In 2011, Michael Pellagatti was one of the thousands of protesters of Occupy Wall Street who gathered in Zucotti Park to rally against the nation’s crippling financial system. In 2015, he continues to roam those streets to keep its memory alive and ensure the message is present in the area the international movement started. For several weeks, he has been leading three-hour walking tours through Lower Manhattan, the New York Times reports.
Pellagatti is a licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs and is a member of the Guides Association of New York. Here’s what the self-described “radical tour guide” offers, according to his site:
The First Walk
Retrace the steps of Occupy’s inaugural walk, heading north on Broadway from the museum to Zuccotti Park while Michael recollects police-protestor tensions.
The Main Hub
At the protest’s geographical heart, where activists set up a sprawling encampment, Michael shares stories and photos, pointing out where activists set up work stations such as the library, the clinic, and the kitchen.
Wall Street and Beyond
Michael’s firsthand account continues at Wall Street’s Federal Hall, where he and his fellow activists lived outside while attempting to re-mount the movement in the spring of 2012. Then the group walks to the Brooklyn Bridge, where Michael and 780 others were arrested, before concluding in Foley Square, where 40,000 protesters challenged the NYPD’s breaking up of the encampment.
The Times, who embarked on the tour with Pellagatti, described the experience like this:
His tour is less a rigorous recital of Occupy’s chronology and more a glimpse through the lens of his own experience. The tours are spontaneous rather than rehearsed and tend to differ a bit from trip to trip. Mr. Pellagatti’s oral delivery is robust — at one point a passer-by remarked on his “booming voice” — and his narrative is discursive, mixing personal recollections, descriptions of widely reported Occupy events and a blizzard of historical asides.
Tours can be booked here.
(Photo: Bucky Turco/ANIMALNewYork)