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Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street: Media Blackout in the Big City; A Surprise Morning March; Live Blog (Roundup, Videos, Photos)

September 20th, 2011 | Filed under Activism, Hot List, Video . Follow comments through RSS 2.0 feed. Click here to comment, or trackback.

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A surprise morning march on Wall Street
By Nathan Schneider, Waging NonViolence

In the newly-renamed Liberty Plaza, the place that hundreds of protesters have come to call home for the last three days, nothing is quite predictable. At around 6:15 in the morning, those of us sleeping on the plaza’s hard, cold surface got the call to wake up, and someone called for a General Assembly meeting at 7. After people groggily packed up their bedding and lined up for dumpster-dived bagels, the meeting began. Its purpose was a run-down of the day’s events. Committees that were meeting the night before had decided to have marches to Wall Street at 9, 11:30, and 3:30. But then somebody came to the front and announced through the “people’s microphone”—those around him echoed one phrase at a time so others could hear—that he was heading off to march now. Wall Street bankers were walking to work as we were sitting there! He ran off and, immediately, one or two hundred others followed. They marched around the plaza, chanting “Occupy Wall Street! / All Day! All Week!” and then set off heading south on Broadway. The first weekday demonstration of the occupation had begun.

Upon arriving at Wall Street, they found that the blocks around the New York Stock Exchange, which had been barricaded completely throughout the weekend, now had open sidewalks. (The roadways themselves were still barricaded, allowing the police to move around easily.) After briefly massing at the entrance to the sidewalk, they proceeded down it, still chanting, and banging on the barricades, making a mighty noise. They were intermingled, inevitably, with those trying to get to work in that area and mainly clogged the way—which was the point. “We! Are! The 99 Percent!” they chanted. Speaking to the police, they’d sometimes replace “We” with “You.

For almost two hours the march continued, continually evading attempts by the police to pin them in or guide them out of the area by making sudden turns and course reversals. Just as the barricades on Broad Street were opened to let them out and keep them out, they turned around and headed back up toward the Stock Exchange and along Wall Street. (This was when Democracy Now! called me for a report.) Then, after marching around the Exchange on all sides, the crowd turned into a long, two-directional picket line along Wall Street, going back and forth and back and forth as the opening bell was rung. “Ring! The! Bell!” they cried. With so many occupiers out, scouts made sure to check that there were still enough in Liberty Plaza to hold it.

Most bystanders and commuters in the midst of the march weren’t amused. (The goal wasn’t to amuse them.) “Shit” was something I heard a lot. A bitter dog-walker said to a security guard, “They say it’s their street”—Wall Street Is Our Street!—“but they don’t even pay taxes.” Along those lines, the “Get a job!” line was pretty common. So was ambivalence. “I hope the police protect the financial… bullshit.”

The most enthusiastic bystanders I talked with were those coming from other countries. A middle-aged woman from El Salvador with painted eyebrows and a coffee in her hand said, “We used to do this in my country in the ’70s and ’80s. They’d arrest all of us. In this country it’s different.” We can only hope. She took pictures of the police in charge and made sure I did too, just to have them on record.

When the “Let’s Go Home!” chant finally came at around quarter after nine, the march returned victoriously to Liberty Plaza and took stock. There were four arrests in the course of it, followed by several more as the day went on. But the protesters didn’t rest on any laurels. Within minutes of the marchers’ return, a meeting was convened to talk about how to do it better next time. After all, they’re not just here to march; they’re here to occupy, to discuss, to replace the country’s money-saturated politics with a leaderless and truly democratic process of their own.

Over the course of the day, media attention has intensified on the occupation. It was one thing to hang around a private park for the weekend. It’s another to stay into the work week and to disrupt the business of the Financial District with the intention of doing so more—all day, all week. The afternoon General Assembly is full of new faces, and sign-holders were facing off with a substantial line of police officers on the Broadway sidewalk. People passing by snap pictures of the vast spread of cardboard signs that is becoming Liberty’s Plaza’s new floor.

A police officer walks over the protesters’ signs in Liberty Plaza:

Another march set off around about an hour ago, and they’ve just returned to cheers and dancing.

