"I was trained to speak in, like, five paragraphs at a time"

Nevertheless, inspired by Zuccotti, with its free meals and free books, Guest said he and his friends are pursuing an Occupy-like experiment in mutual aid.

In the apartment, for example, the protesters follow a code of conduct designed to prevent one person from dominating a conversation. Guest, who majored in performance and media studies at Harvard, said he has had to “unlearn” the sometimes “impenetrable” rhetoric of the Ivy League.


“I was trained to speak in, like, five paragraphs at a time, with really clearly delineated, bulletproof arguments. And that kind of communication doesn’t leave a lot of space. That’s the point. It’s impenetrable. And that’s not how we talk in OWS,” he said…

Several times a week, Guest bicycles to wealthier Brooklyn neighborhoods, like Park Slope and Cobble Hill, where he and other protesters help themselves to the bread and vegetables that gourmet shops deem spoiled or unfit for sale…

Guest said there is “no going back” to the life he knew before Occupy – a full-time job in Manhattan and a comfortable apartment in Prospect Heights.

“The world is a big giant trauma right now. And this community that I’m in is something that tries to build pockets of healing,” he said. “All you have is other people. That’s what this is all about. It’s people who care for each other against an unaccountable system that doesn’t have to listen.

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