Loss & Enlightenment at OWS

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Isaac Wilder, the eloquent 21-year old college drop-out who is also head of the Free Network Foundation, was found rummaging around the Department of Sanitation's unmarked headquarters Thursday morning last week, two days after the NYPD’s crude invasion of Zuccoti Park.  Wilder has been a vital part of OWS’ Signal Corps, a working group committed to providing free Wi-Fi within Zuccotti park. All of Wilder’s possessions, including the tower that maintained the free Wi-Fi and all of the money to his name ($5000 in cash) were confiscated by the NYPD during last Tuesday’s sinisterly unexpected raid. This is what led Wilder to the obscure wind-tunnel underpass around 650 W. 57th Street, where confiscated belongings were being held.

Wilder did not find his backpack, cash or the Wi-fi-tower, but he did emerge with a disturbing i-phone image that depicts heaps of laptops all lined up in a row that have all clearly been smashed by bats—intentionally destroyed. When asked about the damaged property, the Sanitation department declared dubiously that perhaps certain items were damaged in transit. However, they do note that the DSNY will offer clearance forms to those individuals who are concerned that their property has been lost or maimed—which is of course, the concern of a majority.

Instead of seeing the loss of essential items as an evil done by the NYPD to be revenged against mercilessly, Wilder declares triumphantly, “maybe we don’t need the tower!” Wilder is suggesting that maybe the Occupy movement doesn’t need its material components anymore. What are revolutionary are the ideas behind the movement itself, along with the spirit of perseverance and transformation, which he exemplifies with this heroic attitude.

Myths are already circulating around this OWS hero. On a cold, rainy day, as Wilder descends into the subway, an older woman from Zuccotti’s Comfort Committee working group grabs Wilder by the sleeve and hands him a scarf.  He smiled, gratefully and said to his friends: “You see what happens when you just let go? You get things!”

Image by shankbone on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.

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