his way downtown to the occupation…

Complete article here

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