Live Blog for #OccupyWallStreet: Day Three
By Kevin Gosztola, FDL

Direct Action to Happen Now

In a private park known as Zuccotti Park, hundreds of protesters have been holding an occupation called Occupy Wall Street to call attention to corporate influence on US politics. The action began on September 17. Protesters were not allowed to go into the area on Wall Street they had planned to occupy because the NYPD put up blockades early in the morning.

This did not deter the occupation. Protesters managed to earn permission to occupy Zuccotti Park and sleep in it. They have now slept in the park for two nights in a row. And, the area has been dubbed Liberty Plaza. Additionally. protesters managed to convince people from all over the world to support the continuation of the occupation and donate pizza. (Read the post I wrote on the $2,800 worth of pizza they had donated to the action yesterday.)

Firedoglake has been live blogging the action since Day One. For a record of the action, here is the first day’s blogs – morning & night. Here is Day Two – morning & night. [Send any reports, tips or updates to kevin.gosztola@firedoglake.com ]

I put together a list on Twitter to follow that has users that are constantly sending updates from the action. Great thanks to @lacymacauley for the great photos she is tweeting out from the action.

Here is a livestream of the action from Global Revolution:

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

Livestream of #WalktoBrussels — French trying to setup an encampment (and a solidarity action with #OccupyWallStreet )

5:30 PM Unintentional comic relief -

4:46 PM Following the action closely… Direct action committee is meeting now and developing plans for a march on Wall Street that is likely to lead to confrontation with police.

4:18 PM General Assembly shows how this occupation is maturing. Organizers have called upon people to make sure they are giving National Lawyers Guild plenty of notification before taking off on marches. They also are letting others know that arrests may make good video but if they post the video that can be used against the person being arrested. Therefore, they should get consent from those who were arrested first before posting.

4:00 PM Okay — this blog announced at 3:30 PM a direct action would happen but the action didn’t happen. The General Assembly is taking place and after the Direct Action Committee will meet. They will develop plans for the march. Then the direct action will happen about 4:30 or 5 pm.

The National Lawyers Guild (people who wear green hats at protests and act as legal observers) have expressed frustration that marches are spontaneously happening and they cannot get observers down to scene in time to help defend rights of protesters from arrests. Protesters are working on doing better at planning ahead.

3:40 PM Everything appears to be behind schedule about a half hour. The direct action was to be in progress. But, the General Assembly has to happen first. A group has not stepped off yet so I suspect we have until 4:15 PM ET. Then, direct action may take place.

3:39 PM Jason, who was arrested for “chalking” earlier, claims on Livestream from occupation site that police basically told him it was “bullshit” to have been arrested. It took an hour for him to be processed. Some officers told him after he was done at the station how to get back to the park area. And, here’s some important news: Some working for NYPD told them that the public-private nature of the park means the police cannot really do anything to get rid of those camping.

3:18 PM Two injured in police brutality in “Walk to Brussels” action in France. The organizers were going to set up an encampment. The police surrounded the demonstrators: gasses and batons were used on them. Here’s video feed.

3:00 PM General Assembly in-session again. Direct action to take place —

2:03 PM Occupation needs water.

1:55 PM Signs laid out in the plaza (via @SabzBrach)

1:30 PM FLASHBACK: Why do executives of Big Banks on Wall Street deserve to do time in jail? Matt Taibbi on Real Time with Bill Maher back in February.

1:15 PM Construction workers from World Trade Center construction site come check out Occupy Wall Street -

1:10 PM Occupy Wall Street should support National Nurses United union demanding there be a Wall Street transaction tax. Taking up this concrete and specific demand could help grow numbers.

1:05 PM Truth.

12:54 PM The police presence is increasing. Only about 200-300 protesters there.

12:52 PM Lunch is arriving. Here’s a report from Liberato’s Pizza:

12:34 PM Roseanne Barr speaks to protesters on Saturday. She is remaining in New York City for right now to help promote the action.

12:31 PM It is being pointed out that a 3-year-old girl is using chalk on the same area of sidewalk where police just arrested a protester. Police did not tell her or her parents to stop. So, police arbitrarily arresting protesters who use chalk on sidewalk now?

12:25 PM Young boy who is named Jason arrested for using chalk on the sidewalk. (I’ll type that again cause the idea that you can be arrested in this country by police for this seems totalitarian.) A young boy named Jason was arrested for “chalking” the sidewalk. (Yeah, still totalitarian to me. Don’t think that should happen in a healthy society unless you are using poison chalk for sidewalk drawings.)

