Before Occupy Wall Street protesters started sleeping in Zuccotti Park on Sept. 17, launching the movement that became one of the biggest stories of 2011, it was a forgotten little downtown park. And, even though it's been "re-occupied," it feels that way again. On Wednesday afternoon, the only real occupation happening is by a couple of late lunchers snacking over the tables dotted throughout the park. A tiny scrum of about 10 people huddles around two benches, but for one of them holding up a small sign that reads "Occupy Wall Street Think Tank" they might be interns comparing notes from one of the firms nearby, or construction workers chit-chatting away the remainder of a lunch break. Since Occupy started, the park has either been full of protesters or surrounded by barricades. Sometimes both. When park owner Brookfield Office Properties wordlessly removed the barricades late on Tuesday, apparently in response to an NYCLU challenge, protesters swarmed in (a general assembly was scheduled, so there were a lot on hand). They set up some of the accoutrements that became the hallmarks of the Occupy encampment, including the kitchen and the People's Library. But by Wednesday afternoon the kitchen is gone. The only sign of the library is one guy standing next to a plastic box of books, looking a little bored. He said the rest of the collection was in storage Nobody's here to check out books, anyway. The vast majority of the block-square park is empty of all but leaves, pigeons, and the occasional hurried walker taking a shortcut. Just like you'd have expected on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.