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OWS Protesters to Occupy Halloween with Giant Puppets and Superhero Costumes

Monday, October 31, 2011

Artists and other creative protesters from Occupy Wall Street plan to "Occupy Halloween" with superhero costumes and several giant puppets, including a 12-foot-long Wall Street bull and a 40-foot Chinese dragon-inspired Brooklyn Bridge puppet complete with puppeteers dressed as police officers.

As for the superheroes, they're not your typical crime fighters. Leading the pack will be Unemployed Man, described by his creator, artist Gan Golan, as "Superman After He's Been Sleeping on Your Couch for a Few Months."

"The act of getting up in the morning to look for a job for the 100th time is kind of a heroic act," Golan said.

Four to five hundred Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have been invited to join the Village Halloween parade, according to a member of Occupy Halloween. Some protesters plan to dress up as corporate vampires, Wall Street zombies and greedy pigs.

Occupy Halloween's Web site also suggests protesters dress up as mutant fatcats, the monopoly guy and the Student Loan Ranger, who uses his lasso to trap people in debt. The movement has a message for potential paradegoers: "Occupy Halloween: Because the top 1 percent shouldn't get all the candy."

The parade kicks off Monday night at 7 P.M. at Sixth Avenue and Broome Street.

Scroll down to see a slideshow of costumes from Occupy Halloween protestors. Also, upload a picture of your Halloween costume below.

Unemployed Man (right) and Captain Generica (left) strike a pose in DUMBO, Brooklyn, with Manhattan's financial district in the background.
Daniel P. Tucker/WNYC
Unemployed Man (right) and Captain Generica (left) strike a pose in DUMBO, Brooklyn, with Manhattan's financial district in the background.

"Captain Generica is your low-cost, alternative superhero," said artist Gan Golan. "In these times when people have to be frugal, it's nice to have a more affordable option." Generica wears the simple blue and white uniform of a generic product because he stands against corporate branding. "He's fighting against the corporatization of our minds," Golan said.

The Master of Degrees carries a ball and chain that reads
Daniel P. Tucker/WNYC
The Master of Degrees carries a ball and chain that reads "Student Loans." He's an unemployed graduate student superhero who is super-overeducated for any of the jobs that are currently available.

The costume is worn here by Joe Therrien, an educator and puppeteer with $35,000 in student loans from a three-year master's program in puppetry. Unlike the Master of Degrees, Therrien works as a performance arts teacher at P.S. 9 in Brooklyn. He's also the driving force behind several of the large Occupy Halloween puppets that will make their debut in the Village Halloween parade Monday night.

Artist and filmmaker Giuliana Pinto helped create this sparkling gold cape and many other costume pieces that Occupy Wall Street demonstrators will wear on Halloween.
Daniel P. Tucker/WNYC
Artist and filmmaker Giuliana Pinto helped create this sparkling gold cape and many other costume pieces that Occupy Wall Street demonstrators will wear on Halloween.

A group of about 30 artists has been working in a studio in DUMBO, Brooklyn, to create capes, masks, banners, puppets, and costumes for the protesters.

The Master of Degrees and Unemployed Man. The characters come from artist and author Gan Golan's political satire
Daniel P. Tucker/WNYC
The Master of Degrees and Unemployed Man. The characters come from artist and author Gan Golan's political satire "The Adventures of Unemployed Man. "

"In better times, Unemployed Man was a hero called The Ultimatum — but after the financial meltdown, he was left with no money, and the U on his suit took on a very different meaning. Now he secretly lives under his former mansion in a cave — Rock Bottom," according to the graphic novel's dramatis personae.

While strongmen like the Hulk might pick up a car and toss it a hundred feet, Captain Generica can only pick up a thin sheet of cardboard the size of a car, and then put it back down.
Daniel P. Tucker/WNYC
While strongmen like the Hulk might pick up a car and toss it a hundred feet, Captain Generica can only pick up a thin sheet of cardboard the size of a car, and then put it back down.
Jesse Bercowetz, a sculptor from Bushwick, Brooklyn, showed up at Occupy Halloween's Dumbo workspace for the first time Friday night and immediately began helping construct what will be a 20-foot-tall
Daniel P. Tucker/WNYC
Jesse Bercowetz, a sculptor from Bushwick, Brooklyn, showed up at Occupy Halloween's DUMBO workspace for the first time Friday night and immediately began helping construct a large puppet.

The 20-foot-tall robot puppet will resemble a giant slot machine with a vacuum arm that sucks up people's money. 

A mock-up of the 20-foot robot puppet.
Daniel P. Tucker
A mock-up of the 20-foot-tall robot puppet.
The beginnings of another costume featuring the word
Daniel P. Tucker/WNYC
The beginnings of another costume featuring the word "Bankrupt."
Captain Generica strikes a generic pose in front of the Manhattan Bridge.
Daniel P. Tucker/WNYC
Captain Generica strikes a generic pose in front of the Manhattan Bridge.
Artist Athena Soules is helping to construct a 10-foot-tall, 18-foot long banner that will read
Dan Tucker/WNYC
Artist Athena Soules is helping to construct a 10-foot-tall, 18-foot long banner that will read "Occupy Wall Street."
Artist Suzanne Goldenberg creates banners that Occupy Wall Street protesters will carry during the Village Halloween Parade.
Daniel P. Tucker/WNYC
Artist Suzanne Goldenberg creates banners that Occupy Wall Street protesters will carry during the Village Halloween Parade.

The banners will picture words that summarize the movement's main goals, like emancipation, solidarity, sustainability, and agency.

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