Friday, August 3, 2012

Corporate Occupation of Union Square

Corporate Occupation of Union Square
I admit that I'm not well-versed in the history of Union Square, but it most certainly comes from striking workers who formed Unions in the Progressive Era. Ironically, it is now a privately-operated public space that routinely closes for corporate bashes, fashion shows, visiting conferences, whatever. It is a strictly controlled environment, disallowing buskers, unauthorized protests, and whatever other marginal behavior goes on in actual public squares. When the Occupy Movement erupted last year, there was much hand-wringing about the encampments in public spaces. What is utterly lost on the wider public is the fact that corporations have steadily encroached on public spaces, converting them into monitored private spaces open only at the pleasure of the owning entity. When I see a massive tent, like the one pictured here, taking over the entire square, a part of me feels livid that there is no discussion of this corporate takeover, particularly in a square named after the struggle of working class people for fairness.

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