Top 5 Moments Of Occupy Wall Street

<p>Despite the somewhat shark-jumping <a href=",28804,2101745_2102132_2102373,00.html">designation of "The Protester"</a> as Time Magazine's Person of the Year, it's difficult to imagine something that so thoroughly engulfed the public discourse at the end of 2011 as <a href="">Occupy Wall Street.</a> Click through to see our top five most salient moments of the movement.<br/><br/></p>

#5 Just a week old, Occupy Wall Street had yet to gain any media traction or set down roots in Zuccotti Park. During a march across downtown Manhattan, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna discharged pepper spray on a group of women who didn't appear to be breaking any laws. Like every other event in the movement, it was documented on film.A narrative was born: NYPD vs. the peaceful protesters. Though a similar story may have played out in 2004 during the protests of the GOP national convention, this was too perfect. The film clearly showed that the women didn't provoke the officers, and the nonchalance with which Bologna sprayed them was to be rivaled only by the officer at UC Davis two months later. And that name: Tony Bologna. It rolled off the tongues of those who claimed the NYPD was comprised of—indeed led by—public servants who had little respect for the public. People who would otherwise be indifferent to the actions of Occupy Wall Street were imbued with sympathy, and had a reason to check out what was going on in Lower Manhattan. We spoke with a man who was punched in the face by another NYPD commanding officer, and watched as a National Lawyer's Guild member was run over with a police scooter. Protesters would continue to be shoved and beaten. The narrative had legs. Bologna was later disciplined for his actions, and "exiled" to Staten Island, but his actions created a state of hyperawareness at every following event, with the protesters' sea of cameras forever trained on wary NYPD officers.

<strong>#4</strong> At the time, <a href="">we called</a> Radiohead's Zuccotti Park no-show "The Great Pumpkin Hipster Charlie Brown." But the affair was much more than a chance to poke fun at Apple-toting economic injustice crusaders, <a href=";hp">as one Times reporter framed it.</a> If there was any doubt that Occupy Wall Street wasn't the puppet of some greater organization or the product of George Soros' guerrillas, this quashed it. No one is in charge.<br/><br/>Sometimes, the lack of a leader proved useful: the movement itself couldn't be decapitated by a few arrests, and its critics couldn't peg the protesters in a certain political party or ideology. But it proved less useful in <a href="">silencing unruly drummers,</a> corralling scooter-kicking protesters, and vetting an email from <a href="">Radiohead's "manager."</a><br/><br/>Since the hoax, Zuccotti Park became one of the Stations of the Cross for liberal musicians and activists, from renowned philosopher <a href="">Slavoj Žižek,</a> to <a href="">Jackson Browne,</a> to ahem, yes, <a href="">Russell Simmons and Kanye West.</a><br/>

#3 Following a torrential rainstorm, thousands of soggy protesters packed into Zuccotti Park on the morning of October 14, waiting for the city's ultimatum to be enforced: evacuate the park for cleaning, or be arrested. Shortly before 6:30 a.m., when it was announced that the Mayor's office would postpone the cleaning, the park erupted in a sustained, euphoric cheer. Smelly teenagers embraced protesting grandmothers, hot chocolate and coffee were spilled, tears were shed, and everyone in that park felt they had won. In a movement without leaders or demands, this was a tangible achievement against a municipal government and its police force. Occupy Wall Street was a force to be reckoned with.

<strong>#2</strong> When the NYPD massed several thousand officers and <a href="">forcibly evicted the Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park</a> in the dead of night on November 15, the movement had spread to scores of cities in the U.S. and dozens of countries across the world. All eyes were on New York City, as images of helmeted officers trashing tents and cuffing protesters were somewhat shocking, given the feeling of permanence that the demonstrators had created in Zuccotti Park.<br/><br/> In a way, it was a brilliant stroke by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg. They succeeded where they had once failed, no serious injuries were attributed to the eviction, and they were allowed to reclaim the appearance of Law &amp; Order and at the same time, protectors of the First Amendment. After all, the police were just there to "clean," and the protesters would be allowed to reenter the park later that day, provided they follow a litany of rules that would make an encampment of any kind impossible.<br/><br/> But there was a <a href="">pronounced media blackout during the raid.</a> Ten journalists <a href="">were arrested that day,</a> five of them credentialed. City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez was arrested. Any gains the Mayor and the Commissioner may have made with the Post-editorial reading class were erased by the sheer heavy-handedness of the whole ordeal. Occupy Wall Street lost its home, but not its will.<br/>

<strong>#1</strong> Not as galvanizing as the arrest of <a href="">700 people on the Brooklyn Bridge</a> in October, or as much of a spectacle as seeing tens of thousands of average Americans <a href="">march from Foley Square to City Hall,</a> the <a href="">occupation of an abandoned home in East New York</a> this month was nevertheless a major step for the movement.<br/><br/> It was a spotlight on what made the protests so popular in the first place: economic injustice. And it occurred in a place far away from the Starbucks-paved thoroughfares of Lower Manhattan. <a href="">Foreclosure</a> is a serious issue affecting millions of Americans. The <a href="">housing crisis</a> is a tangible, relatable manifestation of what is seriously wrong with the country and its economy. Many of these protesters weren't on a break from Sarah Lawrence: they were from one of the most blighted parts of New York and had felt the downturn in ways foreign to many of those in Zuccotti Park.<br/><br/> Not to mention the fact that a family now has a home. Occupy Wall Street would be wise to find other ways to bring the atmosphere and passion of what existed in Zuccotti Park to those Americans who couldn't afford to be there.<br/>