Occupy Wall Street forces called an “Occupy Homecoming” June 1 in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street in lower Manhattan, N.Y. The park, the site of a historic occupation in the fall of 2011, is becoming a “movement center.” Each day, from 9 in the morning until 9 at night, activists will gather for classes, political discussions, general assemblies and other movement activities.
Some of the occupiers intend to sleep in the nearby Trinity Church, so they can be very close to the site and can more easily participate in the activities.
By noon on June 1, a crowd of several thousand people had gathered in the park. Many were Turkish people who came out in support of the recent uprisings in their homeland. Signs among the protesters read, “Occupy from Zuccotti to Gezi.” Gezi Park is the flashpoint of the current uprising in Istanbul, Turkey’s capital. Others signs called out Turkey’s ruling “Justice and Development Party,” and called for an end to the Turkish government’s participation in helping to destabilize Syria. The Occupy Wall Street activists and the Turkish organizers openly interacted, embracing each other and speaking of “the global 99%.”
At 6 p.m. that evening, Occupy activists opened their events with a rousing performance of the classic union song, “Which Side Are You On?” Afterwards, occupiers watched a street theater performance before holding a general assembly in the park. Solidarity with the Turkish uprising was a constant theme in the speeches and discussion.
Red Youth, an organization of young Marxist-Leninists, plans to hold its reading groups in Zuccotti Park. At the rally, its members carried placards saying, “From Istanbul to NYC: Stop Police Terror,” as well as placards bearing the face of Lenin and their usual red flags.
Many copies of Workers World newspaper were distributed to the crowd, with many Turkish activists speaking with great interest about communism and the role of communists in Turkey’s history of popular and democratic struggles.