The 99 Percent Occupy Boston, Reported on From the Inside

Chris Faraone covers the first three months of the Occupy Boston movement from the organizational core to the public effects.


| May 2012



99 Nights With The 99 Percent

“99 Nights With The 99 Percent” covers dispatches of the first three months of the Occupy Revolution from the perspective of reporter, blogger and tweeter, Chris Faraone. Faraone spent almost every waking hour honing his insight into America’s economic counterculture and this book is a compilation of his insight on the diverse and changing group of well-meaning protestors who organized to stand up for themselves.

WRITE TO POWER

From the street to the tweet, the Occupy movement gained momentum, and people organized to protest for change. 99 Nights With The 99 Percent (Write to Power, 2012) by Chris Faraone covers the first three months of the Occupy movement from Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Miami. In this excerpt, Faraone goes inside to the organizational core at the beginning of Occupy Boston and Occupy Dewey Square. Read this brief account of how the assembly met to get started. This excerpt is taken from the section “Occupy Boston Common.”  

American Bandstand

September 28, 2011 

At this early juncture it’s fair to say that Occupy Wall Street is successful. I’m not being sarcastic. Yesterday I wrote about the media frenzy that has fertilized their protests from day one, and that’s rained down even harder since police began beating demonstrators. And after last night’s Occupy meeting at the Boston Common bandstand, I’m convinced that the hordes have achieved something even greater than attracting press: regardless of what they accomplish in the end, Occupy has already become the hottest protest franchise since the Tea Party. Which is why it makes sense that our rally-happy Hub is the first city to strike while the brand is hot.

Last night’s kickoff testified to the weight of this movement. People have been angry for some time, but for many it was Occupy that motivated them — not the countless other protests that unfold every week around here. Roughly 300 showed — with a number of reporters also on the scene — despite the event having been announced less than a day ahead of time (Steve Annear broke the story in the Boston Metro). By a show of hands, a few dozen folks on the Common got their feet wet in New York at Occupy Wall Street. But for the most part, these people — mostly young, but overall from a mix of backgrounds, ages, and ethnicities — were inspired to act by what they’d seen online and in the news.

Following an introduction by organizer Robin Jacks — whose opening “Welcome to Occupy Boston” greetings may have summoned Thunderdome memories for older onlookers — an array of speakers took no longer than a few minutes a piece to chime in. Though they were asked to address Occupy priorities, many waxed extensively on tangential causes — the Fifth Amendment, capital punishment, and so on — until about a half-hour in. Then, at around 8 pm, the first real order of business commenced when someone asked the crowd to think about when and where they might occupy. The same speaker than detoured onto a rant about growing his own food, but he nonetheless rolled the ball in the right direction.

By a show of hands at the start of the assembly, about 20 people were interested in helping maintain a prolonged Boston occupation. But some participants got more serious as the night progressed — especially after everyone divided into working groups, and began to discuss logistical implementation issues ranging from legal, food, and medical to outreach and media. There were still some goofy moments — the night’s loudest cheers came when someone screamed “Fuck capitalism!” But overall the maturity level increased over the three-plus hour congress.