Apparently, the Occupy Wall Street movement is making it's way uptown tonight to Lincoln Center Plaza, where they'll be joined by Philip Glass following tonight's performance of Satyagraha at the Met. This isn't the first time OWS has attempted to occupy Lincoln Center: on October 18, they were forcibly removed after attempting to assemble on the plaza.
This time, certain members are threatening to undertake a hunger strike until they are allowed to assemble there - which is, after all, their First Ammendment right. I can only imagine how the bluehairs will react coming out of the opera, or tonight's Mahler 10 at the Phil. (You can read the group's official statement after the jump.)
In more cheerful news, Jackson Browne, Dawes and Third Eye Blind will reportedly be performing at Zuccotti Park this afternoon at noon. I'll check back around then to let you know if it actually happens.
From the Occupy Wall Street website:
"It is no doubt timely that Philip Glass' opera 'Satyagraha'--which depicts Gandhi's early struggle against colonial oppression in South Africa--should be revived by the Metropolitan Opera in 2011, a year which has seen popular revolutions in North Africa, mass uprisings in Europe, and the emergence of Occupy Wall Street protests in the United States.
Yet we see a glaring contradiction in ‘Satyagraha’ being performed at the Lincoln Center where in recent weeks protestors from Occupy Wall Street have been arrested and forcibly removed for exercising their First Amendment rights to peaceful public assembly.
It’s also a striking irony that Bloomberg L.P is one of the Lincoln Center’s leading corporate sponsors. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has stifled free speech, free press, and freedom of assembly in an aggressive campaign against Occupy Wall Street protestors in New York City that has influenced a crackdown on the protests nationally. The juxtaposition is stark: while Bloomberg funds the representation of Gandhi's pioneering tactics of nonviolent civil disobedience in the Metropolitan Opera House, he simultaneously orders a paramilitary-style raid of the peaceful public occupation of Liberty Park, blacking out the media, while protestors are beaten, tear-gassed, and violently arrested.
Satyagraha is a Sanskrit word meaning "truth-force," and we at Occupy Wall Street, by exercising tactics of nonviolent direct action inspired by those championed by Gandhi, have insisted that the truth be told: Our commons have been stolen from us to profit the wealthiest 1%. We have lost homes, jobs, affordable education, natural resources, and access to public space. Our culture has been co-opted by a corporate elite. Many suffer so a few may thrive.
Previously, Occupy Museums and other OWS groups came to Lincoln Center to protest the "generous philanthropy" of David H. Koch, the funder of the Tea Party and of anti-global warming research, who uses philanthropic contributions to the former New York State Theater to whitewash his misanthropic reputation and write off his taxes. We will return again to Lincoln Center, where 'Satyagraha' has inspired us to once again challenge the ruthless nexus of power and wealth and reclaim our public space and common dignity.
If permission is not granted to protest on Lincoln Center plaza by Thursday evening, some members of Occupy Wall Street will enact a hunger strike. They will not end this strike until their demands are met, starting with the demand that Lincoln Center and the City of New York guarantee the freedoms of speech and assembly on the city-owned plazas and walkways of Lincoln Center. Occupy Museums stand in solidarity with these hunger strikers and offer support for this courageous form of protest.