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Scenes from an Occupation

***** latest from OccupyWallStreet at OccupyWallSt.org: A little after 9:00pm tonight, police moved in and used billy clubs and pepper spray on protestors.  Several members of the media team were arrested.  Go to OccupyWallSt.org and their LiveStream for videos of the incident as well as the aftermath in the paddy wagon.  I was in the park until about 7:45 pm tonight.  Throughout the day and into the evening, the interactions I witnessed between the protestors and police were overwhelmingly positive.  Each side treated the other with mutual respect and protestors exercised control over the rowdier and angrier protestors, keeping everyone cool, calm and collected.  OTOH, it must have been a long day for the NYPD.  The march went on for hours into the evening and by the time we got back to Zuccotti Park, it was pretty clear that a lot of protestors had no intention of melting into the night and going home.  They’re here to stay.  If you drive them away, they’ll just come back.  It’s hard to tell from the OccupyWallSt videos what exactly sparked the crackdown.  But I doubt that the media team had done anything to provoke the kind of action they were subject to.  None of the organizers or media team members looked like loaded springs looking for trouble.  My best guess is that the NYPD was given the go ahead to clear the park tonight and getting the media team out of the way was the first step.  Turns out that some protestors were trying to cross the barrier that kept them out of Wall Street, which makes you wonder why the police are trying to keep the protestors off of Wall Street.  Are they also barricading the bankers out of the rest of Manhattan?  I mean, if we’re trying to keep dangerous people from getting out of control, we should build a cage around Wall Street and knock *their* bandwidth back to dial up speed.  See how they like it.  Anyway, the crackdown didn’t help at all.  There are plenty of people with cell phones who will race to the nearest Starbucks to upload to youtube.

Keep an eye on this.

Onto some of my pics. Will load as I import them.  I won’t write a whole bunch because I’m flagged but here’s the good stuff:

This is pre-march footage from Zuccotti Park.  The park was packed.  It’s not a big park.  It’s about a block wide and half a block long (if that makes sense).  I was standing under the big orange tripod and got a good shot of the crowd.  As you will note, everyone there is young but some of them were on the older end of the young spectrum.

The crowd at Foley Square

Laura Flanders and her killer boots

Public Brooms

The spread. Smelled deiicious. Looked too healthy

My favorite sign

29 Responses

  1. Wow — the video shows that the crowd is really big! It looks so exciting. I’m really glad you were there!

    • That video in Zuccotti park was nothing compared to what we had at Foley Square. We estimate that there were between 50K- 100K persons there. A security guard we talked to said it was the biggest protest he’d witnessed in NYC. It was literally wall to wall people at Foley, which is about the size of a stadium. There was nowhere to move while we were waiting to march back to Zuccotti.

  2. Amazing. Thanks for on the ground reporting

  3. We have a movement starting here in Chicago Rd. It’s nothing like whats happening in NYC…yet… but it will grow.

    Unlike the Tea Party and their Republican overlords, this is truly a Grass roots movement.

    I am extremely proud of all the young folks that participated along with everyone else. It gives me faith that we can turn this around before it’s too damn late

  4. All those people and all those cameras and nobody saw what started it.

    • Again, nothing I saw in Zuccotti Park from the organizers and the media team would lead me to believe that they would intentionally provoke the police. They are militantly committed to non-violence and they enforce it rigorously. Maybe they refused to obey an order but to do what? And the videos themselves are a bit misleading. The park is dark. No, seriously. There are no overhead lights on, no spotlights, I didn’t even see flashlights. When you’re there, it’s like being at a high school bonfire, without the fire.
      If anything, these people went out of their way to avoid picking a fight. During the parade, there were a few people who started to get rowdy, verbally abusive and impatient. The rest of the crowd instantly got on their case and told them to STFU, but they did it in a very nice way. It worked. Everyone stayed calm even with a couple of hotheads. The hotheads couldn’t propagate the insurrection. The march to and from Foley square went off without incident, which is pretty impressive if you had seen how many people there were. It was giant. The photos I’ve seen so far aren’t taken from the right spot to do it justice. Imagine a big bowl the size of a statium surrounded by governement buildings and skyscrapers and filled to capacity with people who just keep on coming. We were packed like sardines in there. It was easily more than 50,000 people. Possibly double that.

      • The action didn’t take place at the park.

