Occupy Wall Street Celebrates Hurricane Damage in New York City

Lachlan Markay /

The East River crests the promenade between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. (Photo: ZUMA Press)

East Coast residents are still reeling from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy. At least 39 people are dead, 8.2 million are without power, the storm inflicted about $20 billion in property damage, and it will likely cause $10 billion to $30 billion in lost business activity.

But Occupy Wall Street — the waning protest movement based in New York City, which was hammered by the hurricane — has found cause to celebrate in the wake of the devastating storm.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the group’s official Twitter account extolled the loss of electricity in New York and the halting of the city’s public transportation system (which, strangely, it included in a tweet tagged “#capitalism”).

No subways. No electricity. No chains. #capitalism #sandy #nyc

— Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012

Other tweets from the account bemoaned capitalism’s supposed corrosion of social interaction.

Go outside. Meet your neighbors. Talk. Share a meal. When capitalism retreats, our communities flourish. #sandy #nyc — Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012

As capitalism halts, we experience “an exceptional period of mutual support and common care.” ow.ly/eSX4t #sandy #nyc @strikedebt — Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012

Numerous major political figures — from President Obama to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — have offered words of praise for Occupy Wall Street. The movement’s supporters often ascribe to it mainstream political concerns such as income inequality or general political dysfunction.

But the group’s post-Sandy communiques betray a hostility not just to capitalism — though that is certainly evident –but to modernity as well.