11:53 AM I’m promoting an idea that I think could help energize Occupy Wall St (and also help prevent any boredom that might happen). The protesters should get a copy of the “filibuster” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivered on the Senate floor in December 2010 in opposition to the tax compromise bill. It presented in detail the problem of income inequality and corporate tax dodging in America. It examined the state of the US economy and condemned tax breaks for millionaires.

Protesters taking turns reading portions of this speech in Liberty Plaza could help spark more interest in the action and give the occupation additional credibility.

Here is the link that summarizes the speech. It includes a full transcript of the speech, which is over 120 pages.

11:48 AM Video of a march that took place earlier this morning.

And, here is a short report from Raw Story with video of Reverend Billy doing some rabble-rousing.

11:30 AM Bloomberg reports on seven protesters arrested at the action. Each arrest appears to be a result of mask wearing:

Two protesters wearing masks were arrested for trying to enter a building used by Bank of America Corp. and one was taken into custody for jumping a police barrier, said Paul Browne, a police spokesman, in an e-mailed statement. Four people were arrested today for wearing masks in violation of a law that bars two or more participants from doing so, he said.

11:20 AM Anyone participating in Occupy Wall Street should consider calling this number for Revolution Radio – 347-688-2902. About 6000 listeners are currently hoping to hear from participants on what is happening with the occupation. Here’s a link to listen to the radio show.

11:15 AM Monday’s edition of Democracy Now! leads with coverage. Host Amy Goodman interviews Nathan Schneider of WagingNonviolence.org and David Graeber, who teaches anthropology at Goldsmiths at the University of London.

11:10 AM Former Wall Street employee supports occupation

10:55 AM First thing to report this morning, unfortunately, is that at least one person has been arrested. The police have heavy security around Wall Street. Protesters took off and marched to Federal Hall. They were slowed down and corralled on to a sidewalk. As protesters tried to make their way closer to Wall Street, police came in and arrested one person. It is being suggested that police think the person is a leader (?) Of course, those protesting claim there is no leader of the occupation. The protesters have regrouped and are returning to Zuccotti Park.

Evening Edition

Liberato’s Pizza has now officially renamed a pizza after the Occupy Wall Street action happening in a park in lower Manhattan in New York. The pizza is called The Occu-pie and it is 99% cheese, 1% pig.

For anyone going, what is Occupy Wall Street? It is an occupation being maintained by hundreds of US citizens in Zuccotti Park, a private park, that the protesters have renamed Liberty Park. The organizers are using the format known as General Assembly to facilitate organizing. [For more info on that, watch organizer David Graeber talk on Democracy Now!] Through the General Assembly, people make proposals for actions that are deliberated on and then approved or not approved. This is how they decide when to march, whether to comply with police orders, how to raise funds for food, how to get more people to support the occupation and how best to get items donated that the occupation needs to continue.

There is supposedly a direct action that will be happening this evening. Here’s a post from today on how crucial pizza could be to the occupation.

Firedoglake has been live blogging the action since Day One. I put together a list on Twitter to follow that has users that are constantly sending updates from the action. [Send any reports, tips or updates to kevin.gosztola@firedoglake.com ]

Here is a livestream of the action from Global Revolution:

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

10:40 PM Time to bring tonight’s live blog to a close so here’s the update —

It looks like the occupation will be around for a number of days. They are getting donations for pizza along with donations to purchase other much needed items. The General Assembly is working. Those in Liberty Park are coming together and deliberating about key issues that need to be resolved and addressed so the occupation can continue. There may have been a few hiccups (like, why was someone smoking near a gas can?) but those mounting this occupation have created a very real opening for something amazing to develop. There is worldwide support out there for what those “occupying Wall Street” are trying to do (in quotes because police are not letting them hold any area that is actually on Wall Street).

This action is for the disillusioned in America. The people who are saddled with student loans, those who were laid off as a result of the bailouts and Americans who are part of the poor and working class who are increasingly being asked to shoulder the burden of inequality in America while the corporate elite enjoy control over the direction of politics and wallow in their greed and excess purchased as a result of the wealth they have made from playing the stock market as if it is a poker machine.

Check back tomorrow for Day Four of FDL’s continuing coverage of Occupy Wall Street.

