Yesterday was the one year anniversary of what has been called the Arab Spring as well as the three months anniversary of Occupy Wall Street which was celebrated by a certain amount of actions among which one appeared to me as particularly interesting in terms of the practice of the city. Following the arrest of fifty people for attempting to occupy a vacant lot in New York belonging to Trinity Church, we marched heading North with, as usual, many policemen on scooters along the sidewalk preventing us to occupy the street itself. When we arrived to the street that was supposed to be our destination, the latter was entirely blocked by a multitude of cops who had no intention whatsoever to let us in. This destination might have been a decoy to deceive them, as the crowd (about 400 people I believe) did not seem to care so much for the police and started to run on the sidewalk then turned to the next street, ran, turned, ran an one more block, turned again until finally the police, completely overwhelmed gave up to chase us. This allowed this crowd to walk for thirty blocks in the middle of the 7th avenue in a sort of very joyful parade, disrupting the banal order of the urban routine. I could not help but to think of this celebratory intrusion as the real embodiment of Michelangelo Antonioni’s street parade in the opening scene of Blow Up (1966).
Two months and half ago, at the beginning of the movement, I was calling for the invention of an “Algerian” labyrinth in the middle of Manhattan’s orthogonal grid in order for us to be able to respond to the police oppression. I was then far from thinking that this labyrinth could be created by the speed of our movement within this same grid, as well as the spontaneous and continuous reconfiguration of trajectory of a crowd that thus becomes unstoppable.