First there was Occupy Wall Street. Now it's become Occupy All Streets (credit to Jay-Z for capitalizing on that.)
The Occupy movement has spread like wildfire across the globe. It's reaching the point to where almost anyone can drive 30 minutes and be in the heart of a major political protest. The exact aim of the protesters cries is still muddled - health care? higher minimum wage? better subway systems? socialism? - but the general gist of social inequality is being heard loud and clear. It was only a matter of time though until things became violent. November 17 marked Occupy Wall Street's "Global Day of Action." Protesters tried to block the morning ring of the New York Stock Exchange bell, clogged up the subways to bring attention to their unkempt conditions, rallied with labor union workers and took back Zuccotti Park, a public area that they were ordered to evacuate. The day led to hundreds of arrests and more than a few violent exchanges between peaceful protesters and agitated police men. The images below will give a better feel than any words we could write.
[caption id="attachment_4564" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="84 year old activist after being doused with pepper spray"]
[caption id="attachment_4565" align="aligncenter" width="768" caption="Protester beat to a bloody pulp after flipping police officer's hat off"]
The movement has become quite popular among celebrities as well. Although belonging to the much hated 1%, many of them feel it important to share their widely heard voices with those dying to be heard. We previously covered Vivienne Westwood's visit to the Occupy LSX camp
and she recently returned to share her support with the protesters. A longtime vocal support of the anti-consumerism movement, Westwood shared her ideas on the importance of recognizing the past and rejecting the all encompassing lifestyle of consumerism with the crowds. She commented to Dazed & Confused Magazine
, “Like everybody, I started caring about human rights and injustice when I was a child. But lately I asked myself, ‘what would I tell young people today, compared with what we’d said in punk rock times?’ I’d say that you have to have culture.” Westwood explains that we must understand yesterday to take action today, she furthers this by saying, "What we do today is much more important than what we do tomorrow.”
[caption id="attachment_4554" align="aligncenter" width="370" caption="Dame Vivienne Westwood at the London Protests. Photo by Alec McLeish"]
Finally, she adds how pleased she is with the movement, not only for what it is doing for society but also for how it is affecting the people involved, “I think these people are just fantastic. We’re supposed to be in a democracy, but unless everyone starts actually behaving as if we are, we don’t have a chance. People always think someone else will do it for them. I’m so pleased for what they’re doing here, it’s absolutely wonderful. I think all young people should start doing more of this because it must be great fun.”
And it IS fun. Our NYC Miista was able to visit the Wall Street protests and she was astounded by the energy that was pulsating from the crowds. Her biggest complaint? Her outfit. She went spur of the moment after a skateboarding trip through the city and arrived at Zuccotti in bike shorts (the worst) and a Grateful Dead tee. ("I got 3 compliments on the t-shirt but I didn't have the heart to tell them it was from Target.")
[caption id="attachment_4555" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="You never know when your photo will be snapped"]
The protests are fun, they are a place to go to feel the vitality of your generation and they are also a place where countless photos are taken and video cameras constantly record. If you plan on stopping by it would be a good idea to plan your outfit in advance. So we've put together this little guide to chic protesting.
1. Keep it cheap. You don't want to pull a Kanye and wear a $30,000 let-them-eat-cake-esque look. You also want to show your pride. We love this All American Tee by WILDFOX. But you can always hit up your local thrift shop to find something similar and a little easier on the wallet.
[caption id="attachment_4547" align="aligncenter" width="382" caption="Wildfox ALL AMERICAN TEE from SHOPSPANISHMOSS.com $78"]
2. Protect your body. With pepper spray flying left and right you don't want to have any exposed skin! Try the AZRA Blanket Coat from Nasty Gal, it'll even protect your precious dome!
[caption id="attachment_4552" align="aligncenter" width="295" caption="Azra Blanket Coat from NASTYGAL.com for $118"]
3. Denim. The uniform of the masses. Try these super cute high waisted royal blue denim shorts from URBAN OUTFITTERS! Pair with tights for the perfect fall look.
[caption id="attachment_4549" align="aligncenter" width="422" caption="High Waisted Denim Shorts from URBANOUTFITTERS.com for $49"]
4. Stay independent! Rock your MIISTAS to the local protest. We recommend the LULA boot in black: part black panther, part Penny Lane these bad boys will keep you looking fine from the rally to the riot.
[caption id="attachment_4550" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The LULA boot available on MIISTA.com for $250"]