Last night I visited Occupied Wall Street on my way home from work. I strolled around the encampment, took in the sights, and came home with the best example I have yet found of the depth, complexity and reach of this movement: a copy of the encampment's newspaper, The Occupied Wall Street Journal.
The front-page stories by Naomi Klein and Chris Hedges were nothing that you couldn't read in The Nation (not that there's anything wrong with that fine publication.) But the inside pages, with pieces on the "The Progress of Revolutions" and an international timeline on this year in dissent, and back pages featuring union endorsements of the occupation, and articles on the principles and practices of the occupation, give a sense of the movement's range and principles.
My Spanish-language edition of Occupied contained the most interesting thing I've seen on the encampment: a map of the site. As it shows, walking from the northeast corner of Zuccotti Park to the southwest you'll go from the library to the general assembly to the info desk to the kitchen to the sleeping area to the medical service.
There are plenty of flaky types participating in the occupation, but the people I met running the kitchen, library and information desk were all smart, hard-working, welcoming and organized. Their organizational capacities, which seem to hold the whole operation together, are the embodiment of new forms of politics and participation.
As Alexander Hamilton might have told you when he founded the New York Post to support the Federalist Party, newspapers are a great way to build and maintain a movement. Even in the age of Web, the local and global dimensions of The Occupied Wall Street Journal give the occupation a kind of gravity that should be taken seriously.