Oakland police battle Occupy protesters
A protesters throws back a can of smoke that Oakland police officers fired at protesters after refusing to disperse near Laney College in Oakland, Calif., Jan. 28, 2012.
Oakland -- Oakland police on Saturday fired tear gas and flash grenades at hundreds of Occupy supporters who tried to seize the long-closed Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center as their movement's new home. More than 100 people were arrested.
Skirmishes between police in riot gear and demonstrators throwing paint cans and bottles erupted after a peaceful march that brought more than a thousand of the young movement's supporters to downtown Oakland. The situation remained fluid well after dark, with police and demonstrators facing off on the downtown's otherwise empty streets.
By early evening, arrests were continuing and three officers had suffered minor injuries. One woman was shot in the back at point-blank range with a beanbag gun and was hurried away by fellow demonstrators, her condition unknown. Oakland police called for reinforcements from nearby law enforcement agencies, with San Francisco's police department sending an undisclosed number of officers.
The violence brought a chaotic end to an afternoon that had started on an upbeat, even festive mood among supporters of Occupy, the nationwide movement that has refocused public attention on economic inequality.
Organizers of Occupy Oakland had announced last week that they planned to seize an empty building as their new base and community center, calling the public use of vacant buildings a new direction for the movement. After a brief lunchtime rally Saturday at Frank Ogawa Plaza, more than 1.000 Occupy supporters, accompanied by a small marching band, poured down Broadway, filling the street with banners.
Most marchers had no idea where they were going, because organizers kept secret the building they planned to seize. Some people brought their children. Many brought their dogs.
But Oakland has been the scene of some of the most violent confrontations in the Occupy movement, and the memories of those clashes with police resonated through the rally and march.
"We've got to be careful and thoughtful in what we do, because repression is their business," Gerald Smith, one of the organizers, told the rally. "They live in fear of this occupation."
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan had warned Occupy not to try to seize a building, saying police would not tolerate any attempt to break the law. Tensions rose as marchers arrived at the convention center, shuttered for years, and began tearing down fences around the facility, which sits just south of Lake Merritt, near Laney College.
Police ordered marchers to disperse after someone in the crowd threw what appeared to be a smoke bomb at the officers. The marchers refused, touching off the first of several confrontations between police and protesters carrying plastic shields.
"If the cops are willing to defend property over people, I think that shows where the city's priorities are," said Carla Orendorff, 23, a student at UC Davis.
Police pushed the crowd back down 12th Street toward the city's core, and eventually the demonstrators ended where they had begun - back at Frank Ogawa Plaza.
"I feel like today was sort of a stalemate," said Mike Wagner, 22, whose eyes were still watering from the tear gas. "It's time we started getting more creative, but how do we create lasting infrastructure when we're faced with this army that's being used against the American people?"
Their numbers smaller than before, the marchers set out from the plaza for a second time after dark, heading north. Organizers told the crowd earlier in the day that they had picked out a second building to target, if they failed to take the first. But it was unclear exactly where the group was headed.
At one point, around 6:30 p.m., police cornered marchers near the YMCA at 24th and Broadway, and some of the protesters burst into the building, surprising people working out in the gym. Laura Wong of Oakland said she was familiar with Occupy.
"I just didn't expect it when I was on the treadmill," said Wong, 28, after police escorted her and other patrons out of the building. "It was kind of intimidating seeing a whole bunch of police in riot gear."
While 19 people were arrested earlier in the day, many more people were taken into custody outside the YMCA.
Police had kept a low profile during the mid-day rally that preceded the march.
Speakers exhorted the crowd to fight economic inequality. The first speaker, Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, took perhaps the most pointed stance, urging the crowd to fight the rich.
"Passionate, organized hatred is the element missing in all that we do to try to change the world," said Ortiz, a retired professor from Cal State East Bay. "Now is the time to spread hate, hatred for the rich."
Not all of the demonstrators were as militant. In keeping with the Occupy movement's brief history, the people gathered at Frank Ogawa Plaza represented a wide variety of views. But they shared a concern about rising income inequality and economic struggle. And several said they were pleased that the Occupy movement had focused public attention and debate on those issues.
"The fact that everyone now talks about the 99 percent, the 1 percent - that shows Occupy's won," said Carter Lavin, 23, of San Francisco. "The debate was about debt, not jobs. Now it's about jobs."
This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
Occupy Wall St. Stories
FACED WITH NEW RULES,
OCCUPY WALL STREET
RETURNS TO ZUCCOTTI PARK
Occupy is back. Late Tuesday night, barricades surrounding Zuccotti Park were removed, allowing hundreds of Occupy protesters to return to the movement’s birthplace.
A semblance of “normalcy” returned as protesters set up camp once again — pizza was served, the signs came out, and the infamous “People’s Library” made an appearance. But protesters were wrong to believe that nothing had changed. New rules imposed by Brookfield Properties, the company that owns the park, are now in place barring lying down and camping, as well as the use of tents and sleeping bags. Failure to adhere to these rules led to confusion and several arrests.
According to witnesses, security guards argued with protesters about being allowed to sleep on a piece of cardboard, and a tent was torn down, leading to a scuffle. One of those arrested was Joey Boots, a regular guest and contributor to the Howard Stern, show according to his Twitter. Boots tweeted that he was arrested merely for sitting down. A YouTube video posted on his Twitter yesterday shows a heated verbal exchange between Boots and several NYPD officers. In the video, Boots continues to assert that he is resting his leg due to a medical condition until he is placed under arrest.
Is Occupy really back this time? Regardless, we think it’s a little silly to be arguing over the right to sit down and pieces of cardboard…
Sources: New York Post, NY Daily News
Faced with new rules, Occupy Wall Street returns to Zuccotti
15 Major Differences Between Occupy Wall Street
And The Tea Party Protests
I read an article recently, which compared the origins of the Occupy Wall Street movement to the origins of the Tea Party movement. As someone who has paid attention to both movements, I believe nothing could be further from the truth. Below are just 15 differences between the Occupy Wall Street protests, and the Tea Party movement.
