17 November 2011

N17....An Occupy Wall St Protest Day


I met with some friends by the red cube at 7am. Smaller marches left (yellow flag (I think), black flag, and we were green flag), and I was with a group of people who did not want to get arrested. I did a few cheers (Capitalism Does Not Work, Resist) but everything was too crazy for me to do any formal radical cheerleading.

Our march headed out last, and we marched down Cedar and turned here and there and eventually ended up on Pine St and William St. I was with a marching band, and we were dancing. Everyone seemed in good spirits, especially as there was also a group of trees (or rather, people dressed like trees) dancing and chanting. I asked passing workers if they wanted to dance and they laughed and declined. It was fun. On Pine and William, we were all in the streets, dancing and chanting and the mood was good...until suddenly the cops started shoving violently and crazily. There were tons of cops - all in riot gear (w their masks pulled down) and they were out of control. I saw journalists go flying and get yelled at. Protesters pushed really hard. I felt myself being shoved backwards and they were screaming at us to stay on the sidewalk. People started sitting in the middle of the street to stop traffic...and were getting arrested. This happened every so often for a while.

The scary thing to me was - it wasn't one or two cops arresting people. It was five cops. It was NINE cops. It was disgusting how they were shoving people. The people weren't fighting back - they were just being passive and not moving.

Wall Street is insane, people!

2pm, when getting lunch:

i walked around the area and it's quiet. there are TONS of cops, even very far down wall st and away from things.

when i got up to liberty square, the cops would not let me even walk on broadway in front of the park. i ignored them and acted like i was in a rush and they somehow let me go.

i wanted to get into the park but it was completely surrounded by barricades and cops weren't letting anyone in. so the crowd on the outside built up.

cops were arresting people. someone was hurt at one point; a person was bleeding from their head. i did not personally see that but the people next to me all did. everyone was yelling, "Shame!"

And then...

the cops all began walking out.

some people left the park after they  left. some people entered.

was the park ours? no one knew.

i stayed a little longer. as i left, i noticed cops congregating. and more sirens.

i don't know what is happening.

it's weird. it feels like a complete police state. cops are walking around, menacingly swinging their billy clubs, face masks down w their riot gear. it is not a nice feeling.


I left work and headed over to Foley Square. The cops were sending me around in circles and I couldn't actually get there. Somehow I pushed through and slipped through these cops hands and ended in the parade right behind City Hall.

The crowd was fairly diverse in age, race/ethnicity, background - I talked to a lot of interesting people. Things got really tight and crowded and we weren't moving. I did some cheers, and had a blast chanting with people.

We started moving and I began talking to all different people about what we had done, seen that day. It was really exhilarating. 

I was under the impression we were going to Liberty Plaza, but right after my boyfriend left, I ran into Margot (from the Burner list) and found out that we were marching over the Brooklyn Bridge.

Suddenly, a mic check was called and someone told us that half of the crowd was stuck behind the barricades. No one knew what to do. Margot and I decided to do a mic check so we raised awareness to the greater crowd, then got everyone to go back to the barricade. We chanted, "Let them through..." until they finally did. That felt WONDERFUL.

We marched to the bridge. I got a little nervous, honestly, hoping I wouldn't get arrested, but I decided I didn't care. I had the legal number on my arm. I didn't have my asthma medicines (which I need to take twice a day) so I crossed my finger. I was fine.

It was beautiful. We were chanting. I did a few cheers. People were projecting images onto the Verizon building - 99%, We're winning, and other beautiful images/words. It was so wonderful. I was dancing.

It got slower and we dragged as we got closer to the stairs. Two women in front of me wearing heels were all into it, cheering louder than anyone else. This was not the stereotypical "activist" crowd.

We headed to Cadman Plaza Park. A GA was due at 8pm. People headed out, as did I. Margot stayed to see the cops chilling in front of Dunkin Donuts.

It was a beautiful, empowering night.

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