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Published on Sep 19, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – Two years after the Occupy Wall Street movement shifted the conversation on economic inequality, we look at its origins in New York City’s Zuccotti Park and its continued legacy in a number of different groups active today. We speak with Nicole Carty, actions coordinator with The Other 98 Percent, and a facilitator of general assemblies and spokescouncil meetings during Occupy, where she was a member of the Occupy People of Color Caucus. Also joining us is Nathan Schneider, editor of the website Waging Nonviolence, and a longtime chronicler of the Occupy movement for Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, The New York Times, and The Catholic Worker. Scheider’s new book, “Thank You Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse,” chronicles Occupy’s first year.

See all of the reports on Democracy Now! about Occupy Wall Street in our archive at http://www.democracynow.org/topics/oc….

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to look at the Occupy Wall Street movement and its legacy on its second anniversary. On September 17, 2011, thousands of people marched on the financial district, then formed an encampment in Zuccotti Park, launching a movement that shifted the conversation on economic inequality. Here in New York activists marked the occasion Tuesday with a march to the New York Stock Exchange and the United Nations highlighting a poll for taxing Wall Street transactions and directing the funds to public causes.

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we are joined by two guests. Nicole Carty is an actions coordinator with The Other 98%. During Occupy Wall Street she was a facilitator at general assemblies and spokes counsel meetings and she was a member of the Occupy People of Color Caucus. Nathan Schneider is also with us, editor of the website “Waging Nonviolence,” author of the new book “Thank You Anarchy: Notes From the Occupy Apocalypse.” We welcome you both to Democracy Now!. Why “Occupy Apocalypse,” Nathan?

NATHAN SCHNEIDER: That’s a great question. It’s a question I get a lot. The word in Greek meant unveiling, right? It described a moment in which something is revealed that changes our perception of everything and I think pretty accurately describes what happened with Occupy Wall Street, both for us a society in revealing the depth of income inequality, of the corruption of the political system and also of the power of the militarized police state; but also for so many individuals who took part across the country. I have been privileged to meet so many people and to watch them as their lives were changed by this movement, as they became activated and haven’t been able to go back to the way their lives were before.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Nathan, you write in the beginning of the book, you say for nearly two months in the fall of 2011 a square block of granite and honey locust trees in New York’s Financial District, right between Wall Street and the World Trade Center, became a canvas for the image of another world. Two years later how has that canvas been preserved and what are some of the activities that the Occupiers are now involved with?

NATHAN SCHNEIDER: Well, to talk about that canvas itself, it is interesting to see the ways in which the movement is memorialized kind of informally in the Financial District. There is still a wall of barricades around the Charging Bull statue. There are still regularly barricades in Zuccotti Park. There are still barricades around Chase Manhattan Plaza which was the original planned sort of decoy site for the Occupation. It is amazing how the security state is still living in fear of this movement. But at the same activists who were involved in it, many of them are spread out across the country in all kinds of networks that have formed through the course of this movement, putting their bodies in the way of the Keystone Pipeline, calling attention to issues like a financial transaction tax, bringing housing activists together around the country to create a stronger movement. There are a number of campaigns that have been profoundly strengthened by networks formed in the Occupy Movement.

AMY GOODMAN: Nicole Carty, where were you two years ago?

NICOLE CARTY: Two years ago I was working for the Sundance Channel doing content management. I was just one of many precariate who didn’t really have a solid job and I came in to Occupy because it was the first time I ever had seen people my own age, or anyone for that matter, talking about the deep inequality within this country. It was just kind of this secret and I feel like part of the legacy is that that so unveiled at this point. It is not even questioned.

AMY GOODMAN: So talk about what it was really like, what day did you go to Occupy and describe the community there.

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