Note: This intro has to do with events that happened yesterday, not the action that just unfolded on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Is the English rock band Radiohead responsible for the three to five thousand demonstrators that marched on NYPD headquarters yesterday evening? A rumor spread that the band was going to be playing for the activists in Liberty Park. Then, the band’s spokesperson denied they were playing. It was reported the band had intended to play but wanted to only play for the activists. Hundreds if not more than a thousand people showed up to the park for the band. The band never showed up but hundreds were now there for a march.
What is probably more responsible for the growth in numbers is the increased support from big unions, which the action is achieving. The march was also a silent anti-police brutality march, which probably led to a new section of Americans attending the demonstration.
Thousands poured into St. Andrews Plaza, Foley Square, the Municipal Building Arcade and 1 Broadway on Chambers Street. (They may have been in City Hall Park.) The police made a line at the top of the staircase that connects St. Andrews Plaza with Police Plaza. [h/t Cynthia Kouril]
When the crowd had gathered in front of the headquarters, they all sat down. Speakers stood up before the crowd and told the crowd about why they were in the plaza. But, there was one problem: the crowd was too big. That is a good problem but with no microphone or megaphone permitted they had to use “people’s mic” (which has been what the organizers use during their General Assemblies). The speaker could only say three or four words. The crowd immediately in front of the speaker would repeat what was said so everyone could hear. Then, a tier of people behind would repeat and then another tier of people behind that group would repeat what was said. Needless to say most of the speeches were brief.
The crowd left the plaza peacefully and went back to the park. There were no arrests. They all sat down in the park and around 1500 people participated in a General Assembly meeting, the largest attendance yet.
A little over an hour later, the occupation was hit with torrential rain. The occupiers rode the storm out but many were cold and in need of a hot beverage. In any other situation, they might have fled but messages from some of the occupiers show the kind of love and resolve that has been built in the past weeks. They weren’t about to run out of the park: one, because the NYPD might come in start seizing property and then possibly prevent the occupation from re-establishing itself. Two, it is a just a rain storm. They would survive and then the next day citizens from all over the world would see they had stuck it out and the occupiers could use support and donations to recover.
Everything indicates today’s march at 3 pm ET could have an even greater turnout. Ten thousand people could be there today. There could also be hundreds out in fifty to seventy other cities that have launched their own occupations.
FDL’s premier live blog continues. Here’s a Twitter list to follow for the latest updates on all things “occupy.”
LIVE STREAM FROM OCCUPY WALL STREET VIA GLOBAL REVOLUTION
10:32 PM Yet another example of the NYT‘s deference to power
10:45 PM “If Woody Guthrie were alive today, he’d have a lot to write about: high times on Wall Street and hard times on Main Street.”
10:25 PM An Alternet staffer’s firsthand account of being trapped on the bridge.
10:21 PM NYT reporter Natasha Lennard is let go by police
10:20 PM Yoko Ono shows her support
10:19 PM Read the New York Times report on the mass arrest. It is hard not to think this was a clear case of entrapment by NYPD.
10:15 PM Engage in resistance and you get fed.
9:54 PM BrooklynRider has a good series of videos up showing what happened on the bridge:
9:42 PM AP: 500 arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge
7:58 PM 72 people arrested, headed to 75th Precinct Station
7:56 PM Police arresting protesters
7:52 PM Video of protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge about to be arrested:
7:50 PM NickS reports:
Please make clear that the police setup the demonstrators. From talking to people before the match started, it was not my sense that a large number of people intended to be arrested. (thought we were all prepared with the NLG phone number, etc). When we got to the bridge, the police made no effort to keep people off the roadway even though they helped control traffic as we crossed the street.
7:45 PM Photos from during the march and the taking of the bridge:
Shot of the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge from Dustin Slaughter
City buses used by police to take protesters away. (via @lauradurkay)
7:00 PM Reporter Ryan Devereaux has some of the best tweets on the protesters deciding to take Brooklyn Bridge and on what then unfolded:
4:47 PM This is the march on the Brooklyn Bridge (@AACina) :
I will be bringing you full updates on the march within the next hour. Stay tuned.
2:34 PM Crowd continues to grow. March is stepping off in twenty-five minutes. A report from Ryan Devereaux:
2:30 PM The first edition of the Occupy Wall Street Journal. (via @AlliMcCrack)
12:50 PM In case you missed it: National Nurses United supports —
10:50 AM Phoenix Woman’s post: “Come Saturday Morning: Common Ground”
10:36 AM NYT: “For all the bedraggled look of the mattress-and-sleeping-bag-strewn camp, it has a structure and routine.” — So they aren’t all that disorganized after all?
10:10 AM Fox News chopper camera captures the amazing crowd at NYPD headquarters yesterday
10:09 AM Support from Tahrir Square
10:08 AM Chomsky on Occupy Boston
10:07 AM Saturday morning tune: Billy Joel’s “Allentown,” a song that portrays the current situation in America (h/t PeasantParty)
10:05 AM Kevin Zeese, a lead organizer of October 2011 which involves a planned October 6 occupation in Washington, DC, on “Countdown”:
10:00 AM FDL’s The Dissenter featured in this NYT post on Occupy Wall Street – “Can You Hear Them Now?”