On the Ground at Liberty Plaza: Gearing up for the Big March, Occupy Wall St. Gains Momentum
Liberty Plaza was just exploding with people. Thousands swarmed the park and surroundings, making even entering the park from the steps a tight squeeze. Though the crowd grows every today, the long-term supporters have been seriously infiltrated by newcomers: Today, MoveOn.org and several union and student organizations will march in solidarity with the movement that has reached its breaking point out into the mainstream.
As well as their brave, continuing occupation, Occupy Wall Street's support from teachers, service workers, students, and MoveOn.org will make brushing off the movement as a " useless" or "dirty hippie" thing much more difficult. They are the 99%.
Right now, as drums rumble away and people swarm the scene, the march to City Hall is kicking off from Liberty Plaza. For the past five minutes, a steady stream of demonstrators have been marching up the North side of the park. The line was endless but is dwindling. As per usual, a group of demonstrators are announcing marchers' rights. Right now, they are explaining to potential undocumented protestors (who have perhaps the most to lose) that police cannot ask them for their social security numbers and advising they do not speak about their immigration status and ask instead to speak to a lawyer.
According to a media worker at Occupy Wall St., the march to City Hall does not have a permit. But the big march, which will turn around at Foley Square and finish in Liberty Plaza is licensed. The police could arrest demonstrators on their way, and Occupy Wall Street supporters - the New York City Transit Workers Union - were unsuccessful in demanding the city not require them to transport arrestees en masse, as happened last weekend. I was arrested on the bridge last Saturday, and now I will join the demonstrators to walk to City Hall and back. Hopefully, I do not end up in cuffs.
Watch the livestream here.