“The idea of creative resistance is a vital one, because resistance needs different paths. If your only way of resisting is violent, things don’t tend to work out long-term; violent resistance tends to consume itself. And if your only way of resisting is nonviolent and passive, the people doing the act of dispersing you, they learn ways to adapt to that. Art and theatre is actually a very effective way to connect with other humans in a space. Art and cultural resistance have to be part of the movement to help make that point. These theatrical images create an urgency that helps people understand issues on a visceral level.” (Daisey, as quoted in Wallenberg 28)
It is in recognition of the power of art to construct socio-political change that many eminent personalities from American theatre and literature came out to support OWS. Veteran performance artist Penny Arcade and anti-consumerism activist Reverend Billy (aka Bill Talen) spoke passionately and intelligently to those assembled in the OWS site. The East Village-based Foundry Theatre provided selections from its adaptation of the 1937 labor revue Pins & Needles. Music performances were given by Rude Mechanical Orchestra, the investigative theatre company The Civilians as well as the New York City Labor Chorus. The Civilians are an interesting theatre group, in that one of its senior directors Steve Cosson has mooted the idea of a play about the OWS movement tentatively titled Occupy Your Mind. Another theatrical piece related to the Occupy Wall Street movement is Let Me Ascertain Yotty. (Wallenberg 27)
Another proof of the gravity and historic importance of OWS is its impact outside the United States. Apart from the Global Solidarity Movement governing issues facing the global south, no other common cause has united people across nationalities, ethnicities and political systems as OWS has done. Conversely, OWS movement has derived its tactics and mediums of protest from other successful international resistance movements. For example, when the magazine Adjusters, which adheres to an anti-consumerist stance, called its readership to action and participate in OWS. In their official pronouncement to their readership in their website, the editors of Adjusters referred to Egypt’s Arab Spring uprising. The rhetoric went ‘Are you ready for a Tahrir moment?’ Hence, while Occupy Wall Street had more home grown precedents like the “massive Wisconsin protests in early 2011 by public employee unions defending their collective bargaining rights, Occupy is simultaneously viewed as part of a worldwide labor and human rights struggle that’s shining a light on the inequities of unfettered global capitalism.” (O’Rourke 7)
Another barometer of popular currents is online social media. Social networking and micro-blogging sites such as Facebook and Twitter were effective vehicles in carrying the message and spirit of OWS movement. There was also the OWS official website, whose inflow of traffic was unending. Their cumulative effect is comparable to that of the peasant revolution in early twentieth century Russia. Though Occupy Wall Street is one of a sort economic protest in the American context, it falls under a long list of public revolts starting from Sparta’s in the fifth century BC. From then till now, technologies have advanced and cultures have evolved, yet the basis of protest, namely, ‘The few have a lot. The many have little.’ has not changed. OWS is a reflection of this sad fact.