1. Occupy Wall Street is a grassroots movement, funded by people around the world, without corporate sponsorship.
The Tea Party is an AstroTurf movement, receiving most of its funding from corporate sponsorship, and Fox News and its supporters.
2. Occupy Wall Street wants less corporate influence over our Government.
The Tea Party wants less Governmental influence over corporations.
3. Occupy Wall Street didn’t receive mainstream media coverage until several weeks after it began.
The Tea Party held rallies across the country sponsored by Fox News, and even small rallies with minimal turnout received attention from other media outlets.
4. Occupy Wall Street protesters are unarmed.
The Tea Party protesters openly carried a large variety of guns, including assault rifles.
5. Over 1,000 Occupy Wall Street Protesters have been arrested.
Zero Tea Party Protesters have been arrested.
6. Occupy Wall Street doesn’t endorse either political party.
The Tea Party actively endorsed the Republican Party.
7. Occupy Wall Street protests have sparked similar protests around the world.
The Tea Party protests were ridiculed around the world.
8. Occupy Wall Street protests have more than 50% approval from the general public.
The Tea Party protests peaked at 18% approval from the general public.
9. Occupy Wall Street protesters represent the poor, the disenfranchised, and the people who don’t feel like they have a voice in our Government.
The Tea Party protesters represented the wealthy, the elite, and the corporations who already have too much influence in our Government.
10. Occupy Wall Street doesn’t want politicians to co-opt their movement.
The Tea Party protests regularly featured speeches from conservative political figures like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.
11. Occupy Wall Street protesters signs are spelled correctly.
Many Tea Party protest signs featured glaring spelling and grammatical errors.
12. Occupy Wall Street is supported by the youth in this country.
A majority of the Tea Party’s support came from middle-age citizens and people 65 and up.
13. Occupy Wall Street represents the 99% of Americans who aren’t millionaires and billionaires, and who don’t have a voice in our Government.
The Tea Party represents the wealthiest Americans, and wants the Government to stop trying to tax them.
14. Occupy Wall Street protesters are setting up camps across the country, to get attention from the media and to show that they’re serious.
The Tea Party went home as soon as their corporately sponsored rallies were over.
15. Occupy Wall Street has received endless criticism from the right-wing.
The Tea Party received endless and unconditional praise from the right-wing.
The "Sit Down and Shut Up Ordinance"
The Occupy movement actually sat down and wrote a letter to all 50 Chicago aldermen, instead of barging into their monthly ward meetings interrupting them during the street repaving report.
Let’s hope the written word is more powerful than the mic check, because the topic is next week’s vote on an ordinance to give Mayor Rahm Emanuel expanded powers to deal with protestors at May’s G-8 and NATO summits, by curtailing the use of parks and beaches, and raising the fine for a violation of “parade rules” to a maximum of $1,000. Emanuel originally said the measures were temporary, but now intends to make them a permanent tool to deal with demonstrations.
Obviously, Occupy Chicago has a vested interest in unfettered dissent -- public protest is its business model. But every Chicagoan should be concerned about a change in the law that will tip the balance of power between the mayor and the citizenry way in the mayor’s favor. We should also be concerned about the deceitful way he slipped the proposal -- which Occupy Chicago has dubbed the “Sit Down and Shut Up Ordinance” --into the public discourse.
Here is an excerpt from the letter, which was signed by members of Occupy Rogers Park and Occupy the South Side:
We are writing to draw your attention to policy concerns about legislation pending for the City Council meeting scheduled for January 18, 2012. Specifically of concern are O2011-9743.pdf , “Amendment of various sections of Municipal Code and providing associated authorization regarding upcoming NATO and G-8 summits,” and O2011-9742, “Amendment of various provisions of Municipal Code regarding parades, athletic events and public assemblies.”
As you are no doubt aware, Mayor Emanuel sponsored this ordinance and has promoted it in the media as a “temporary” measure aimed at controlling protesters during specified events taking place later this year. As you’ve surely read, the Mayor has since been forced to retract his claim that these changes were ever meant to be temporary. Another blatant inconsistency is that the ordinance applies to the entire city, while the NATO and G8 summits occur only downtown. Other inconsistencies in the presentation of this ordinance are similarly problematic.
Given what the ordinance actually says, it cannot be construed as an effort to protect the integrity of G8 and NATO conferences. This measure is a permanent attack on public protest in the City of Chicago. The consequences of this attack will be far reaching, and will be felt by protesters throughout the city, most of whom will never have any connection to the protests associated with these events.
As you are also aware, we celebrate the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 16, 2012. Dr. King’s legacy is not one of obedience to municipal authorities, but rather the inspiring story of a man who led a community that was willing to face down oppressive lawmakers by violating exactly the type of ordinance the Mayor is asking you to support.
The letter also quotes the 1st Amendment in asking aldermen to take this pledge:
The rise of the silver protester: Now senior citizens and veterans take to the streets in Occupy Wall Street demonstrations
- 28 arrested after another night of violence on the streets of New York
- Washington protesters build on momentum of New York
- Video of cop boasting he looks forward to using nightstick sparks furious reaction among protesters
- Protesters 'storm the barricades' at Stock Exchange, prompting police to use pepper spray
- Herman Cain: 'If you are not rich it's your own fault'
- Obama addresses protesters in economic speech
- Protests held across the country from Jersey to Washington and Dallas
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 5:56 AM on 7th October 2011
It started as a student protest, led by the disgruntled and disenfranchised youth.
But as the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations have gained momentum, it has quickly become clear that fury against bankers is not a feeling restricted to just one demographic.
Among the protesters marching as part of the angry and struggling '99 per cent' were many older faces - one so elderly he required a zimmer frame to walk.
