Hundreds of people congregated in Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan (Wall Street itself was barricaded and off limits) this weekend in the "inauguration" of #OccupyWallStreet. The protest bills itself as New York's "Tahrir Square," a peaceful occupation begun Saturday, September 17, meant to call attention to the the state of capitalism, corruption, and corporate globalization in America today. While many, some wearing the ominous Anonymous masks, are enraged, some protestors are channeling a more positive energy through the use of organized, ritualized musical performance. The drum circle pictured above, filmed late Saturday night, is not the only major form of music-making; Saturday saw guitarists and other groups of people forming hum circles and bursting into song throughout the first day.
The protest is about, in the words of one drum circler, "A rejection of the lack of transparency and abstraction in our society. To make that position clear we're using bodies as the most material thing we have." When asked why a drum circle, a protestor said, "Because it's fun and it's not just destructive anger. We need to channel productive anger, so we're aiming towards the positivity that communal music-making allows." As #OccupyWallStreet continues, this positive coming-together through positive and hopeful music-making also continues, as an alternative to violent and destructive attempts at creating social change.