10:35 PM A nod from Michael Moore:

10:30 PM Class war debate, through music by The Kinks

10:00 PM New York Daily News produces one excellent video representing some of the key motivations for holding the occupation:

9:45 PM

8:00 PM No direct action. Dancing though.

7:42 PM Nice set of photos from Day 3 taken by Paul Weiskel. Here are a few of them:

7:39 PM Some structure being instituted.

7:17 PM Why do police think they have the authority to arrest protesters wearing masks? The Gothamist reports NYPD is citing an 1845 law:

The anti-mask statute was passed as a response to the actions of rabble-rousing renters, seeking to prevent “distress sales” of their property by their landlords, dressing up as “Indians” to protect their rights and property. N.Y. Penal Law § 240.35(4) cropped back up in the news 11 years ago, when the KKK petitioned to wear masks protesting in the city. They were prohibited from doing so because of the statute, and sued. The USDC for the Southern District of New York sided with the KKK, and ruled the law unconstitutional, but not before protesters were arrested in 2002 for the same offense.

6:50 PM Scant reporting coming out on the status of the march on Wall Street. Getting hints from messages that protesters are being corralled and blocked off by police but no sense of whether an organized direct action is to take place.

6:45 PM List of things the occupation needs and encourages people to donate or help them raise money to purchase.

6:35 PM Video of march to Wall Street.

6:25 PM Good explainer for anyone looking to get a grasp of the basic details on Occupy Wall Street. Alyson Ann Cina writes:

We are using the global tactics of the Arab Spring, and of the 2011 Spain “Democracy Now” movement: first, a large-scale occupation and protest. Second, we aim to propose a series of solutions to these problems through grassroots participatory democracy based on people’s assemblies and consensus decision making.

Citizens are taking democracy to the streets, and they are not leaving any time soon. This is not a one-day protest. The occupation is scheduled to continue for the next month at least.

6:17 PM March stepping off. May end with direct action.

6:10 PM Occupation has gas confiscated by police and now is asking for gas donation.

5:50 PM Bullying from police

5:47 PM Solidarity with bank whistleblowers

5:30 PM Unintentional comic relief -

4:46 PM Following the action closely… Direct action committee is meeting now and developing plans for a march on Wall Street that is likely to lead to confrontation with police.

Earlier updates from the day’s live blog

4:18 PM General Assembly shows how this occupation is maturing. Organizers have called upon people to make sure they are giving National Lawyers Guild plenty of notification before taking off on marches. They also are letting others know that arrests may make good video but if they post the video that can be used against the person being arrested. Therefore, they should get consent from those who were arrested first before posting.

4:00 PM Okay — this blog announced at 3:30 PM a direct action would happen but the action didn’t happen. The General Assembly is taking place and after the Direct Action Committee will meet. They will develop plans for the march. Then the direct action will happen about 4:30 or 5 pm.

The National Lawyers Guild (people who wear green hats at protests and act as legal observers) have expressed frustration that marches are spontaneously happening and they cannot get observers down to scene in time to help defend rights of protesters from arrests. Protesters are working on doing better at planning ahead.

3:40 PM Everything appears to be behind schedule about a half hour. The direct action was to be in progress. But, the General Assembly has to happen first. A group has not stepped off yet so I suspect we have until 4:15 PM ET. Then, direct action may take place.

3:39 PM Jason, who was arrested for “chalking” earlier, claims on Livestream from occupation site that police basically told him it was “bullshit” to have been arrested. It took an hour for him to be processed. Some officers told him after he was done at the station how to get back to the park area. And, here’s some important news: Some working for NYPD told them that the public-private nature of the park means the police cannot really do anything to get rid of those camping.

3:18 PM Two injured in police brutality in “Walk to Brussels” action in France. The organizers were going to set up an encampment. The police surrounded the demonstrators: gasses and batons were used on them. Here’s video feed. Organizers were expressing solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.

>> Follow this Live Blog here.

The call to occupy Wall Street resonates around the world
By Micah White and Kalle Lasn, Guardian UK

On Saturday 17 September, many of us watched in awe as 5,000 Americans descended on to the financial district of lower Manhattan, waved signs, unfurled banners, beat drums, chanted slogans and proceeded to walk towards the “financial Gomorrah” of the nation. They vowed to “occupy Wall Street” and to “bring justice to the bankers”, but the New York police thwarted their efforts temporarily, locking down the symbolic street with barricades and checkpoints.