Scroll down for video
Energy: Jaime Vazquez, left, a Vietnam war veteran, chants during a protest outside the Goldman Sachs building in New Jersey, while Charles Helms displays a sign
Energy: Protestor Julia Botello, 85, shouts as she leaves a Bank of America branch in downtown Los Angeles
Others held up banners and yelled with voices just as strong as their young counterparts.
Protesters calling themselves 'the 99 per cent' continued to gather momentum in several cities across the country yesterday, with groups descending on on Washington D.C., Jersey and Texas.
The marchers - campaigning against America's richest 'one per cent' with perceived tax breaks and other perks - have swelled their ranks since mid-September, leading President Barack Obama to call the demonstrators a 'movement'.
Never too old: One man, a war veteran, joins the protests in New York with the aid of a zimmer frame
The protests became even more furious after an NYPD officer was caught bragging about using his nightstick on the group just hours before violence broke out between demonstrators and police on Wednesday night.
In the video, which appears to have been shot just hours before the clashes, the officer can be heard saying 'my little night stick's going to get a work out tonight' as he saunters past a police barricade.
The protests have slowly grown in size and attention over more than two weeks, with the president's acknowledgement at a news conference a sign they might be jelling into a political movement.
Stand: About one thousand people gather and form a large "99%" in the middle of Freedom Plaza. The chant refers to the richest 1 per cent of Americans which the political right are trying to protect
Spread: Participants march with signs past the White House to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during an "Occupation of Washington" protest in Washington
March: Protesters march in front of the Federal Reserve Building in Dallas today
JOE BIDEN: PROTESTERS ARE LIKE THE TEA PARTY
For the left-wing students and unionists marching to ‘occupy Wall Street’, it may not be a comparison they much appreciate.
In an unusual observation, Vice President Joe Biden has likened protesters camping out in the financial district to the Tea Party movement – saying they share anger over federal programmes which favour the richest in America.
‘There's a lot in common with the tea party,’ he said. ’The tea party started why? TARP [The Troubled Asset Relief Program, which bailed out the banks in 2008]. They thought it was unfair - we were bailing out the big guy.’
He added: ‘What is the core of that protest, and why is it increasing in terms of the people it's attracting? The core is the bargain has been breached with the American people.
‘The American people do not think the system is fair or on the level.’
Local protests against corporate America are planned in New Jersey on Thursday as a show of solidarity with demonstrations that started last month outside the New York Stock Exchange.
Rallies met at the Statehouse in Trenton and in Jersey City. Protesters are expected to call for an end of corporate control of government.
The movement has surged in less than three weeks from a ragged group in downtown Manhattan to protesters of all ages demonstrating from Seattle to Tampa.
'I am a mother. I want a better world for my children,' said Lisa Clapier, 46, a producer who lives in Venice, California, who joined protesters in Los Angeles.
In Seattle, where protesters had set up an encampment in a city park, about two dozen people were arrested for defying police orders to dismantle their tents.
'The cops are doing their job, and we're going to let them do their job. Then we'll come back and occupy the park again,' said Michael Trimarco, 39, an unemployed carpenter.
On Wednesday night, unions lent their muscle to the long-running protest against Wall Street and economic inequality, fuelling speculation about how long the camp-out in lower Manhattan - and related demonstrations around the country - will continue.
As around 5,000 protesters marched toward the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, demonstrators tried to storm the barricades but were stopped by police about two blocks away.
There were multiple reports of police using pepper spray to try to ward off the marchers.
A video posted on Youtube shows officers swinging their nightsticks at protesters and has sparked a furious reaction among demonstrators.
Police said about 28 arrests were made, mostly for disorderly conduct.
One person was arrested for assaulting an officer; police said the officer was pushed off his scooter.
Famous: Tim Robbins speaks to Occupy Wall Street protesters at the start of a rally held at Foley Square, Manhattan
Spray: A Protester gets pepper sprayed at Occupy Wall Street March
Barricades: Protesters attempt to break through police lines at Wall Street and Broadway
Violence: A video posted on Youtube shows officers swinging their nightsticks at protesters has also sparked furious reaction on blogs and across the internet
Swinging: Police can be seen laying into protesters around Wall Street
Thousands of protesters, including many in union T-shirts, filled lower Manhattan's Foley Square on yesterday and then marched to Zuccotti Park, where the protesters have been camping since September 17.
Earlier Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain told protesters in a Wall Street Journal interview: 'Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks, if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself.'
But labor leaders say they will continue to support the protests, both with manpower and donations of goods and services.
'The great thing about Occupy Wall Street is that they have brought the focus of the entire country on the middle class majority,' said George Aldro, 62, a member of Local 2325 of the United Auto Workers, as he carried the union's blue flag over his shoulder through lower Manhattan.
Line: Police officers try to restore barricades after Occupy Wall Street protesters tried to get past them and march to Wall Street
Cuffed: The protests have gathered momentum and gained participants in recent days as news of mass arrests and a coordinated media campaign seeded protests around the country
'We're in it together, and we're in it for the long haul.'
The protesters have varied causes but have spoken largely about unemployment and economic inequality, reserving most of their criticism for Wall Street. 'We are the 99 percent,' they chanted, contrasting themselves with the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.
Ed Figueroa, a janitor in a public school in the Bronx and a shop steward with Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, said the march was 'the first time in these weeks that unions have shown their face.'
'But it won't be the last time,' he said. 'We'll be back.'
Force: People watch from the steps of Federal Court (L) as members of trade unions join "Occupy Wall Street" protesters
The unions were donating food, blankets and office space to the protesters, said Dan Cantor, head of the Working Families Party. But he said the young protesters would continue to head their own efforts. The movement lacks an identified leader and decisions are made during group meetings.
'They're giving more to us than we're giving to them. They're a shot in the arm to everybody,' Cantor said.
'The labor movement is following the youth of America today and that's a good thing.'
Victor Rivera, a vice-president for the powerful 1199 Service Employees International Union, which represents health care workers, said the union had donated 'all the food they need for this entire week' to the Zuccotti Park campers. Union leaders had also assigned liaisons from their political action committee to work with demonstrators.
