Occupy Worcester: A Look Back

posted by Mike on October 8th, 2013

Today is the second anniversary of Occupy Worcester. Here’s last year’s “clip show,” with a few changes.

See also: A Quick History of Occupy Worcester

Audio: Download the mp3 or see more formats.

Video: Download via BitTorrent or see more formats.

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Contact info.

You can watch 508 Fridays at 7pm on WCCA TV13.

Occupy Worcester: The Anniversary

posted by Mike on October 8th, 2012

This afternoon I stopped by Worcester Common for the one-year anniversary of Occupy Worcester. I had a cupcake and chatted with folks, but couldn’t stay until the general assembly began.

From Facebook:

It was decided at the 1 year anniversary to have a meeting on Sunday October 14 at 4:30 pm at the shop on 97d Webster st. The main topics of this meeting will be to hash out a schedule for future meetings and how we will move forward from there.

Worcester Magazine has a writeup. I’m a little surprised that the T&G, which ran so many detailed articles about OW last October & November, didn’t mention the anniversary.

There’s also some video online. And notes.

508 #202: A Look Back at Occupy Worcester

posted by Mike on October 5th, 2012

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s episode is a “clip show” about Occupy Worcester, edited for the one-year anniversary.

Audio: Download the mp3 or see more formats.

Video: Download via BitTorrent or see more formats.

Twitter | Facebook

Subscribe with iTunes

Contact info.

You can watch 508 Fridays at 7pm on WCCA TV13.

See also: A Quick History of Occupy Worcester

A quick history of Occupy Worcester

posted by Mike on October 3rd, 2012

On October 2, 2011, we pretended to kick off Occupy Worcester on the 508 show by having a public “mic check” at Cooks Pond. Actual organizing meetings began happening that week.

The first real Occupy Worcester event was on October 8 on the Common. This was organized outside the meetings. The first fruit of the meetings was a General Assembly on the Common October 9, 2011. I counted 190 people gathered to talk about our challenges as a society and how to come to grips with them.
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Occupy Worcester protests the NDAA

posted by Mike on February 3rd, 2012

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I was in downtown Worcester at the federal courthouse this afternoon for the first of four (!) hours of an NDAA protest organized by Occupy Worcester.

Interest in this event skyrocketed a couple days ago when the local Tea Party encouraged members to take part.

Things began with Occupy Worcester mic checking the Bill of Rights:

The big Tea Party contingent hadn’t arrived by the time I left; most of the 30-40 people were familiar from past OW events.

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Occupy Worcester, Lincoln Square, Day Sixteen

posted by Mike on November 30th, 2011

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T&G: Occupy finds wintering ground: Missionary Society welcomes protest:

Worcester Area Missionary Society, a nonprofit church organization that helps the needy and the homeless, has granted Occupy Worcester permission to set up its small encampment on the concrete lot between the former Lincoln Square Boys & Girls Club and the old Worcester Vocational High School.

Occupy Worcester GA notes:

Just before GA, Sandra Johnson came to camp on behalf of the Board of Directors who own the parking lot we are currently occupying. Tenants are about to occupy their building, and the parking lot was resurfaced and lined for their use. Spaces 1-30 are spoken for, but in general Occupy Worcester will need to find new arrangements before Monday morning. General concerns about tents and tarps and the occupation happening there, there is probably not a compromise to be reached about any continued presence in their lot. Said that the understanding has always been that this was a short-term accommodation. Said back-channel discussions have been taking place amongst the Mission Society churches, possibility of a church being able to assist us. Best contact to pursue this will be Frank Kartheiser of Worcester Interfaith. Per Sandra, continued contact with the Board of Directors should occur through our lawyer, Beverly.

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Occupy Worcester, Lincoln Square, Day Fifteen: Discouraged

posted by Mike on November 28th, 2011

If you drove by Lincoln Square today, you may not have seen any Occupy Worcester people holding signs. This is because their efforts have shifted to rebuilding their encampment in the parking lot behind the building.

People have been sleeping in that parking lot for some days now (see previous videos in this series). I’m told they’ve had actual permission to camp for about a week. Now the push is on to build a substantial camp with the gear from Lake Park.

And yet, the mood is one of discouragement.

Occupy Worcester: Lincoln Square, week two

posted by Mike on November 27th, 2011

Today I stopped by Lincoln Square to talk with Liz about the beginning of the second week of Occupy Worcester’s 24-hour demonstration there. Bruce “Snow Ghost” Russell joined us and showed how all the issues are connected.

City Council to Occupy Worcester: whatever

posted by Mike on November 23rd, 2011

Last night, the Worcester City Council voted 9-2 to support the City Manager’s handling of Occupy Worcester so far. Several councilors spoke to the issue, but none of the supporters addressed incidents like OW people being threatened with arrest for entering City Hall to schedule an appointment with the Manager, or the frequent policy changes about the use of Lincoln Square that have frustrated police and Occupiers alike.

The Council also, by voice vote, withdrew their own request that the Manager have people meet with OW to answer questions and address concerns.

So the Council voted a “good job” to the Manager while withdrawing any previous suggestions to him. I am pretty sure these votes had zero effect on anything.

You would think that Councilor Konnie Lukes, who last week complained that “we’ve sort of turned the tables around where the CM is leading and the City Council isn’t doing much of anything” would be opposed to measures shirking leadership, but you would be wrong—she was a strong supporter.


I couldn’t help but think of Dianne Williamson’s recent satirical postmortem on Councilor Barbara Haller while watching this meeting. Haller co-sponsored the resolution supporting the Manager’s OW crackdown, and this might be one of the last high-profile things she takes on as a Councilor. Haller’s behavior at this meeting echoed Williamson’s sarcastic portrayal of her as someone who’s a “liberal” in her own mind but who the unfair public see as “not progressive enough”.

(Williamson has started doing a sort of Stephen Colbert thing with her column, which I fear is a little insidery and subtle for non-Worcesterites. For example, in this column she misidentifies One Love as “vegetarian,” framing the “Dianne Williamson” character as “ignorant outsider” in the very first sentence.)


Sorry if this post is disappointed and angry—I usually avoid watching the Council meetings because I don’t like feeling this way. Happy posts coming soon.

Occupy Worcester: one week in Lincoln Square

posted by Mike on November 20th, 2011

Today marks one week that Occupy Worcester has maintained a 24-hour demonstration in Worcester’s Lincoln Square. You will remember that OW tried to set up camp there after leaving Lake Park. Camping hasn’t been permitted, so OW has been standing around on the sidewalk, conducting other activities as allowed by whichever police are on duty.

OW has been doing all sorts of good things. The camping, and now marathon demonstration, are the one aspect I’ve been skeptical of. I’m not sure this sort of public presence is worth the effort. On the other hand, Worcester’s City Manager has mounted a publicity campaign against OW, and Worcester City Councilor Konnie Lukes thinks the attempts at camping have created “a difficult situation.” The local powers-that-be evidently think OW has been more than a minor nuisance. Maybe OW is onto something.

Also, Joe Scully says they had a late night poetry marathon. Now that grabs my imagination.

Pictured: Stone holds forth at the one-week anniversary General Assembly in Lincoln Square.

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