By Mitchell Parsons Photos by Mitchell Parsons
September 25th is when it began for me … The Occupy Wall Street movement was already 9 days in when I first heard about it. I think like many people, I have been expecting things here in the U.S. to begin to show signs of some kind of uprising, but when? What would kick it off? When the protests were happening in Cairo I was wishing I could be there as a photographer, as a voyeur of people and social change, as someone who has great interest in ancient cultures that have predicted the mass consciousness awakening of mankind for this time and now here it all is right on my doorstep. I’ve never been an activist, have never been in a march before, so my first trip to Zuccotti Park was merely out of curiosity and to see if there was anything of interest to photograph. Well, it only took that one afternoon to be pulled into this vortex that has blown up around us.
The first and I think one of the most important things I noticed and continue to see is the level of positivity in that park. The energy there is addictive, hopeful and important. Important because every issue talked about there by every walk of life, which I can’t stress enough, affects all of us everyday whether we realize it or not. Clearly, as people are very quickly realizing this we see the numbers grow and it’s bringing us all together. Of course the tension between protesters and police is building. Not just here in New York, but all across the country. All across the world for that matter. I would guess that the controlling forces must be looking at this and thinking, “This is big, this is new and how do we get a handle on this?” In truth, I don’t think they can or will. This is humanity waking up, people are realizing they’re not alone in their frustration with the injustices being carried out on this little blue planet. Their families, their neighbors, co-workers and that person they see on the street are all feeling the same way. Suddenly we all have something deeply important in common and our differences are either falling away or being talked about in a civilized manner.
We all want a better world, we all want it so desperate that we’ve had to reach this point. How do you stop that? Why would someone want too? The people I’ve talked to who don’t understand this movement, who don’t support it, quickly do once they understand more about it. It’s so much bigger than Wall Street and the banks and corporations, this is humanity across the globe rising in one big scream of desperation for a better world. I love walking through the park and overhearing conversations, important conversations between people who before this might have never approached each other. Conversations about how we could make the world better because at the end of the day isn’t that what we all want…? To make the world better? Well this is our chance. All of us. As one.