Occupy Wall Street released a "statement of autonomy" yesterday (see the full text below) in which they clarify that OWS has no true political or organizational ties: "It is party-less, leaderless, by the people and for the people. It is not a business, a political party, an advertising campaign or a brand. It is not for sale." Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that protesters are sickness-less—the NY Times reports that germs are spreading throughout Zuccotti Park, and health officials are concerned. “It’s called Zuccotti lung. It’s a real thing,” said 28-year-old demonstrator Willie Carey.

The health department said it would continue monitoring the park as winter approaches: “It should go without saying that lots of people sleeping outside in a park as we head toward winter is not an ideal situation for anyone’s health,” the department said in a statement. Between the shared cigarettes and the damp conditions, doctors say people are susceptible to respiratory viruses, norovirus (the winter vomiting virus), and even tuberculosis!

The Times notes that damp laundry and signs have led to perfect mold conditions, that discarded food litters the ground in places, and that some protesters have taken to urinating in bottles and jugs to avoid bathroom lines. “I’m amazed that in a park full of revolutionaries, there are large contingents that can’t throw away their own trash,” said 22-year-old Jordan McCarthy, a member of the protesters’ sanitation team. There is also the increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, which they've been trying to deal with.

At least protesters have the new 24-hour medical tent, staffed by a rotation of several dozen medical professionals, including ER physicians, general practitioners, and registered nurses. Not that there aren't still paranoid people though: a team from Union Health Center in Chelsea came to the park this week to give out free flu shots, which some protesters refused citing concerns about a government conspiracy (most likely involving nano-technology, we imagine). Some think a little illness will actually be good for the ongoing protest: “Pretty much everything here is a good way to get sick,” said Salvatore Cipolla, 23, from Long Island. “It’ll definitely thin the herd.”

Occupy Wall Street is a people’s movement. It is party-less, leaderless, by the people and for the people. It is not a business, a political party, an advertising campaign or a brand. It is not for sale.

We welcome all, who, in good faith, petition for a redress of grievances through non-violence. We provide a forum for peaceful assembly of individuals to engage in participatory as opposed to partisan debate and democracy. We welcome dissent.

Any statement or declaration not released through the General Assembly and made public online at www.nycga.net should be considered independent of Occupy Wall Street.

We wish to clarify that Occupy Wall Street is not and never has been affiliated with any established political party, candidate or organization. Our only affiliation is with the people.

The people who are working together to create this movement are its sole and mutual caretakers. If you have chosen to devote resources to building this movement, especially your time and labor, then it is yours.

Any organization is welcome to support us with the knowledge that doing so will mean questioning your own institutional frameworks of work and hierarchy and integrating our principles into your modes of action.


Occupy Wall Street values collective resources, dignity, integrity and autonomy above money. We have not made endorsements. All donations are accepted anonymously and are transparently allocated via consensus by the General Assembly or the Operational Spokes Council.

We acknowledge the existence of professional activists who work to make our world a better place. If you are representing, or being compensated by an independent source while participating in our process, please disclose your affiliation at the outset. Those seeking to capitalize on this movement or undermine it by appropriating its message or symbols are not a part of Occupy Wall Street.

We stand in solidarity. We are Occupy Wall Street.