You can’t evict a Idea whose time has come!) The chant: ALL DAY ALL WEEK, OCCUPY WALL STREET.
The movement has entered its third month. Demonstrations were scheduled for over 300 US cities. The demonstrations started at 7 am at the Stock Exchange, where many were arrested, and nationwide Democracy now said over 300 arrests nationally. All 5 boroughs of the City had separate demonstrations all culminating in Foley Square at 5 pm. There were solidarity demonstrations internationally in many European countries, England, Egypt and Greece, Australia, Canada and more.
MARCH AT 5PM, STARTING IN FOLEY SQUARE.
Democracy Now estimates over 32,000 marched at 5pm, to Brooklyn bridge.
I drove into the city , across the GWB (George Wash. Bridge) down the West side highway, arriving about 3 and after a long search decided to park in a Parking garage at W. Houston and Washington st, (Far West side), the Village. I walked briskly for over 12 blocks to Foley Square.
I had a good hour to peruse the scene, it was at first like a small carnival atmostphere and very jovial, small groups, Unions, Musical and otherwise, SEIU, etc. I took some pictures, read a lot of the interesting signs. There were many tables and small tents with groups setting up signage & passing out literature. All opinons were present, Students, socialists (yes, even a few lonely Communist party affiliates), Libertarians , Democrats and Progessives. Sorry, no Republicans.
I walked the perimeter and saw the drummers, horn sections and a few stages going up. The unions had a permit for the gathering and march. I decided since it was quite cold already and windy, as it usually is in the city, to walk across the northern tip of the square, to the Starbucks for something hot. I left a text message for my Ulster Moveon cohorts who I expected to meet. By 5 pm when I hadn’t heard from Barbara Upton and the rest I checked out the Starbucks again, where I asked them to meet me, but they weren’t there. I joined the crowd which was already several thousands and more poring in from various streets surrounding the square. I joned the Musicians union for a bit, met a nice woman, Lisa, who was a pianist, and we shared some stories about our lives and why we were there. I told Lisa I was a drummer (had my Native American drum on me) and mentioned that besides being a dummer with rock bands when younger, I drummed at Drum Circles and such through the years. I met a Grandma, part of the ‘Granny Peace Brigade’. I had to get a picture of that.
I finally got a text from Barbara Upton saying they were near the ‘Tubas’, with other musicians, and finally joined up with the Ulster Moveon group. They had met Linda Abbott in the city, who was visiting her mother. We talked and roamed around, there was some confusion as to when we would march. Finally around 7 pm or a little after, they started moving. It was slow going, Police, some in Riot gear, coralling us along the sidewalks and across the streets. After a good hour or so we arrived at the Brooklyn Bridge entrance , just across from NY City Hall, then, decided, being older (and we weren’t alone) to let mostly the Unionists and the younger Occupy ers to take the bridge, which they did. I don’t know of any arrests for sure when they took the bridge, but I am sure there were some, and there were some outside of the entrance, I heard later.. Again, the Police were out in full Riot squads and ready. I left with Barbara U. and Monica both from New Paltz. We went to the West side, caught ride with one of those ‘free’ taxi guys (no license, no lights)… maybe a bad idea, and we questioned his charge of $15 for a few blocks ride to where my car was. I might have willingly paid it because my legs and such were in real pain and was very tired by that point. Interestingly he asked us where we were, we told him at the March, and found out that he was Eqyptian. He said he supported what happened in his country and we were glad, but he did make some disparaging comments about the Protestors in the park (not the marchers) that they were ‘having sex’, ‘smoking pot’ etc.. Actually, we smelled the sweet smell of Marijuana while marching .LOL.
I drove my two ‘riders’ back to New Paltz NY and finally home. I talked to my sister In Poughkeepsie just now and she was upset that supposedly some of the protestors in NYC ,while blocking Subways, and possibly some school entrances, scared some school children, which is not good at all. I didn’t hear about that , though my sister said she saw it on the news and I told her I was down there with the marchers at 5pm, not with the other ‘actions’. I also told her that everyone tries to follow the non violent guidelines, but already there have been many injuries and a few deaths and we dont know all the situations invovled and a I am not going to judge anyone but I can understand my sister being upset about the children. I might bring it up to the Occupy Poughkeepsie group and see what they might have heard or saw.
via (5) Bob Dorn.