Occupy: the comedy • 9 December 2011 • The SnowBlog

Occupy: the comedy

This may not interest you, being more revolutionary than literary, but it amused me. I don't know if the papers will pick it up but there was apparently considerable entertainment to be had last night in New York City. The TV show, Law and Order, decided to do an episode that featured the Occupy Wall Street camp which until recently used to reside in Zuccotti Park until the NYPD raided it and threw the whole thing into dumpsters. So the TV company built a replica in a different Manhattan park... complete with People's Library, food and medic tents. I happened to be following along on Twitter when the protesters found out that their camp had been resurrected... as a film set - not far from where the real thing used to stand. "So all we needed to do was create a fake film company, apply for a permit, and we could have stayed?" asked one protester. Then someone realised, well, if they've gone to the trouble of rebuilding our old home, maybe we should move in. So the real Occupy protesters headed over to see the fake camp. And finding it more or less deserted, they made themselves comfortable and had a look around. Apparently the food in the food tent was healthier than the real version, and the handmade signs were a little bit too 'art school', but the books in the library were about right. The Twitter hashtags for the night became #moccupy and #fauxcotti. And just as the surreality of the situation was really sinking in, the police turned up to clear them out - raising the mind-boggling question of whether the NYPD were there to protect an exact replica of what the same police officers had recently destroyed because only exact copies of the camp could be tolerated, not the real thing. A few wags claimed to be unsure about whether the cops on the film set of a TV cop show were TV cops or real life cops, but the cops (=real) didn't seem to be in the mood for games. And once the police had displaced the protesters, there was even more surrealism on display, because the police were now effectively occupying the fake camp. Cheeky protesters demanded to know what the new occupiers' demands were and chanted, "Whose fake camp? Our fake camp!" The final hilarity of the evening was when the police assisted the TV people in dismantling their film set and couldn't tell which were real NYPD barricades and which belonged to the movie people. I do hope the news media pick this story up because a) it's fun and b) it boggles the mind thinking about the NYPD being faced with two identical protest camps, one which they bulldozed and the other which they moved into and protected. Weird times.


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