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March 20, 2012

Trying to Get a Fix on Occupy, Spring Edition

As it turned out, the visual coverage of Saturday’s protest in Zuccotti Park was pretty light. Getty Images didn’t even have a photographer there. Odd, too, because this event not only marked the movement’s sixth anniversary but in true “if it bleeds, it ledes” fashion, things got plenty nasty. St. Patrick’s Day may have had something to do with it. Also, Occupy, at least as a public expression, has been relatively dormant.

The first photo, I should add, by Mario Tama, was taken yesterday at Union Square to protest the violence that occurred two days before. (Slideshow here.) If the first photo seems frivolous (the March entry for “The Girls of Occupy” calendar?), beyond signaling a possible rebirth of public action with the onset of Spring, it does provocatively raise the question whether the movement — catalyzing an identity somewhere between oddity and anarchy — still has a constructive face to present.

(click for full size)

But then, given how fast and hard law enforcement has come to respond to these actions — I call this shot, also from Saturday, “the beehive” — there is also the question how much Occupy even controls its public destiny.

(For the most unvarnished mainstream visual coverage, check out the slideshow at the Daily News as well as the photos published at CNN’s citizen-journalism site, iReport.)

(photo 1: Mario Tama/Getty Images caption: Protester Lauren Digioia wears police tape during an Occupy Wall Street protest in Union Square on March 19, 2012 in New York City. Protesters affiliated with the movement are gathering in Union Square today following 73 arrests at a six-month anniversary rally at Zuccotti Park over the weekend. photo 2: Bryan Smith/Daily News. caption: Occupy Wall Street Marks 6-Month Anniversary: Police and activists clash on Cedar Street near the World Trade Center Site. Occupy Wall Street activists gather in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan to mark their six-month anniversary. linked photo: via IBTimes — “Dozens Of Occupy Wall Street Protesters Arrested [PHOTOS]“)

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