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  • I visited Zuccotti 19 times before it was leveled, and I got to know the place pretty well. It was a microcosm of society in many ways — a little bit Lord of the Flies, a little bit hippie commune, a little like those interminable union meetings I used to attend.

    Over its life, it gradually developed little neighborhoods. You could walk east to west through Zuccotti and feel the change. All the tattoos and piercings were grouped in the west, all the laptops were in the northeast corner. When I first arrived in the mornings, I'd enter between the library and the General Assembly in the northeast corner, walk pass the media tent with its collection of laptops, then wind down along the line at the People's Kitchen. After that I'd enter the anarchist's zone, which included the animal care area, the Comfort Station (which collected and passed out clothing and cold weather gear), the free cigarettes table, and then I'd spill out into the altar space, a shrine that included everything from incense and candles to Buddhist icons to photos of John Lennon.

    I wish I could have watched it evolve longer. On one visit I was told that there was a movement to try to bring all the micro-communites back into a more integrated whole. Plans were afoot. A couple days later, the bulldozers arrived in the middle of the night.
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