In addition to completing a doctorate in sociology, Harrison Schultz works as an analyst with a New York-based marketing firm. He is one of the original organisers of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement.
"We didn’t understand Saturday’s wave of arrests. It’s true there were a lot of people there. Those who had been camped out at Liberty Square for the last week were joined by hundreds of others. I was waiting for a food delivery there when a friend called me to tell me that things were starting to turn ugly. So I ran down there to see what was going on. The police were being extremely aggressive. They were using this new technique to herd people together by surrounding us with nets. They also seized a camera somebody was using to film our movement since it began. When you watch the video showing one of our protesters getting teargased, it’s obvious it was used inappropriately.
"According to my information, there were 96 arrests made [media reports put the number of arrests at 80]. I think the majority of them were released later. By Sunday, things were calm again. Our encampment at Liberty Square is still there and just as full as it was before, and we’re hoping that even more people will come out.
Demonstration on New York's Broadway Ave., September 24. Video posted on YouTube.
"I’ve spent several nights there over the past week or so. It’s hard to know how many we are out there, because there are a lot of people passing through at all different hours. It’s not only the unemployed – many of the protesters have full-time jobs and come in their spare time. Of course there are students, but lots of artists as well.
"I can honestly say that our numbers grow everyday, and that we are also better organised than we were in the beginning. We’ve been lucky enough to receive private donations [for example, a nearby pizzeria has received several orders to deliver pizzas to the encampment from people who support the movement], we’ve also been able to organise a press conference to meet media demands and we are very active on the Internet
(#OccupyWallStreet #takewallstreet #sep17
), where we’ve been able to broadcast what’s been happening here direct
"We’re having a lot of fun and we’re not in a rush"
"The whole idea took off after Adbusters
, an online activist group, published a call to action in August under the hashtag #OccupyWallStreet. They wanted to inspire an Arab Spring-like resistance movement by occupying a symbolic place. I can’t speak on behalf of everyone, but I personally want everything to change. I no longer support our archaic political institutions nor our education system, which dates from the last century. We need new social protections and to organise a complete overhaul of the financial system.
"As you can see, many of the people participating in Occupy Wall Street are people with radical ideas. There are some anarchists, unions and communists. If our demands seem scattered, it’s because the revolution should be a total revolution. On Wall Street we exchange, we explore – it’s like a laboratory of ideas. More than that, we have a good time and we’re in no rush.
"I consider many of my compatriots too passive. If we want social justice, you can’t wait for someone to just give it to you, you have to go out and find it yourself. Everyone in the world is affected by this issue. I was interviewed by a radio station in Wisconsin and the listeners called to thank us. Even my boss at my marketing firm encourages what I’m doing.
For the group “Occupy Wall Street”, everyday is a new adventure”.
Protesters jot down how much they owe in personal debt.
Protesters arrested at Saturday's protest are made to sit against a wall on the corner of 11th and 5th avenue in lower Manhatten. Photos published on Facebook Harrison Schultz.
Liberty Square, September 25. Photo published on Flickr by Mattron.