Susannah Black, writing in The Distributist Review:
Later on, she wrote to me about some of what that “taking care of each other” had looked like. “It’s true that there were people with problems at Zuccotti, but that always made sense to me, that those most adversely affected by this system would come there, since it is this system, and what it does to vulnerable people, that we are criticizing. Of course we all need to take care of ourselves, but we also took care of them. This includes drug users, mentally ill people, etc. We had social workers and mental health professionals on site that were down with the cause and helping those people.”
It’s not that she doesn’t know about the other serious problems that had cropped up in Zuccotti, either: the thefts, the rapes, the divisions between occupiers who brought their own sets of advantages and troubles to the park, the interpersonal conflicts. She knows these problems far better than anyone who has been following the news coming out of the park. All of the problems are true. But they’re not the only truth. What she saw was her place destroyed. “People were traumatized,” she said. “People were sick, they were hurt—it was like a tsunami hit. It was like a village after a natural disaster.
“I don’t want people to think that it was just that the NYPD came and cleaned up a mess. The NYPD came and messed with some of the best and brightest. From now on, I hope that when OWS asks, the rest of the world answers. This is what you’ve been waiting for. Maybe it’s not perfect, maybe it’ll take a while to grow into itself, but this is it. This is not a left-wing tea party—It’s not just, ‘I want my piece of the pie back.’ People are waking up, and they’re waking up in solidarity with the rest of the world.”