Cody Moore’s information and technology team sat in a church-run community center, barely able to fit their laptops on the small table they were busily working at.
“We should get that statement out soon,” quipped a college-aged man with a European accent to another protester who had just reported to him on the group’s progress.
Next to him, Moore spoke casually about the 12 hours he spent in police custody the weekend before and the work he had done to keep the Occupy Wall Street movement connected to the Internet.
“It wasn’t too bad,” said Moore of his time in a police van and a jail cell with 40 other protesters on September 24th. “At least he turned the air conditioning on.”
Moore, a technological systems management major at Stony Brook University who wants to become a computer science major, has spent his last two years in college as a part-time activist. His knowledge of the web makes him valuable in a time when many protests rely on social media to recruit new members and attract the news media’s attention.
For the last year and a half, Moore volunteered for US Uncut, an organization that stands against budget and tax cuts and, according to its website, is not “in any way related to circumcision.”
Since the first weekend of the protest, Moore has been spending Friday through Monday at Zuccotti Park. He’s worked with other activists to secure the Wi-Fi connections in the area and maintain the movement’s website, a task that hasn’t always been easy.
“We know someone brought down the site at one point,” said Moore. While Moore isn’t sure who carried out the attack, he suspects the FBI or CIA.
Fear of government action is a constant in Zuccotti Park, and Moore is one of the people the group turns to when a rumor is spread.
“I’ve helping out with all of the security and validity of information that’s across the entire encampment,” said Moore. This includes investigating rumors involving potential police action. Sometimes this work is done online, other times lookouts on bikes are relied on to alert the group to incoming police cars.
“We’re looking into an application that would allow rumors to be shot down easily,” said Moore.
The group Moore works with can already list a number of accomplishments, such as their creation of a site that processes anonymous donations, collecting more than ten thousand dollars and finding companies that would donate server space for the movement’s website.
“We’re actually trying to get a server,” said Moore, describing a plan to store records of general assembly meetings and videos of police interaction in a computer on site.
Back at Stony Brook, few other activists said that they met Moore, but many of them knew who he was.
“I talked to him once on Facebook, but that’s it,” said David Adams, a USG Senator and a member of a group that organized trips to Wall Street when the protests broke out.
Adams, who only spent part of one night in the park, was impressed by Moore’s devotion and initiative. “He’s really been doing this on his own,” he said.
While Moore remains active in the protests, he’s recently decided to take a step back. “Now I try and dip out if anything gets too crazy,” he said.
Moore even took last weekend off because he needed a rest – and to catch up on his schoolwork. Moore has classes on Monday and Friday, but he hasn’t been to many of them.
“Surprisingly, my professors are okay with it,” he said, “as long as I keep up with the work.”