One consequence of the economic collapse of 2008 was the emptying out of some prime office space in lower Manhattan which had formerly played home to myriad tenants engaged in keeping the wheels of financial enterprise greased and turning.
Being opportunists, independent film productions have more recently taken advantage of the plethora of low-rent vacancies of this prime space, so our production office for "Disconnect" had a wonderful view of both the brass bull sculpture that is the symbol of Wall Street out our front door, and the New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty that symbolizes an earlier centuries view of American opportunity.
In an odd coincidence, the occupation of Zuccoti Park just a short block from our production offices started up on September 17th, just two days before we started principal photography of our movie, and was provocatively ended by the middle-of-the-night raid by the police only a few days after we finished shooting.
As a result, I only got down to the office and visited the park this last weekend with my brother-in-law Alex. It was a dense thicket with the outward appearance of a refugee camp, with the most surprising structure being a large library home to an extensive collection of progressive and revolutionary literature.
Knowing nothing of the raid and forced evacuation of Zucotti, I was surprised yesterday to walk outside the apartment I have been renting here during the shoot to find the movement, temporarily, encamped in another park, the large vacant lot on Canal Street between Varick and 6th.
With the usual circus of helicopters circling overhead, news vans and reporters parked on the perimeter, and a huge police presence, it seemed as if the new home of OWS might be right outside my front door. But when I returned from work a few hours later, the whole shebang had moved on once again; the vacant lot bore no trace of the lively scene that took place there all morning.
But you can't erase an idea, and the voices of protest against the massive corruption and inequity of the contemporary American politic will return and grow - a welcome development after a decade of seeming apathy in the face of wave after wave of assaults on the constitution, the rule of law, the elderly, the poor, the middle class, our children's education, our health, our environment, and the very idea of common good and a shared sense of society.