As an elderly songwriter strummed along to a low-rent ditty about that old dusty road where that banker stole my home in the heart of New York's Zuccotti Park, just a few feet away, a dose of vigilante justice was being doled out Wednesday afternoon by the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
The suspect: a hirsute man wearing large sunglasses, a baseball cap, a grey hoodie with a cream trenchcoat over it and a decorative brown scarf with what appeared to be a white silhouette of a pig sewn into it.
The crime: Theft. The man, who refused to give his name and looked to be anywhere between 30 and 75 years old, had allegedly been stealing donation boxes placed at various points throughout the park grounds.
The penalty: Public shame.
Here's the transcript of what echoed throughout one section of the park via the OWS movement's now-famous call-and-response tactic for loudly spreading messages to the gathered occupiers ever since microphones were banned. After each line of dialogue, a crowd of nearby protesters repeated what they had just heard.
Mic Check x five or six times
Everyone quiets down to hear what's being said.
We have a thief.
This is the man.
Many of the protesters point at the hirsute accused.
Who has been stealing.
Our donation boxes.
He takes wire snips.
And cuts the chains.
The boxes are typically chained to something with a solid base, so they cannot be easily stolen.
Now, apologize to the community.
At this point, the bespectacled alleged thief mumbles something about taking this over there, gestures vaguely toward a Men's Wearhouse outlet just across the street, then walks off with a grunt.
No one follows.
Shame will have to do for now at Occupy Wall Street.