Undeterred, protesters walked laps around the area before holding a people’s assembly and setting up a semi-permanent protest encampment in a park on Liberty Street, a stone’s throw from Wall Street and a block from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Three hundred spent the night, several hundred reinforcements arrived the next day and as we write this article, the encampment is rolling out sleeping bags once again. When they tweeted to the world that they were hungry, a nearby pizzeria received $2,800 in orders for delivery in a single hour. Emboldened by an outpouring of international solidarity, these American indignados said they’d be there to greet the bankers when the stock market opened on Monday. It looks like, for now, the police don’t think they can stop them. [read full report]

The Wall Street Occupation: A Sleep-In Protest in the Shadow of Power
By Manny Jalonschi, The Indypendent

Surrounded by the headquarters of some of the world’s most powerful financial players, over two thousand protesters converged on Wall Street this Saturday. By the end of the second day, those occupying Liberty Park, formerly known as Zuccotti Park on Broadway and Liberty St., had settled in, partially helped by pizza, hot chocolate and blankets paid for and delivered by their supporters in New York City and across the country. [read full report]

Media Blackout: Thousands Peacefully Protest Wall Street, Little Media Coverage

Faceoff at 55 Wall Street: We Are 99%

Protests on Wall Street: Will Economic Inequality Lead to an American Uprising

Outraged Americans gathered in New York to protest Wall Street greed. Some predict that this could be the beginning of an American uprising. David DeGraw shares his opinion with RT’s Kristine Frazao.

>> Previous AmpedStatus Updates:

Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street: We Are 99% (Roundup, Videos, Photos)

Occupy Wall $treet – If You Want Real Change…

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    Previous Comments:

  1. Anna Asks said:

    I really love hearing what goes, on – this is the first thing I’ve read that described the events in a comprehensive narrative.  

    Still not too sure how far this is going to go, and recommend reading this open letter to protesters: http://openletters2you.blogspot.com/2011/09/open-letter-to-occupywallstreet.html

  2. [...] Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street: Media Blackout in the Big City; A Surprise Morning March; Live Bl… In the newly-renamed Liberty Plaza, the place that hundreds of protesters have come to call home for the last three days, nothing is quite predictable. At around 6:15 in the morning, those of us sleeping on the plaza’s hard, cold surface got the call to wake up. Committees that were meeting the night before had decided to have marches to Wall Street at 9, 11:30, and 3:30. [...]

  3. [...] Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street: Media Blackout in the Big City; A Surprise Morning March; Live Bl… In the newly-renamed Liberty Plaza, the place that hundreds of protesters have come to call home for the last three days, nothing is quite predictable. At around 6:15 in the morning, those of us sleeping on the plaza’s hard, cold surface got the call to wake up. Committees that were meeting the night before had decided to have marches to Wall Street at 9, 11:30, and 3:30. [...]

  4. [...] Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street: Media Blackout in the Big City; A Surprise Morning March; Live Bl… In the newly-renamed Liberty Plaza, the place that hundreds of protesters have come to call home for the last three days, nothing is quite predictable. At around 6:15 in the morning, those of us sleeping on the plaza’s hard, cold surface got the call to wake up. Committees that were meeting the night before had decided to have marches to Wall Street at 9, 11:30, and 3:30. [...]

  5. [...] > Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street: Media Blackout in the Big City; A Surprise Morning March; Live Bl… [...]

  6. [...] > Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street: Media Blackout in the Big City; A Surprise Morning March; Live Bl… [...]

  7. [...] > Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street: Media Blackout in the Big City; A Surprise Morning March; Live Bl… [...]

  8. [...] > Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street: Media Blackout in the Big City; A Surprise Morning March; Live Bl… [...]

  9. [...] > Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street: Media Blackout in the Big City; A Surprise Morning March; Live Bl… [...]

  10. [...] Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street: Media Blackout in the Big City; A Surprise Morning March [...]

  11. [...] we can’t all be marching on Wall Street, many of us sit at our kitchen table and watch the major events taking place on Wall [...]

  12. [...] Day three of the occupation: an informative blog post, Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street. [...]

  13. [...] > Ongoing Occupation of Wall Street: Media Blackout in the Big City; A Surprise Morning March; Live Bl… [...]

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16 Responses - Place Your Comment:





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