It's been a crazy week at Occupy Wall Street in New York City. Indeed, it seems to have been a crazy week at Occupy protests across the country. A number of people have written to me asking whether I'm okay, as there hasn't been a new post here for a couple of days. Thank you, I'm fine, and avoided both injury and arrest in all the chaos, though it's been exhausting commuting back and forth between home, work and all the protests.
Thursday, the two month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protest, was a massive day of action in New York City. People began gathering at 7am across from Zuccotti Park to march on Wall Street. NYPD had set up barricades at all intersections immediately surrounding the New York Stock Exchange refusing passage to everyone but those who either lived or worked within the perimeter they had set up. Innumerable riot police amassed at various locations throughout the financial district. By around 8am, well over 1000 protesters stepped off for a march toward the Stock Exchange. They walked west on Cedar, then right onto Nassau and came to the first police barricade at Nassau and Pine St. At that point, contingents of 100 to 200 people then began splitting off from the group and marched to the other barricades police had set up. Once there, they took up positions in intersections and sidewalks blocking vehicular and pedestrian traffic in all directions.
I witnessed such protest blockades at five or six of these locations. There were numerous arrests and confrontations as riot police were ordered to push through the crowds and break their lines. When the protesters' lines were broken, they regrouped and formed new lines either further down the block or behind the police charging down the streets and sidewalks. By 10am, the police perimeter had expanded from a one block radius surrounding the NYSE to a four block radius surrounding the NYSE, and dozens of people had been arrested.
In the evening, a massive rally took place in Foley Square. Protesters began gathering there at about 5pm for a planned march across the pedestrian walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge, which is two blocks south of the square. Tens of thousands of people, easily, came out to the rally in support of the Occupy Wall Street protest. There was word circulating among the crowd that police scanners and radios were reporting that over 30,000 people had assembled for the demonstration. I would not be surprised if it was 50,000. By the time the last speakers took the stage at the rally, thousands upon thousands had already flooded the streets marching toward the Brooklyn Bridge, and the park was still packed. On the other side of the bridge, a general assembly was held following the march. Exhausted from the long day and the lengthy march, I headed home.