Philip Glass Will Appear At Occupy Lincoln Center
Philip Glass will occupy Lincoln Center.
At 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 1, Glass will appear as a part of a general assembly in the plaza and deliver a statement by mic-check. The assembly will engage in an "open conversation about the effects of increased privatization and corporatization of all aspects of society, and the use of nonviolent civil disobedience around the world to reclaim the commons," according to the Occupy Wall Street website.
Glass's opera "Satyagraha," which focuses on the story of Gandhi in his early years of non-violent protest in South Africa, is currently having a run at the Metropolitan Opera.
"The anti-war movements were empowered by Gandhi's history and our own," Glass wrote in a blog for The Huffington Post.
But for the Occupy organizers, the opera also underlines some of the ironies in performing such a piece at Lincoln Center, whose corporate sponsors include David Koch. Occupy protestors were supposed to march on Lincoln Center in mid-October, though only a few showed up on the night they were scheduled to protest.
"We see a glaring contradiction in ‘Satyagraha’ being performed at the Lincoln Center where in recent weeks protestors from Occupy Wall Street have been arrested and forcibly removed for exercising their First Amendment rights to peaceful public assembly," they wrote.
They go on to note that Bloomberg L.P. is one of Lincoln Center's major sponsors, calling out Mayor Bloomberg for his treatment of the Occupy movement.
"The juxtaposition is stark: while Bloomberg funds the representation of Gandhi's pioneering tactics of nonviolent civil disobedience in the Metropolitan Opera House, he simultaneously orders a paramilitary-style raid of the peaceful public occupation of Liberty Park, blacking out the media, while protestors are beaten, tear-gassed, and violently arrested," they wrote.
The Occupy movement does not yet have permission to protest on the Lincoln Center plaza, and some members have threatened to start a hunger strike if they do not receive permission, continuing the strike until they receive permission.
"In responding to the general frustration and sadness we feel, these "movements" have taken up once again these basic principles of activism and non-violence," Glass wrote of the Occupy movement. "We should be proud that the basic guarantees of free speech and assembly are at the core of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Those who would deprive us of these "inalienable rights" are the real radicals."