        Those concerns may be renewed after a disturbance about 8 p.m. Wednesday as the march was breaking up. The police said they arrested eight protesters around the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street, after people rushed barriers and began spilling into the street. While a couple of witnesses said that officers used pepper spray to clear the streets, Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said that one officer “possibly” used it. Several protesters were also arrested at State and Bridge Streets at 9:30 p.m.; the police said one protester was charged with assault after an officer was knocked off his scooter.


        • Zuccotti Park is located at the intersection of Broadway and Fulton Street, which is just up the street from Wall Street. (really close) There are barricades to keep protestors from getting to Wall Street. Seems to me you should be able to walk down a public street, wouldn’t you agree? If it inconveniences some rich people, so?
          While I was there, I didn’t see anyone trying to pick a fight but there was some grumbling about why the barricades were up in the first place.
          Put it this way, this morning when the bankers go to work, who’s going to stop them from crossing the barricades to walk past Zuccotti Park? Not that they’d want to, even though the most the protestors are going to do is shout at them and shake their signs. But who is going to prevent some young Moneybucks from crossing the barricade in the opposite direction?
          And there you have the source of the problem.

          • Seems to me you should be able to walk down a public street, wouldn’t you agree? If it inconveniences some rich people, so?

            Do you live on a public street? Would you want thousands of Tea Partiers out front of your house chanting and yelling 24/7?

            While I was there, I didn’t see anyone trying to pick a fight but there was some grumbling about why the barricades were up in the first place.

            So you don’t have any first-hand knowledge of what happened after you left.

          • 1.)”Do you live on a public street? Would you want thousands of Tea Partiers out front of your house chanting and yelling 24/7?”

            I think you are completely missing the point of a protest. Have you *been* to Wall Street? There aren’t too many personal residences there. It’s all commercial.

            2.)”So you don’t have any first-hand knowledge of what happened after you left.”

            I made it very clear that I left at around 7:45pm. Did I see what actually happened? No, I did not. Did I hear a lot of unhappiness about the barricades preventing protestors from marching on Wall Street as was planned? Yes, I did.

            The long time occupiers are not agitators. The media team that was arrested were geeks, myiq, not rabble rousers. I can’t imagine what would provoke the police to beat the shit out of them and break their noses and glasses. They’re about the least threatening people you’ll ever want to meet and that’s no exaggeration.

          • Where is the video of the whole thing? (not just a select 45 seconds)

            Hundreds of cameras were there and I still haven’t seen a single clip that shows the entire incident.

            Why is that?

  5. […] Riverdaughter: **** latest from OccupyWallStreet at OccupyWallSt.org: A little after 9:00pm tonight, police moved in and used billy clubs and pepper spray on protestors. Several members of the media team were arrested. […]

  6. It’s a disgrace. Obama can talk jobs all he wants, but he’s totally responsible for our bad economy. Obama and the Democratic congress that didn’t put any regulations to ensure the banks did not abuse the program.

    U.S. Funds Targeted for Small Business Instead Used by Banks to Repay TARP

    More than half of $4 billion in federal funds disbursed this year to spur small-business lending by community banks was used to repay bailout funds that the banks received under the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.
    The Small Business Lending Fund was meant to raise capital at smaller banks, which tend to lend more heavily to small businesses, in the hopes of jump-starting growth and employment. But instead of directly lending to small businesses, many of the banks used the money to rid themselves of higher-cost TARP debt and tougher restrictions.
    “It was basically a bailout for 100-plus banks,” said …

    • That money came from a U.S. Treasury fund set up in 2010.

      Enacted into law as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (the Jobs Act), the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) is a $30 billion fund that encourages lending to small businesses by providing capital to qualified community banks with assets of less than $10 billion. Through the Small Business Lending Fund, Main Street banks and small businesses can work together to help create jobs and promote economic growth in local communities across the nation.

      more at

  7. […] after the big march last night, the s* hit the fan. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  8. My favorite sign was “TOO BIG TO JAIL”

  9. The death and reporting on Rev. Shuttlesworth (sorry, really busy, but had to get this down–can’t recall first name), a civil rights lieader who preceded MLK by more than a decade, who realized the importance of getting young people into the streets to assemble and petition their government about their grievances, got me to thinking that since the 60’s, the largest protests have occurred under Dem administrations. And I think it has something to do with people being patient under R administrations because there’s little expectation of help from them, but then that patience is NOT REWARDED WITH ACTION under following D administrations. Finally, people realize they have to FORCE POWER to relent.

    Occupy Wall Street on the whole does not believe either of the legacy parties will help them, and thus they are not making demands per se: They’re trying to bring the issue to the top of people’s concerns, because only with huge numbers will the Powers That Be make even the slightest changes.

