Saturday, December 10, 2011

Observations from the Edge, Mockupy

There is an old saying that a fool and her sleep are soon parted, or something along those lines. Thursday night I was at the apartment trying to read but at the same time keeping an eye on some of my twitter lists because after a judge's ruling opened the door it was assumed Occupy Boston would be evicted that night. In the end Occupy Boston wasn't raided, possibly because close to a thousand people descended on Dewey Square in support.* A couple even got married as they awaited the arrest that never came. But to the south, in New York, something truly surreal was about to happen.

“ALERT: Midnite tonight: Fun action in solidarity w @Occupy_Boston! Charge yr phone, dress warm, hang out somewhere downtown, await info!”

That is the tweet that initially got my attention and more facts began to emerge quickly, 140 characters at a time. Producers of the TV series Law & Order had set up a fake Zuccotti Park in Foley Square to film an upcoming episode. At midnight the true occupiers of the real Zuccotti Park were going to descend on the faux Zuccotti Park using the hash tag #Mockupy.

“We have reoccupied.” “We're a revolution not a plot point.” “We can take a joke but fauxcotti is just too soon man.” “Livestreamer to cop: "are these real barricades, or a set piece?” “Chants of "NYPD does not respect law and order!" as cops rush in.”

Just before midnight I had had enough so I grabbed my camera bag and headed out into the frigid night to see what was happening. Even with Boston in the back of my head I couldn't help but laugh as the tweets flew endlessly. I got there just in time to see a very real NYPD preparing to raid a mock camp that was that looked very real down to the functioning, and fully stocked, kitchen and library. There was even mock netting for rounding up fake protesters at the fake Zuccotti in the real Foley Square.

“NYPD Captain saying, "i need to find someone from Law & Order." “Whose fake Zucotti? OUR fake Zucotti.” “Police are holding fake Zuccotti. Someone just yelled "whats are your demands?!" "U guys just cleared a fake Zuccotti Park," I said to Cpt Jaskaran. "We didnt clear a fake Zuccotti," he insistd. "Theyr takng the set down."” “NYPD tells occupiers to leave #Mockupy so crew can remove set. Isnt that the cops' job? After adequate pepper spray, of course.”

Every tweet included or ended with #Mockupy and at 1:07 AM Friday morning I tweeted #Mockupy is trending, and it was, worldwide.

Not long after my phone went to black as I had failed to follow those very important initial instructions.... I didn't charge my damn phone.

*postscript - I wrote most of this Friday at the gallery but never got it finished or posted. After ten weeks Occupy Boston was evicted from Dewey Square in a pre-dawn raid Saturday morning. For a change it was a rather peaceful raid that lasted barely an hour and included 46 arrests for trespassing and disorderly conduct. His Majesty the Mayor Mike Bloomberg and what he calls his 'army' could learn a lesson from this raid.

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