Spending the Night at Occupy Wall Street

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When the TV cameras are gone, what is it like to spend the night at Occupy Wall Street? It's been a month since protesters first began to occupy Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street in New York City. Since then, temperatures have been dropping as the number of protesters in New York and across the globe grows. This leaves many wondering how many protesters will be left when winter hits. Well, we aimed to find out — and to understand better just who was spending the night there and why.

Digital editor and producer Ben Brock Johnson spent the night at Zuccotti Park, and spoke with protesters there.

 

Interviews and photos of some of the people Ben spoke with, below: 


Nate Barchus, 23, helped start an Occupy protest in his hometown befor heading to Occupy Providence and then Occupy Wall St., to "see the mother ship."
Nate Barchus, 23, helped start an Occupy protest in his hometown befor heading to Occupy Providence and then Occupy Wall St., to "see the mother ship."

 

( Ben Johnson )
Saman Waquad, 28, volunteers in the Occupy Wall Street kitchen. She says it's going to take a long time for protesters' demands to be answered.
Saman Waquad, 28, volunteers in the Occupy Wall Street kitchen. She says it's going to take a long time for protesters' demands to be answered.

 

( Ben Johnson )
John Murdock, 36, who is a sanitation volunteer at Zuccotti Park, says he's been "waiting a long time for Americans to overcome their apathy."
John Murdock, 36, who is a sanitation volunteer at Zuccotti Park, says he's been "waiting a long time for Americans to overcome their apathy."

 

( Ben Johnson )
Gina Weldon, 19, of Brooklyn, says she came to support a cause and that her education costs, "just to better myself," are unfairly high.
Gina Weldon, 19, of Brooklyn, says she came to support a cause and that her education costs, "just to better myself," are unfairly high.

 

( Ben Johnson )

Victor Sheely, a local artisan and performer, was drawn to the group's "courage" in questioning powerful interests. He also narrates an altercation with one of the Occupy Wall Street organizers and some younger participants trying to drink alcohol in the park.

 

( Ben Johnson )

Jason Harris, a recovering alcoholic who is also a substitute teacher, returned to Zuccotti Park, where he used to drink as a homeless man, to be part of "a historic time."

 

( Ben Johnson )
Cynthia Verillo has been living at the park for three weeks. She says she'll stay until a genuine dialog with powerful interests and politicians happens.
Cynthia Verillo has been living at the park for three weeks. She says she'll stay until a genuine dialog with powerful interests and politicians happens.

 

( Ben Johnson )
A band playing late into the night at the park delivered their own version of "Ring of Fire," with some of the lyrics changed:
A band playing late into the night at the park delivered their own version of "Ring of Fire," with some of the lyrics changed:

 

( Ben Johnson )
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