Occupy Roundup November 17: From the Stock Exchange to the Golden Gate
New York: To kick off a national day of action, Occupy Wall Street took to the streets of Manhattan to try to blockade the New York Stock Exchange (much as the NYPD had blockaded them two days ago). They managed to outflank police barricades by sheer force of numbers and get onto Wall Street itself, and even used the police barricades to tie up the street.
Police once again played the trick of covering their ID with black tape. Taking a tip from the Black Bloc, I suppose…
Lucy Kafanov was just one of many journalists reporting (video) unprofessional treatment at the hands of the NYPD. There’s pretty ugly video of their action on protesters as well. (Will this be the way the economy turns around? After the class-action lawsuit, once everyone in the 99 percent has a six-figure payout from the NYPD?)
Russian Television (RT) also reports that Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) were used on the crowds.
Joshua Paul, an eyewitness, tweeted that LRADs emitted ‘High pitched noise’ and wrote: ‘Natural reaction: My face scrunched and hands started moving to my ears.’
Despite thousands of protesters and more than 200 arrests, the Stock Exchange bell rung almost on time, at 9:32. No details were revealed about how many traders were late to their desks, though.
Lauren Thorpe: “Our goal was to shut down the NYSE and keep people from going to work. Lucky for us, the NYPD has done that for us.”
A number of core OWS organizers were apparently targeted by NYPD Monday night for arrest and are being held a full 72 hours. Here’s what they released from jail:
While we’ve been imprisoned here we’ve held Assemblies and Mic Checked corrections officers to attend to urgent medical conditions, some of which were the result of police brutality during the raids. There is no food except for bread, no cleanliness, no hygene, no waters, no showers. There are non-occupiers who are suffering here as well.
We do not know what we have been charged with.
The morning anchor on WNYW-TV, the local Fox News station did what Fox does best: tried to spread anti-OWS propaganda and panic people. “They’re going to shut down vast areas of the subway system!” Greg Kelly repeatedly told his viewers. “We have thousands of protesters that have indicated they are going to try to shut down the subway system as well, and occupy sixteen transit hubs across the five boroughs.”
He kept repeating it even when it was pointed out that it wasn’t true – OWS had announced plans to “Occupy” the subway by having demonstrators pass out leaflets in subways, then ride them downtown for the afternoon march, a fact he could easily have verified. At their website, for instance.
Ironically, Kelly is the son of New York Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. 1% much?
Dancing in the streets
Despite Kelly’s panic, the subway didn’t collapse under the weight of all those leaflets. In late afternoon, the subway riders debarked and joined more than 10,000 gathered at Foley Square to march on the Brooklyn Bridge.
People in buildings along the route threw confetti; at one high-rise, a banner from a window proclaimed “This is an occupied building”. Union members and leaders and NY City Councilors swelled the crowd to 30,000 by the time they reached the bridge. “Bloomberg beware, Zuccotti Park is everywhere!”
99 symbolic marchers were arrested at the bridge, including Councilman Jumanne Williams and George Gresham, president of 1199 SEIU. And then the rest streamed across, occupying it from Manhattan to Brooklyn (as if taunting the NYPD to try to arrest ALL of them). Many held LED “candles”.
Right now there is a giant graphic projected on the side of the Verizon Building, rotating the messages: “We are unstoppable/Another world is possible/99%” , and the Occupiers are in a jubilant mood. (See: The building that shouted love at the heart of the city)
In all, some 245 Occupiers were arrested, including the driver of the Wikileaks truck, which has been doing support duty. He had picked up a load of comforters and blankets at Judson Memorial Church and was taking them to the camp when he was pulled over allegedly for not having his headlights on. When they put the cuffs on him they told him they were charging him with “Obstructing Government administration.”
Some 500 Occupiers returned to Zuccotti in the evening for General Assembly. Without tents or tarps, it’s theoretically legal. And an armload of books accompanied them to the park: The People’s Library returns! (And Mayor Bloomberg insists the original library wasn’t destroyed… mostly. We shall see.)
As Mother Jones’ Josh Harkinson summed it up: “Today’s events… Radical action in the morning followed by huge show of public support in afternoon. That order matters.”
Harkinson, whose tweets we quoted frequently as we liveblogged Bloomberg’s crackdown on Zuccotti Park Monday night, has a report on his experience as one of the few journalists who actually made it through the NYPD blocked into the park without getting arrested:
He also appeared on Kieth Olbermann: