Cleaning Up Wall Street

A letter from my student: My friends called me early this morning saying that they heard reports on the radio and television that the Occupy Wall Street movement has been closed down and the police carried out a nightly raid on Zuccotti Park (also known as the Freedom Plaza), “cleaning out” the occupants from the territory.

This made me scared: Could it really be that we’ve been “cut off” from being able to disseminate materials? It turned out that it was true: the protestors were disbanded by the “broom” that was supposed to remove just bums and drug-addicts from the square. But apparently, they went into a rage.

To be frank, the drug-addicts and bums interfered with the movement, despite the cleanliness of the actual “occupants.” They smoked up the park so bad, you could get high just from walking by. We watched the veil of thick, milky white fog above the park. Our women, who were giving out flyers, breathed in so much pot smoke that they left there feeling sick. They were literally nauseous.

Bums and drug-addicts are also people, and everyone likes to eat for free, while the park had enough food for everyone. Everyone could receive three very nice meals a day, even the people just walking around, having nothing to do with the protests. And generally speaking, life in the camp was not bad at all—people feed you, clean up after you, and entertain you, the press interviews you, people bring you free clothing and money, and much more. You can’t see or get anything like it for free anywhere. And most important, you’re together with people! That’s why everyone is there—for the feeling of belonging and unity, the feeling that someone cares about you….

But all of this “communism” ended and the affluent, local residents rejoiced that the “mess” is finally over. Last night the police attacked the camp, and it was not smart to put up any resistance, to say the least. Of course, everyone was offended because they threw out all the belongings of the camp’s inhabitants, including a library of 500 rare, old and new books, tents, our time-tested table which we kept in the library, and much more.

Cleaning is cleaning, and it was thorough, in a police kind of way. They don’t beat around the bush—there wasn’t much time till the morning. If they waited for everyone to finish packing up and leaving, they wouldn’t have seen the end of it, and it’s more difficult to get a dirty job done in broad daylight….

Bloomberg, the city mayor, justified the cleaning by the fact that the occupants created unsanitary conditions in the park, which annoyed the park’s owners and also deprived regular citizens from the opportunity to enjoy the area and the chess games as before because lovers of this ancient intellectual game used to peacefully sit in the park and it was their place for socialization and recreation.

In the afternoon I managed to make my way to Wall Street and look at everything with my own eyes, when people left their workplaces and were on the way home. At 5pm things looked completely different already, compared to the quiet and order that the police had set up in the morning. The park was filled by thousands of people, occupants who returned to the square feeling hurt, offended, and angry.

This mass, consisting of different people that united into a single “body” over the last two months, rang out with outrage and scandal. “This is what a police state looks like! We will overcome!” and so on. These were no longer separate declarations of small groups and half-crazed fanatics, but one loud voice of a wounded creature whose home has been destroyed and who has no one to complain to.

A mass of people also crowded around the park to support the occupants, or just to watch what was happening. TV station and police helicopters hovered above the buildings, illuminating the crowd. The projectors from different sides of the street made the whole event look like a theatrical show unfolding on stage. And the police weren’t very aggressive, as if they’ve done their job and now they can rub their hands together. And at the end of the day, aren’t they the 99%? After an hour on Wall Street and hanging around the crowd, it became clear that “no one was going anywhere.”

The bums and drug-addicts probably won’t come back to the park. But the occupants are already there, along with those sympathizing with them. And we’re not out of the picture either: Today we managed to give out a few hundred flyers. The weather is unusually warm and the park is beautiful, resembling a golden and ruby colored forest… As if the Creator has put up “level 2 decorations” for us, like in a computer game. And I think we’re taking a sharper turn—“the 99% and us. Together!

What will happen on Wall Street and all the cities in America tomorrow is unpredictable for now. But one thing is clear: we HAVE TO UNITE if we want to go through this second level without losses, with the right calculation, and to give everyone who has “occupied” us (and it’s really so) a way to the Light and fulfillment.
Arvut USA!
The New York Times –

Related Material:
The Fantastic Success Of Occupy Wall Street
New York: 700 Protesters Against Financial Terrorism Arrested
Protests Surge Around Globe


  1. “To be frank, the drug-addicts and bums interfered with the movement, despite the cleanliness of the actual “occupants”.

    Should I have to cut in pieces something, – meaning separate – , as the author does, – which I will not – I would probably say that I have more consideration for the “bums” and the “drug-addicts” (and I know how despicable stinking people they are), than for the so called “clean” – or self thought clean – little people around.

    Fortunately there is no matter of separation here.

  2. I first heard about this post from a friend of my Philadelphia group, who was pretty upset by it, as a student and highly involved member of BB. After expressing what the concerns were, my friend read it to me, and I became equally disturbed. It was very hard to put up with the judgmental and “holier than thou” tone of the letter posted. It was as unbearable to read through the illusions and hypocresy this student projected regarding the so called “99% movement”, the police actions, dissemination work, or even kabbalistic ideas with respect to any creator’s actions. Both my friend and I felt quite ashamed to feel that this self-righteous declaration could in anyway represent our association with Kabbalah and our work in Bnei Baruch. So I feel the need to respond for at least both of us, and maybe others that may agree with our perspective.

    First of all there is the highly hypocritical assumption of what this 99% is supposed to represent, which seems to be just in line with the movement itself. Obviously “bums” and “drug addicts” don’t seem to be included, and they are portrayed as the real “dirt” that needed cleaning in the crowd. I wonder if then they are part of the 1%. I guess the “pot smokers” were the drug addicts, which seems to be a new definition of drug addiction, since so far there is no scientific evidence linking pot smoking to any addictive behavior. Then there is this idea of people (the good ones) being there because others care about them, and all the wonderful free stuff that seems to be well deserved for the “clean” ones, in contrast with the ones that could be truly desperate for it, like the bums, whom the writer seems to be under the impression that we need to be reassured that they are “also people”, as if anybody had any doubts, other than the writer himself. But again, this seems to be quite consistent with the falsity of this “movement”, made out by people who are looking to find others that “care about them”, as the writer says, rather than by people who care about others. And finally regarding this “movement”, it is revealing to notice the descriptions of the “ninetininers” as being “angry”, “hurt”, “offended”, “ringing out with scandal and outrage”, which rather contradicts the qualities of what a “peaceful” intention in a movement would be. It sounds more like the bad attitude of an aggressive and self-center group, willing to disregard anybody else’s desires (the affluent, the bums, and the drug addicts are excluded for sure, but I’m guessing they will also exclude anybody who doesn’t agree with their ways, claims and “morality”). And I wonder how they are expecting this “anger” and “outrage” to lead to any peaceful result, as if the police are supposed to be above their obligations, and discriminate among who is and who is not being violent in a headless crowd.

    Secondly, there is this idea of dissemination of kabbalah as being some evangelical act that can only be done in certain conditions, such as the “99% movement”. I was under the impression that the only success of any dissemination depends on the internal intention that goes into it, and it is the same internal intention that is the very goal of the dissemination itself, regardless of the external conditions. But here this student seems to think that without the 99%, there would be a major loss in dissemination opportunities, as if there is not enough situations to engage in the work.

    And finally, his idea that the creator’s bestowal is ““level 2 decorations” for us” leaves us wondering who has bestowed the police, and the bums, and the drug addicts, and the affluent, and everything else that this student seems to judge as some evil forces.

    I don’t understand what the intention of publishing this letter in the blog is, but both my friend and I find it misleading, disturbing, and shameful as students of kabbalah, and it does not represent any unity or ideas for which we have joined Bnei Baruch and its work.

  3. Is spirituality and our advancement an internal thing or an external movement? The history of mankind shows patterns of behavior that lead to conflict. Pitting one group, thought or idea against another divides and encourages conflict. Is the Occupy Movement driven by uniting forces or divisive ones? To quote the movement, “OWS is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process”; … fighting was their word. There is only one perpetrator of evil on the planet – the uncontrolled human ego. I see it as rampant on both sides of the protesters … Tea Party and Wall Street Occupiers alike. At BB do we not represent the power of an awakening unification? Isn’t the change we seek an internal one, an internal work that will manifest in unity? …. So my broader question for ALL of us here … is our objective to fight for change … or to work internally on ourselves to become the change we seek? Should we be encouraging or supporting the Man-Driven political agenda of the Occupy Movement or any other political system for that matter?

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