'We are here to support this movement against Wall Street's greed,' he said. 'We support the idea that the rich should pay their fair share.'
Fall guy: Protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement rally with a photo of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon in Foley Square
Point: Occupy Wall Street protesters posing as billionaires stage a protest near Wall Street
Agitation: A police officer grabs the arm of a woman at the Occupy Wall Street protest
The Occupy Wall Street protests started Sept. 17 with a few dozen demonstrators who tried to pitch tents in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, hundreds have set up camp nearby in Zuccotti Park and have become increasingly organized, lining up medical aid and legal help and printing their own newspaper.
On Saturday, about 700 people were arrested and given disorderly conduct summonses for spilling into the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge despite warnings from police. A group of those arrested filed a lawsuit Tuesday, saying officers lured them into a trap before arresting them.
Several Democratic lawmakers have expressed support for the protesters, but some Republican presidential candidates have rebuked them. Herman Cain called the activists 'un-American' Wednesday at a book signing in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Mass: Yesterday at new York's Zuccotti Park and Foley Square, Occupy Wall Street protesters were joined by local students and unions
'They're basically saying that somehow the government is supposed to take from those that have succeeded and give to those who want to protest,' the former pizza-company executive said. 'That's not the way America was built.'
On Tuesday, CBS reported that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney called the protest "class warfare" at an appearance at a Florida retirement community.
Activists have been showing solidarity with the movement in many cities: Occupy Providence. Occupy Los Angeles. Occupy Boise. More protests and sit-ins are planned across the country in the days ahead.
Ride: A participant in the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration displays a "pink unicorn" ride during a march to join teacher's unions near Wall Street yesterday
Camp: The demonstrators are protesting bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment from their encampment in the financial district
Multitude: Thousands of protesters including union members and college students from an organized walkout joined the rally
On Wednesday, more than 100 people withstood an afternoon downpour in Idaho's capital to protest, including Judy Taylor, a retired property manager.
'I want change. I'm tired of things being taken away from those that need help,' she said.
In Seattle, demonstrators tussled with police officers and clung to tents as they defied orders to leave a park. Police said they made 25 arrests. The reception was warmer in Los Angeles, where the City Council approved a resolution of support and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office distributed 100 rain ponchos to activists at another days-long demonstration, according to City News Service.
In Boston, hundreds of nurses and Northeastern University students rallied together to condemn what they called corporate control of government and the spiralling costs of education. The students banged on drums made of water jugs and chanted, 'Banks got bailed out, and we got sold out.'
'This is an organic process. This is a process of grassroots people coming together. It's a beautiful thing,' said David Schildmeier, spokesman for the Massachusetts Nurses Association.
Many of those protesting are college students. Hundreds walked out of classes in New York, some in a show of solidarity for the Wall Street movement but many more concerned with worries closer to home. Protests were scheduled at State University of New York campuses including Albany, Buffalo, Binghamton, New Paltz and Purchase.
Danielle Kingsbury, a 21-year-old senior from New Paltz, said she walked out of an American literature class to show support for some of her professors who she said have had their workloads increased because of budget cuts.
'The state of education in our country is ridiculous,' said Kingsbury, who plans to teach. 'The state doesn't care about it and we need to fight back about that.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2046314/Occupy-Wall-Street-The-rise-silver-protester.html#ixzz1a9HSNgwh
So Real it Hurts - Notes on Occupy Wall Street
October 4, 2011
I first went down to Occupy Wall Street last Sunday, almost a week after it had started. I didn't go down before because I, like many of my other brown friends, was wary of what we had heard or just intuited that it was mostly a young, white male scene. When I asked friends about it they said different things: that it was really white; that it was all people they didn't know; and that they weren't sure what was going on. But after hearing about the arrests and police brutality on Saturday, September 24th and after hearing that thousands of people had turned up for their march I decided I needed to see this thing for myself.
So I went down for the first time on Sunday, September 25th with my friend Sam. At first we couldn't even find Occupy Wall Street. We biked over the Brooklyn Bridge around noon on Sunday, dodging the tourists and then the cars on Chambers Street. We ended up at Ground Zero and I felt the deep sense of sadness that that place now gives me: sadness over how, what is now in essence just a construction site, changed the world so much for the worse. I also felt a deep sense of sadness for all the tourists taking pictures of a place where many people died ten years ago which is now a testament to capitalism, imperialism, torture, and oppression.
Sam and I get off our bikes and walk. We are looking for Liberty Plaza. We are looking for somewhere less alienating. For a moment we feel lost. We walk past the department store Century 21 and laugh about the killer combination of tourists, discount shopping and the World Trade Center.
The landscape is strange. I notice that. We are in the shadow of half built buildings. They glitter and twist into the sky. But they also seem so naked: rust colored steel poking its way out of their tops and their sides, their guts spilling out for all to see.
We get to Liberty Plaza and at first it is almost unassuming. We didn't entirely know what to do. We wandered around. We made posters and laid them on the ground (our posters read: “We are all Troy Davis”, “Whose streets? Our streets!”, and “Tired of Racism, Tired of Capitalism”). I didn't know anyone down there. Not one person. And there were a lot of young white kids. But there weren't only young white kids. There were older people, there were mothers with kids, and there were a lot more people of color than I expected, something that made me relieved. We sat on the stairs and watched everyone mill around us. There was the normal protest feeling of people moving around in different directions, not sure what to do with themselves, but within this there was also order: a food table, a library, a busy media area.
Actually, there was order and disorder, organization and confusion. I watched as a man carefully changed his clothing, folding each piece he took off and placing them carefully under a tarp. I used the bathroom at the McDonalds up Broadway and there were two booths of people from the protest carrying out meetings, eating food from Liberty Plaza, sipping water out of water bottles, their laptops out. They seemed obvious yet also just part of the normal financial district hustle and bustle.
But even though at first I didn't know what to do while I was at Liberty Plaza, I stayed there for a few hours. I was generally impressed and energized by what I saw. People seemed to be taking care of each other. There seemed to be a general feeling of solidarity, good ways of communicating with each other, less disorganization than I expected and everyone was very, very friendly. The whole thing was quite bizarre: the confused tourists not knowing what was going on; the police officers lining the perimeter; the mixture of young white kids with dreadlocks, anarchist punks, mainstream looking college kids, but also the awesome black women who were organizing the food station; the older man who walked around with his peace sign stopping and talking to everyone; a young black man named Chris from New Jersey who told me he had been there all week and he was tired but that he had come not knowing anyone, had made friends and now didn't want to leave.
And when I left, walking my bike back through the streets of the financial district, fighting the crowds of tourists and men in suits, I felt something pulling me back to that space. It was that it felt like a space of possibility, a space of radical imagination. And it was energizing to feel like such a space existed.
And so I started telling my friends to go down there and check it out. I started telling people that it was a pretty awesome thing, that just having a space to have these conversations mattered, that it was more diverse than I expected. And I went back.
On Wednesday night I attended my first General Assembly. Seeing 300 people using consensus method was powerful. Knowing that a lot of people there had never been part of a consensus process and were learning about it for the first time was powerful. We consensed on using the money that was being donated to the movement to bail out the people who had been arrested. I was impressed that such a large group made a financial decision in a relatively painless way.
After the General Assembly that night there was both a talent Show (“this is what a talent show looks like!”) on one side of the Plaza and an anti-patriarchy working group meeting (which became the safer-spaces working group) on the other. In some ways the juxtaposition of both these events happening at once feels emblematic of one of the splits going on in the square: talent shows across from anti-patriarchy meetings; an announcement for a zombie party right after an announcement about the killing of Troy Davis followed by an announcement that someone had lost their phone.
Maybe this is how movements need to maintain themselves, by recognizing that political change is also fundamentally about everyday life and that everyday life needs to encompass all of this. There needs to be a space for a talent show across from anti-patriarchy meetings. There needs to be a food table, medics, and a library. Everyone needs to stop for a second and look around for someone's phone. And that within all this we will keep talking about Troy Davis and how everyone is affected by a broken, racist, oppressive system. Maybe, maybe this is the way?
I went to the anti-patriarchy meeting because even though I was impressed by the General Assembly and its process I also noticed that it was mostly white men who were in charge of the committees and making announcements and that I had only seen one women of color get up in front of everyone and talk. A lot was said at the anti-patriarchy meeting about what was safe and wasn’t safe in the occupied space. Women talked about not feeling comfortable in the drum circle because of men dancing up on them and how to change this, about how to feel safe sleeping out in the open with a lot of men that they didn't know, about not-assuming gender pronouns and asking people which pronouns they would prefer.
Here is the thing though: I've had these conversations before, I'm sure a lot of us in activist spaces have had these conversations before, the ones that we need to keep having about how to make sure everyone feels comfortable, how to not assume gender pronouns and gender roles. But there were plenty of people in this meeting who didn't know what we were doing when we went around and asked for people's names and preferred gender pronoun. A lot of people looked taken aback by this, who stumbled through it, but also looked interested when we explained what we were doing. They listened to the discussion and then joined the conversation about what to do to make sure that Occupy Wall Street felt like a space safe for everyone. People who said that they had similar experiences and were glad that we were talking about it.
This is important because I think this is what Occupy Wall Street is right now: less of a movement and more of a space. It is a space in which people who feel a similar frustration with the world as it is and as it has been are coming together and thinking about ways to recreate it. For some people this is the first time they have thought about how the world needs to be recreated. But some of us have been thinking about this for a while now. Does this mean that those of us who have been thinking about it for a while now should discredit this movement? No. It just means that there is a lot of learning going on down there and that there is a lot of teaching to be done.
On Thursday night I showed up at Occupy Wall Street with a bunch of other South Asians coming from a South Asians for Justice meeting. Sonny joked that he should have brought his dhol so we could enter like it was a baarat (Indian wedding procession). When we got there they were passing around and reading a sheet of paper that had the Declaration of the Occupation of Wall Street on it. I had heard the “Declaration of the Occupation” read at the General Assembly the night before but I didn't realize that it was going to be finalized as THE declaration of the movement right then and there. When I heard it the night before with Sonny we had looked at each other and noted that the line about “being one race, the human race, formerly divided by race, class...” was a weird line, one that hit me in the stomach with its naivety and the way it made me feel alienated. But Sonny and I had shrugged it off as the ramblings of one of the many working groups at Occupy Wall Street.
But now we were realizing that this was actually a really important document and that it was going to be sent into the world and read by thousands of people. And that if we let it go into the world written the way it was then it would mean that people like me would shrug this movement off, it would stop people like me and my friends and my community from joining this movement, one that I already felt a part of. So this was urgent. This movement was about to send a document into the world about who and what it was that included a line that erased all power relations and decades of history of oppression. A line that would de-legitimize the movement, this would alienate me and people like me, this would not be able to be something I could get behind. And I was already behind it this movement and somehow I didn't want to walk away from this. I couldn't walk away from this.
And that night I was with people who also couldn't walk away. Our amazing, impromptu, radical South Asian contingent—which stood out in that crowd for sure—did not back down. We did not back down when we were told the first time that Hena spoke that our concerns could be emailed and didn't need to be dealt with then. We didn't back down when we were told that again a second time and we didn't back down when we were told that to “block” the declaration from going forward was a serious thing to do, that if our block to the Declaration was not agreed upon by everyone present we would have to walk away. I knew it was a serious action to take, we all knew it was a serious action to take, and that is why we did it.
I have never actually blocked something before. And the only reason I was able to do so was because there were 5 of us standing there and because Hena had already put herself out there and started shouting “mic check” until they paid attention. And the only reason that I could in that moment was because I felt so urgently that this was something that needed to be said.
