November 15, 2011
Zuccotti Clean Out: 24 Hours Will Tell
Leading off this rough edit is last night’s iconic photo of the White Shirts manhandling Occupier youth as Zuccotti was taken, along with eviction stills from CNN. The second is more telling in terms of the massiveness of the police presence crawling over the place like ants, but, of course, the key juxtaposition is between #1 and #3.
What we have here is a massive PR war — the battle for hearts and minds (and noses) — playing out between the protesters and the city in front of the media. So the question, when we get to the end of this 24-hour media cycle, will the Reuters photo win the action for Occupy? or, will the Mayor’s gambit pay off? In other words, will more people sympathize with Bloomberg and the police action based on floods of grimy shots of NYC’s sanitation force cleaning up the remains? (The last shot, the NYT photo, is just a more artful reference to “the swill.”)
Robert Stolarik for The New York Times caption: Hours after police officers cleared Zuccotti Park early Tuesday workers cleaned the the park. Mayor Bloomberg said protesters could return to the park, but without tents and tarps they used in the encampment.)