As reported in a previous post, today is the day for Occupy Wall Street, an action that a number of organizers have been planning for lower Manhattan for the past months. Inspired by occupations in Greece, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt and other countries where occupations have taken place, organizers began to put together websites and fliers to promote an occupation on Wall Street. Hoping for around 20,000 to swarm the area, they intended to come setup peaceful assemblies on public sidewalks and be there for a while to call attention to the crimes Wall Street banksters and casino capitalists have been perpetrating against the United States.
I will be live blogging what happens today. So far FDL user athena1 deserves praise for posting a bunch of links and information in the comments thread of my previous post on this action. I will use some of what athena1 has shared and then continue from there and bring you the latest on what is going on with the action that is supposed to last for most of the afternoon but we’ll see.
LIVE STREAM FROM GLOBAL REVOLUTION:
7:18 PM Moving in to disperse the protesters:
7:07 PM Police on horses arrive.
7:00 PM Media trucks now on the scene:
6:45 PM US Day of Rage Twitter feed is rationalizing the situation:
“Given that police overtime is expensive if Bloomberg wants to clear the park he will do it shortly after dark rather than later. Mood change” … “Other groups are dispersed through the general Wall St area without large enough concentrations to challenge police minds.” … “If you can’t afford to get arrested you should legally occupy some sidewalk & continue your protest. Avoid pointless arrest.”
6:38 PM Where people were possibly planning to camp out overnight:
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6:11 PM Roseanne Barr speaks to Occupy Wall Street.
5:10 PM Video of chanting –
5:00 PM Round-up of reactions from twits following the action on Twitter:
#TakeWallStreet or #OccupyWallStreet reminds everyone why this George Carlin is spot on, pitch perfect and classic.
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4:28 PM Excellent graphic
4:05 PM A set of questions about today’s action from 100gf:
1. Why are peaceful protesters being treated as if they are criminals?
2. Why are thousands of police, and SWAT teams and police dogs, being mobilised to protect Wall Street bankers?
3. Why are almost all the mainstream media outlets in America ignoring a major civil protest in the heart of New York?
4. Why do the police not pursue criminal bankers and business leaders with the same venom and force that they use when pursuing protesters who have so far done nothing wrong?
5. Why is nothing being done to address the genuine economic problems in America? Why, instead, is the old system – the one that failed disastrously in 2008 – being rebuilt brick by brick, fault by fault?
6. How much longer will the doctrine of ‘plausible denial’ be allowed to act as an excuse for widespread corruption and criminality?
7. Why (if true) was the Occupy Wall Street protest treated as a police code 1-34, which is used for riots? Are all protests now riots?
8. Why has not one banker or corporate leader emerged to talk to the protesters or debate with them?
9. Is it a coincidence that many people in the heart of the protest have had trouble getting mobile / cellphone / internet signals?
10. Does the government genuinely believe the pent-up anger and frustration will simply go away?
3:49 PM Food for those who came down to participate.
3:13 PM Nice curation from Al Jazeera English’s The Stream.
3:02 PM General Assembly is beginning. (Details here – NYCGA.net )
2:54 PM – Renamed live blog to #TakeWallStreet not #OccupyWallStreet — The #TakeWallStreet tag is trending on Twitter ahead of—and this is refreshing—JUSTIN BIEBER FOR PRESIDENT, NICK JONAS TRUE PRESIDENT, NICKI MINAJ GOT THIS and GAGA IS THE QUEEN.
And, hundreds of people now marching to who knows where but somewhere. (h/t athena1 )
2:11PM NYPD received a specific, credible but unconfirmable threat that if the bull gets knocked over Wall Street falls. Hence why so many officers feel the need to stand around this symbol of casino capitalists, banksters and white collar criminals on Wall Street.
2:07 PM Wall St & Fed Hall completely blockaded (pic)
2:00 PM A few hours into the action, the response from America’s security state has set the mood for the protest. They aren’t like Chinese security forces yet:
These days, nobody is more masterful with dispersion tactics than those behind the Jasmine Revolution in China. Working in an environment of extreme, ruthless oppression, they’ve learned to be very creative. Their signature move is the so-called “strolling” protest: large numbers of people gather at a public place, designated over the internet, and walk around innocently, looking up at the buildings and ignoring each other. Obviously, there’s a protest happening, because there’s a huge crowd of people in one place, and a phalanx of police are watching. But how do you distinguish a protester from a bystander? You don’t. You can’t, really. You’ve created a disruption, but no targets, and no actual illegality. Meanwhile, people become less afraid to resist when they know that others are with them.
But they are getting closer to being as repressive against assemblies as Chinese forces are. And, they are the New York “We See No Reason Why the CIA Can’t Operate Within Our Force” Police Department.
1:56 PM from @AyeshaKazmi
1:55 PM Some reading: Dustin M. Slaughter has this post up on The Public Record on whether this will be America’s “Tahrir moment.” Much of the anger among Americans does seem to be a result of Wall Street.
1:44 PM So many tweets with the hashtag #OccupyWallStreet that it is impossible to follow with TweetDeck.
1:30 PM Why is Wall Street closed?
1:25 PM Here is a list you can follow for the latest on the action.
And here is a blog pulling tweets together that deal directly with the action.
12:58 PM Lupe Fiasco is down at the protest supporting the action. Read his most recent tweets on why it is important to #OccupyWallStreet:
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12:50 PM The Stream (follow on Twitter at @AJStream) is present at the action and will be reporting.
12:45 PM A very nicely curated Storyful on the action — featuring key tweets and pics you need to see get up on the latest on the action. The biggest news is that the NYPD has locked down Wall Street. No citizens allowed. The guards are subserviently protecting the elite.