There is something intense about speaking in front of hundreds of people, but there is something even more intense about speaking in front of hundreds of people with whom you feel aligned and you are saying something that they do not want to hear. And then it is even more intense when that crowd is repeating everything you say-- which is the way the General Assemblies or any announcements at Occupy Wall Street work. But hearing yourself in an echo chamber means that you make sure your words mean something because they are being said back to you as you say them.
And so when we finally got everyone's attention I carefully said what we felt was the problem: that we wanted a small change in language but that this change represented a larger ethical concern of ours. That to erase a history of oppression in this document was not something that we would be able to let happen. That we knew they had been working on this document for a week, that we appreciated the process and that it was in respect to this process that we wouldn't be silenced and that we demanded a change in the language. They accepted our change and we withdrew our block as long as the document was published with our change. I stepped down from the ledge I was standing on and Sonny looked me in the eye and said “you did good” and I've never needed to hear that as much as then.
After the meeting ended we found the man who had written the document to remind him that he needed to take out the part about us all being “one race, the human race.” But it’s “scientifically true,” he told us. He thought that maybe we were advocating for there being different races? No we needed to tell him about privilege and racism and oppression and how these things still existed, both in the world and someplace like Occupy Wall Street.
Let me tell you what it feels like to stand in front of a white man and explain privilege to him. It hurts. It makes you tired. Sometimes it makes you want to cry. Sometimes it is exhilarating. Every single time it is hard. Every single time I get angry that I have to do this, that this is my job, and that it shouldn't be my job. Every single time I am proud of myself that I've been able to say these things because I used to not be able to and because some days I just don't want to.
This all has been said by many, many strong women of color before me but every time, every single time these levels of power are confronted it I think it needs to be written about, talked about, gone through over and over again.
And this is the thing: that there in that circle, on that street-corner we did a crash course on racism, white privilege, structural racism, oppression. We did a course on history and the declaration of independence and colonialism and slavery. It was hard. It was real. It hurt. But people listened. We had to fight for it. I'm going to say that again: we had to fight for it. But it felt worth it. It felt worth it to sit down on a street corner in the Financial District at 11:30 pm on a Thursday night, after working all day long and argue for the changing of the first line of Occupy Wall Street's official Declaration of the Occupation of New York City. It felt worth it not only because we got the line changed but also because while standing in a circle of 20, mostly white men, and explaining racism to them, carefully and slowly spelling out that I as a women of color experience the world way differently than the author of the Declaration, a white man; that this was not about him being personally racist but about relations of power; and that he urgently needed to listen to and believe me about this…this moment felt like a victory for the movement on its own.
And this is the other thing. It was hard, and it was fucked up that we had to fight for it in the way we did but we did fight for it and we won. The line was changed, they listened, we sat down and re-wrote it and it has been published with our re-write. And when we walked away, I felt like something important had just happened, that we had just pushed a movement a little bit closer to the movement I would like to see-- one that takes into account historical and current inequalities, oppressions, racisms, relations of power, and one that doesn't just recreate liberal white privilege but confronts it head on. And if I have to fight to make that happen I will. As long as my people are there standing next to me while I do that.
Later that night I biked home over the Brooklyn Bridge and I somehow felt like the world was, just maybe, at least in that moment, mine, as well as everyone dear to me and everyone who needed and wanted more from the world. I somehow felt like maybe the world could be all of ours.
Manissa McCleave Maharawal is a doctoral student in the Anthropology department at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is also a longtime New York City based activist.
OCCUPYWALLSTREET is a people powered movement for democracy that began in America on September 17 with an encampment in the financial district of New York City.
Jammers across the world occupied financial districts on September 17. Find one near you:
- #OccupyFDSF in San Francisco, USA
- #OccupyChicago in Chicago, USA
- #OccupyLA in Los Angeles, USA
- #Occupy_Boston in Boston, USA
- #OccupyDC in DC, USA
- #OccupyDallas in Dallas, USA
- #OccupyCleveland in Cleaveland, USA
- #TakeTheSquareWI in Madison, USA
- #OccupyLasVegas in Los Vegas, USA
- #OccupyDenver in Denver, USA
- #OccupyVancouver in Vancouver, Canada
- #OccupyToronto in Toronto, Canada
- #OccupyLSX in London, UK
- #OccupyMelbourne in Melbourne, Australia
- #OccupyBrisbane in Brisbane, Australia
- #TOMALABOLSA in Madrid, Spain
- #TOMALABOLSA in Valencia, Spain
- #ANTIBANKS in Lisbon, Portugal
- #ANTIBANKS in Athens, Greece
- #OCCUPYMARTINPLACE in Sydney, Australia
- #OCCUPYBÖRSENSTRASSE in Stuttgart, Germany
- #OCCUPYMARUNOUCHI in Tokyo, Japan
- #OCCUPAZIONEPIAZZAAFFARI in Milan, Italy
- #ANTIBANKS in Amsterdam, Netherlands
- #ANTIBANKS in Algiers, Algeria
- #ANTIBANKS in Tel Aviv, Israel
TEAR GAS REMEMDIES
1. Wet/soaked towels around your nose and mouth, add lemon juice, cider vinegar or soda-pop to your homemade face mask. You must wear them as tight as possible. Loose towels won’t do you much good.
2. Take off your contact lenses. It is one thing to not wear air-tight goggles, it is far worse to wear contacts while you are being gassed. Wear your prescription glasses instead, you have better chances with them.
3. Protect your eyes: Use swim/diving goggles if you can’t find an air-tight eye protection. If unavailable, hoodies and other head gear might help.
4. It is a good idea to carry a plastic bag with a cloth of paper towel in it soaked in pure emon juice, cider vinegar or soda-pop. Seal it and breath the fumes if you get exposed to high doses of tear gas. Any acid can be used to neutralise tear gas, though bleach is best. Fumes of chopped-up onions underneath the nose can help. Carry some in plastic bag, use as needed.
