Archives for category: Protests

Yesterday marked two months since the beginning of the Occupy movement here in New York City. Beginning at 7 am protestors took to the New York Stock Exchange, which was barricaded in all directions by the NYPD in riot gear and some mounted on horses. I heard the opening bell was delayed a few minutes since workers had trouble getting past all the crowds. The protests took place around the city all day and at 3 pm reached Union Square with 5,000 to 10,000 students and workers taking up the entire square and then 5th Avenue.

At 5 pm union workers, students, parents, grandparents, and children arrived in Foley Square for a rally and then a march across the Brooklyn Bridge. The NYPD estimated 32,500 people participated; I had never been in a larger rally. I marched with a group called Build the Occupation who had made word signs for the event — like refrigerator magnets, each sign carried a different word that could be jumbled together with other signs to make sayings like “We Believe,” “= Opportunity,” “Good People.” (The photo directly below is from my friend Amy, barkowphoto.com)

A crafty protestor figured out how to project words onto the eyesore Verizon building at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge which brought lots of cheers and honking from cars and marchers.

This is Union Square late yesterday afternoon.


And in the morning, near the Stock Exchange, and Zuccotti Park.

I found myself in awe all day that so many people care about changing the system so it works fairly for everyone. People have been waiting for this moment for years and seem grateful to finally be able to speak out about it. One of my favorite signs of the evening said, “Let’s Be Clear, This Is A Class War.”

Promise to get back to a food post soon!

As most everyone has heard by now, the NYPD conducted a raid on the protestors in Zuccotti Park late last night and early this morning. As the New York Times has reported it was “almost a military-style operation,” involving hundreds of police officers. Nearly 200 people were arrested.

This morning around 11 I headed to the triangle where Canal St., Sixth Ave., and Varick St. intersect, which had become the de facto home to the protestors (along with Foley Square) after they were removed in the middle of the night. In the morning, a temporary restraining order was granted on behalf of the protestors to allow them back into the park, but now it seems the lawyers for the protestors are appearing in a court hearing to determine the outcome.

I marched along with around 250 people from the triangle in Tribeca, east on Canal, and down to Broadway to Zuccotti Park. We stopped traffic on Broadway and were only pushed off the streets near Reade St. by dozens of police officers on foot and on motorbikes. We marched on the sidewalks until we reached Zuccotti Park where we were still not allowed into the park.

Lawyers for Brookfield Properties (the owners of the public Zuccotti Park) and lawyers for the protestors are in a hearing right now with Judge Michael Stallman to determine whether the protestors will be allowed back in with their tents and sleeping bags. For the moment a mass of protestors (I’d say 500-600) are outside the police barricades around the park while the police officers are inside the park.

Reverend Billy was an active participant in the protests and told people to tweet and get their friends down here to join in. “And tell them to bring long johns,” he said. “The Tombs are 200 feet below Centre St. and they’re cold,” referring to the historic New York City jail. He was anticipating a lot of arrests over the course of the afternoon and evening,

Thursday is a scheduled mass day of action to shut down Wall Street, beginning on Wall St. at 7 am. I think today’s crack down by Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD will only intensify the protests and unify protestors further. I’m very disappointed in Bloomy’s handling of the situation and covert crackdown in the middle of the night.

 

The other 99% continues to mobilize and stand its ground in Liberty Plaza in lower Manhattan. Last night the park was aglow with hundreds of supporters sitting in for the nightly 7 pm General Assembly meeting where decisions are hashed out, consensus-style. It’s rather stunning how orderly and peaceful this is.

And in the southwest corner of the park volunteer silk-screeners were set up making t-shirts on a donations basis. They say things like “I am the 99%” and “Occupy Wall Street” in bright red, green, and blue. I got a shirt done with a fist, in black ink, that says 99%, and a tiny little person in the corner labeled 1%. The mood is festive at times but not chaotic, upbeat and something like serious but not self-sacrificing or self-serious. And as far as I can tell the 8 pm quiet-time curfew is well respected.

Here are some signs seen last night…

And more of the silk-screeners doing their thing…

View of the General Assembly, around 7:30 pm…

And the World Trade Center going up at Ground Zero—the building on the left—sees all of this from its vantage point across the street…

Today’s schedule in the plaza:

5 pm Andrew Ross: Is Student Debt a Form of Indenture?
6 pm Jennifer Saunders: Teachers for Justice Now, Open Forum
7 pm General Assembly

Today is a rainy day here in New York, this is what Union Square looked like at 2 pm. I think it would be cool if the farmers relocated to Liberty Plaza in solidarity with the protestors, although I don’t know how they’d all fit…

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