    They’re trying to find a new way to achieve results that help the 99%..

    Rev. Shuttlesworth, of whom I knew little or nothing until his death (and I’m a long time listener of NPR, and they played interviews with him from years ago when I thought NPR was essential and listened assiduously — how did I not remember him??), knew there had to be wave upon wave upon wave of protesters in order to fill the ranks of those filling the jails. He told people in one exhortatio, that on the first day, the jails would be filled, and then you all will come out and…fill whatever space is left. Then, eventually the jails won’t be able to hold any more people, so where will they put you? And day after day after day we’ll continue…until we succeed.

    Now the Civil Rights movement had pretty clear objectives, and chaning our entire economic and societal SYSTEM is more difficult to explain and to do, but people get that the SYSTEM is broken and MUST BE CHANGED.

    OK, back to RL (dissasembling part of my galley kitchen, then raising a cabinet to permit new frig to be installed. The 28 year old one had some problems, then began thinking it was an Olympic Penninsula rain forest inside…).

    Oh, right now Naomi Klein is on for an extra hour with Amy Goodman on WBAI in NYC (has streaming audio).

    • Thanks for that take on protests and Rev. Shuttlesworth. I think you are right about people coming out and filling up the space left by those who are arrested. All along the march route yesterday, New Yorkers lined the streets. They looked like they wanted to jump in but were afraid of getting arrested. But everything proceeded beautifully so maybe next time, they won’t be afraid to jump in.

      I want to see before and afters of your kitchen. I just redid mine and recently painted it. My kitchen used to have yellow walls and I thought it made the kitchen bright and cheery. Wow, was I wrong. I repainted it a beautiful light gray (mixed the color myself) and the kitchen is so much brighter and serene. It makes a HUGE difference. At first, I was afraid I was making a big mistake with the gray because the test swatches were so dark against the yellow. But paint is cheap and once it was done, I wondered why I hadn’t thought of gray before. Before and after pics to come…

  10. Good report. Thanks, RD. Are you going back today?

  11. oh great.thanks for the report and pictures R.D.

  12. I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Warren since I read the Two Income Trap years ago. I was incredibly disappointed to hear that she had scorned the protesters for their “illegal” acts. WTF? Can she really be this clueless? I’m so disappointed in her. I had planned to send her a puny $20 donation, but sent it to OWS instead. Does anyone have a video showing her saying this? I hope I have it wrong.

    BTW, I’m reading Michael Lewis’ new book, Boomerang, and it’s reinforcing what I learned from Ron Suskind’s most recent book, Confidence Men, that female economists and officials sounded numerous unheeded alarms about what Masters of the Universe were being permitted to do to their nations’ economies. Lewis likens the Big Swinging Dicks who drove the world to this place to Daddy stubbornly driving blindly onward while Mommy pleads with him to stop and ask for directions. Hmmmm….

    • I’m reading Boomerang too and think we should exercise caution when ascribing too much virtue to women. He’s making observations that are valid but the data isn’t all in yet. For example, do we have any idea what would happen if a.) there were more women in prestigious Wall Street investment houses and b.) those women were allowed to take risks and be as aggressive as men without social stigma or job performance evaluation penalty? I would argue that we do not. Lewis cites one woman in Iceland who started her own investment banking operation and who other investors flocked to after 2008 because of her outstanding record of prudent money management. But is she a prudent manager because she was conditioned to be that way? If she were raised to behave like and Icelandic male, who sounds like a cross between a dick and a Viking, would she be just as reckless?
      We don’t know the answer to these questions because behavior may be inextricably tied to conditioning. I’m inclined to believe that conditioning has a lot to do with it because after FDR made his changes to the banking industry and imposed strict separations and rules, the risk taking all but vanished. So, men can be taught.
      Can women be taught to push the envelope? Time will tell.

  13. I agree with you, RD, there isn’t enough data to know whether it’s nature or nurture. However, none of those women who sounded alarms in Suskind’s book were shrinking violets. There are female barracudas in all professions. I think it has more to do with whether all of us can be taught to push the envelope and listen to the female voice as attentively as we listen to the male voice. We’d be a lot further along if the whole world had spent the last 3 years hanging onto every word of President Hillary Clinton. Sigh.

  14. […] read Riverdaughter’s posts about her field trip to Wall Street yesterday. It was right in front of her nose and she didn’t see it. Thousands […]

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