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Occupy Wall Street - Friday update
A march of hundreds if not over a thousand broke out late afternoon rush hour through Wall Street and to the plaza in front of the downtown police station. The march was in protest of the brutal attack and arrests of over 80 people last weekend for marching in the streets, and also in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street activists. Another march through the streets is planned for tomorrow 3PM in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. The theme will be "Occupy Everything". A rally against police brutality was announced, to be held at Union Square on October 22.
This was one of the loudest, most in-your-face protests I've been to. The level of outrage over police brutality has spread much further than the Occupy group and momentum seems to be building. Marchers went through the sidewalks of Wall Street, a district which is a rush hour traffic mightmare on a good day, without any overt fear or intimidation from the large police contingent continuing to "supervise" the downtown activities.
The numbers on the narrow passageway seemed huge. Protesters carried signs and shouted chants of all types. Between the marchers, pedestrians, auto and transit busses, traffic cops and other NYPD staff supervising, the roads were clogged.
In several areas, especially moving into City Hall Park at Park Row and Broadway, everyone and everything came to a halt, allowing protesters to chant and interact, with police all around them. Surprisingly, from what I saw, almost every stopped driver and vitually all the pedestrians who reacted were in vocal support of the march.
A huge cross-section of pedestrians who happend to be there had cameras of one sort or another taking film and pictures, as did both the marchers and police. Marchers went past a backed up Brooklyn Bridge and eventually into the plaza for a rally loud, spirited rally that lasted for at least an hour. This action made it clear that NYPD can't just net, pepper spray, arrest, and otherwise fuck up non-violent protesters and then have their problems just disappear with diversionary media reports.
A hearing had been held last night about the actions of last weekend, after over 400 complaints had been filed against the police action. A number a signs and chants of "We are all Sean Bell" parallel the Bay Area sentiment of the Oscar Grant murder. Bell was an unarmed, non-white man shot dead by police a few years ago for some bizaar reason. Troy Davis signs were present.
Since no microphones were allowed. the rally used an Occupy tactic of a human microphone. The speaker would speak a line, then the whole crowd would repeat it so everyone could hear clearly. A team of legal observers lined the back of the rally as police lined the plaza and much of the neighborhood. Shortly after 7PM, the rally broke up without incident, as far as I could see.
I spoke to a number of activists, some of who have heard and are getting communications about the BART actions in the Bay Area and very intersted in these outcomes.