Young woman leader of Occupy Wall Street

Anarchist Marisa Holmes, age 25, was a core organizer of Occupy Wall Street. She started her activism at age 14 when she worked in her father’s campaign for city council in Columbus, Ohio. Intrigued by the Arab Spring, she went to Egypt by herself to shoot a documentary in Tahrir Square. She slept in Zuccotti Park from the first night and became a spokesperson and guardian of horizontal principles. When hip-hop artist and businessman Russell Simmons wanted to move past the speaker’s list, she told him, “Are you crazy? You’re number 12. Get used to it.” After six months of Occupy winter hibernation, an assistant for Ben and Jerry of the ice cream company called Holmes to offer money to fund grants and a permanent headquarters in New York through a Movement Resource Group. She reported, “They didn’t get that it was a problem to create a hierarchical nonprofit institution and pick out leaders.” She was also worried about previous disagreements in Zuccotti Park over how to spend money. She next got involved in Strike Debt and graduate studies at Hunter College.


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