5. Do NOT panic. You will only start breathing harder and you will inhale more fumes that will cause more pain.6. Dress in layers. Once a layer of clothes catches the fumes, you should remove that layer, or you will continue breathing the fumes in smaller doses on extended periods of time. try to wear waterproof/rain clothes as a top layer. If desperate, use heavy-duty garbage bags.Well I’m always up for a new experience, and Occupy Chicago was a good one to have been a part of. I got over to the Federal Reserve around 11:40 and found a seat across the way on Financial and Jackson. There was a women standing by me that was passing out flyers for Occupy and she was extremely kind and gave me one. I actually talked to her for a few minutes and told her that I was sitting here observing for a class and she was actually really helpful and told me that there were some people that had been there all 9 nine days and would love for me to join them and ask them questions. Hate to say I was a little timid and felt more comfortable just watching and I think I would have needed to know much more about their efforts before I felt like I could join them and really be able to represent the issues. I think the biggest thing that struck me was that I was surprisingly surprised on how quiet it was, and how tame everyone was. I think it was early for it to really have it going because there were only about 50 people there when I got there but throughout the time there were stragglers that would join in. The lady that was handing out flyers was extremely helpful not only to me but to people that would come up and ask her questions, she was filled with an immense amount of information and come to find out when she was talking to someone, she drove all the way from Ball State to be there. It was interesting to watch everyone because it’s not what I was expecting at all even down to that a lot of the people there were younger, more towards my age which was enlightening because a lot of people I know wouldn’t give two cents towards the issues that are facing us and the government. Some of the signs that they were holding were pretty direct and they weren’t obscure like ones I’ve seen before. Some of them were “Support change for our children”, “We are the 99%”, and “Multinational corporations are not U.S. citizens”. The one thing that really struck me as odd and it was something the flyer lady had mentioned to a curious passerby was that there really isn’t any news coverage of any of this, it’s all internet based. She was saying that it’s been happening all around the states including Sacromento, L.A., Denver, and of course New York. The only news coverage I saw was actually something that popped up on yahoo news right after I got home to this and it was pictures from the Occupy Wallstreet.
I arrived at Jackson and LaSalle at around 12:30 p.m on September 30th. There were not as many people as I thought that there would be. I really didn’t plan on staying long but I got caught up in the protest after speaking to a few people. There were a lot of signs, some saying, “people are not disposable” and “make decisions for the people not corporations.” Most of the people there were younger, they seemed to be college aged, and there were a few older men and women as well. About 99% of the protesters were on the west side of LaSalle in front of the Federal Reserve. I was right in front of the door. On the east side there was a protester with a megaphone speaking, and at first I didn’t quite understand what he was saying, he was standing right under the flag of “Bank of America.” There were four Federal Reserve officers outside and I saw a few more on the inside. I tried to ask one officer a question but he just pointed to the corner where most of the protesters were and said, “the protest is over there this is the entrance to the Federal Reserve building,” which I thought was extremely rude, so I decided to stand right in front of him and the entrance to the building.
I stood no longer then six or eight feet from the officer. I was leading on this thick light pole writing notes on my phone. The people that were coming out of the building he was really friendly to and gave a smile and even joked with some. One woman said, “Oh god they’re still here” with disgust in her voice, the officer just laughed and shook his head in an approving way. I sort of just stared at him with a puzzling look while he looked back at me with this had look on his face, which made me stare even more. There were people handing out flyers and I got one and stood there with it facing the Federal Reserve door. The sign said, “We are the 99% and we will no longer remain silent.” I stood with it for a few hours. Another gentleman who walked by looked at the officer and said, “Can’t you dismantle them” and all the officer said back was, “Oh no we can’t do that … Yet” as he laughed. As I stood there I finally understood what the person with the megaphone was saying without even paying attention to it. He was saying “welcome to the bank of fraud, of America!”
There were more protesters coming down LaSalle and they also had drums and it really did sound like an army was coming (even though there were only about 10 of them). As they were coming closer and their drums got louder the officer said, “Oh-oh here come the reinforcements” which I could not help but to laugh a little at. The person leading the group was an older gentleman with a white beard and he was chanting, “Occupy Chicago. People over profit.” It sort of felt good that they were coming and making the protest that much bigger. As the day went on the protest got bigger (but not by a lot), and the drumming got louder. One of the officers from the Federal Reserve called the Chicago Police so that he could tell the protesters not to cluster because they were mostly in one group. Then some of the organizers stretched the protesters along the sidewalk which looked better and made it seem like there was more people.
Overall, I’m glad I went. It was a great experience and I was glad to be part of it. I do share most of the feelings that the protesters had. Feelings like; yeah, we bailed out the big banks and what did they do with our money? One of the organizers came up to me and told me how they will march at 7 p.m the millennium park, but unfortunately I had class at 6 and would not be able to join them. He told me how he was there on the streets since Sunday. He did have a lot of stuff with him. He had a few bags filled with clothes and things to keep him warm. He showed me two bottles of cry shampoo, I thought to myself “man, this guy doesn’t mess around.” Like I said, it was a great experience and I really hope that those voices are heard.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago - September 2011 Protest
230 S. Lasalle Street (Between Jackson and Adams Street)
Never being or seeying an actual protest go on until now was a different kind of experience. First thing you notice is a lot of young people with home made signs noise people chanting police and technology. Poeple are willing to talk to you even if your a complete stranger and ask what is going on. It was impressing to find out that rain, or shine they actually stay out. They have tarps to cover things, rain coats, food, buckets to bang on, and chanting "Occupy Chicago." Other chants that you hear are "This is the revolution", "Stop the spending." The police announced to the protesters that there is a ordenace in place that you can not leave containers on the sidewalks. It seems to me that they are just finding excuses to get these people out of here or give tickets. Over hearing some people talk some people say "They want to make history well we are going to change history also by making them listen they need to change." Apparently this has been going on for about 4 or 5 days now and they have been growing some guy said. Some guy with a phone video taping said that around the country this is going on right now just like Chicago and what happend is new york. They started with 10 and now are like 50 or more people. Many people keep talking about the coorporations and the spending as the big problem. The goverment is treating coorporations as "the people" but a sign on the street said "we are the other 99%." Because of the coorporations and major profits that are only shared at the top it has caused a big difference and gap between all the social classes. All the stuff that protesters have brought that is on the sidewalk cops are saying that it needs to be all moved so some people are on phones talking to lawyers and people to see what can be done. 8pm to 8am no loud music can be played or listened to apparently which is what the cops have told some of the drumers on buckets. The police is really pushing the ordinances but the protesters are following the rules as much as they can because they want to stay you can notice. "Occupychi.org" someone walking around with a sign that shows this. Its cool to see people just comming together and even sharing food talking. Very passionate people. With technology even myself i can email, people can blog, they are video recording, tweeting, and of course facebooking. Main streem media is not seen which is amazing because they are not covering the story i bet if the cops start to arrest people or a riot would break out then they will come. They will show the protesters not at the peaceful time like now they will only come later when it looks bad. It seems like money rules over even people. "Dead presidents" greed.
This document was accepted by the NYC General Assembly on September 29, 2011, with slight adjustments in wording on October 1, 2011:
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!
*These grievances are not all-inclusive.
A Movement is Born
As #OWS spreads across the country, people are realizing, it's time to live!
Police protecting Wall Street's most important icon while#OccupySanFrancisco takes it up a notch as they occupy a Chase bank. Photo by David Shankbone & Stephen Lam/Reuters
Jammers, dreamers, rabble-rousers, revolutionaries,
#OCCUPYWALLSTREET is thundering across America, threatening to morph into a full fledged national movement. Channeling the nonviolence of the Egyptian Tahrir Square uprising and the bottom-up collective decision making of the Spanish acampadas, we vow to end the monied corruption of our democracy.
This Saturday #OCCUPYWALLSTREET enters its third week … be there at Noon and stay for the weekend … or be at one of the 50+ fledgling occupations now being organized across the land.
Our people's democracy movement is about to get three mighty boosts:
- On October 6, a few thousand of us will swarm the capital and #OCCUPYDC. Find out the plan at october2011.org
- On October 15th, the movement goes global … check it out at 15october.net
- Then, on November 3 and 4, we have something special in mind for when the G20 leaders meet in France.
Time to live!
for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ
occupywallstreet.org / occupywallst.org / occupytogether.org
Wall Street Occupation
This channel will feature live streams from global non violent revolution spreading across the globe, with the first broadcasts from Wall Street Occupation in NYC that will start on Saturday, September 17, 2011. The channel will also feature live stream from solidarity protests and events in Spain, Greece, France, Belgium, Iceland and other places around the globe.
Posted September 17, 2011
Nobody Can Predict
The Moment Of Revolution
( Occupy Wall Street )
Posted September 26, 2011
Wall Street Protest Begins, With Demonstrators Blocked
By COLIN MOYNIHAN
September 17, 2011 -- "NYTimes Blog" -- Protestors gathered in Lower Manhattan for what they called a Day of Action Against Global Capital.Robert Stolarik for The New York TimesProtestors gathered in lower Manhattan for what they called a Day of Action Against Global Capital.
For months the protesters had planned to descend on Wall Street on a Saturday and occupy parts of it as an expression of anger over a financial system that they said favors the rich and powerful at the expense of ordinary citizens.,
As it turned out, the demonstrators found much of their target off limits on Saturday as the city shut down sections of Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall well before their arrival.
By 10:00 a.m., metal barricades manned by uniformed police officers ringed the blocks of Wall Street between Broadway and William Street to the east.
Organizers, promoters and supporters called the day, which had been widely touted on Twitter and other social media sites, simply September 17. Some referred to it as the United States Day of Rage, an apparent reference to a series of disruptive protests against the Vietnam War held in Chicago in 1969.
The idea, according to some organizers, was to camp out on or near Wall Street for weeks or even months to replicate the kind, if not the scale, of protests that erupted earlier this year in places as varied as Egypt, Spain and Israel.
Bill Steyert, 68, who lives in Forest Hills, Queens, stood near the barricades at Wall Street and Broadway and shouted, “Shut down Wall Street, twelve noon, you’re all invited,” as tourists gazed quizzically at him.
Talking to a reporter, Mr. Steyert elaborated: “You need a scorecard to keep track of all the things that corporations have done that are bad for this country.”
Nearby, Micah Chamberlain, a 23-year-old line cook from Columbus, Ohio, held up a sign reading “End the Oligarchy” and said he had hitchhiked to New York to participate in the protest.
“There are millions of people in this county without jobs,” he said.
“And 1 percent of the people have 99 percent of the money.”
Throughout the afternoon hundreds of demonstrators gathered in parks and plazas in Lower Manhattan. They milled, held teach-ins, engaged in discussion and debate and in some instances embarked on marches through the streets and sidewalks, brandishing signs with messages like “Democracy Not Corporatization” or “Revoke Corporate Personhood.”
Organizers said the rally was meant to be diverse, and not all of the participants were on the left. Followers of the right-wing figure Lyndon LaRouche formed a choir near Bowling Green and sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Nearby, anarchists holding a red and black flag carried knapsacks, sleeping bags and tents.
At one point in the early afternoon, dozens of protesters marched in a circle around the famous bronze sculpture of a bull on lower Broadway. Among them was Dave Woessner, 31, a student at the Harvard Divinity School, who had traveled to New York with several fellow students.
“When you idealize financial markets as salvific you embrace the idea that profit is all that matters,” he said. “You start thinking only as yourself.”
A few minutes later about 15 people briefly sat down on a sidewalk on Broadway, leaning against a metal barricade that blocked access to Wall Street. For a moment things grew tense as officers converged and a police chief shoved a newspaper photographer from behind.
After a police lieutenant used a megaphone to tell those sitting on the sidewalk that they were subject to arrest the protesters got up and marched south.
Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said no permits had been sought for the demonstration but plans for it “were well known publicly.”