Live Blog: Occupy Wall Street's Massive Day of Action, Hundreds of Arrests Reported
Today, it has been two months since protesters began occupying New York City's Zuccotti Park and two days since the NYPD violently evicted them. In celebration of the former -- and in defiance of the latter -- Occupy Wall Street protesters are gathering around New York City today for a massive day of action. Read this piece by AlterNet's Sarah Jaffe for a preview of what we might see today, and look for updates below. You can find a full schedule of today's actions at the bottom of the page. And click here for live footage of today's actions.
8:40pm: The Nation's Richard Kim tweets that the GA is back in Liberty Plaza/Zuccotti Park with a lively-looking photo to demonstrate it! Speaking of pictures, here are some more of the 99% projection on the Verizon building.
8:10pm: The protesters continue to stream across the bridge. "Cops rolling up net by #brooklynbridge entrance and opening up traffic," tweets our own Kristen Gwynne. Many are assembling in Cadman Plaza across the bridge in Brooklyn, celebrating a day of "success." On local TV station NY1, the newscast has certainly been dominated by news of the "day of action"--even weather and traffic.
7:55pm: Here's an aerial shot of the Brooklyn Bridge. The pedestrian walkway appears to be jammed with protesters across the entire span.
7:05pm: This is unconfirmed, but if it's accurate, it's pretty amazing: "NYPD police scanner: Police have an estimate of 32,650 protesters on the ground." Wow.
Meanwhile, cheers just went out on the livestream, as the police supposedly opened up the bridge to more marchers.
6:52pm: AlterNet's Nick Turse appears to have made it onto the bridge, and sends us this video of a "We Are the 99%" projection on the Verizon building:
6:42pm: On the UStream livefeed, we hear that there are people who appear to be civilians in matching white shirts blocking a group of protesters from the bridge.
6:36pm: CNN showing footage of protesters streaming across the pedestrian section of the Brooklyn Bridge.
6:21pm: Democracy Now! reporter Ryan Devereaux tweets, "99 demonstrators-including NYC city council members & union leaders-who seated themselves in the street at the BK bridge being arrested."
6:08pm: Protesters are heading from Foley Square to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Meanwhile, New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams tweets that he's been arrested: "I have just been #handcuffed & #arrested by the #NYPD, practicing #civildisobedience with #OccupyWallStreet & the #99percent."
5:55pm: There are a lot of numbers flying around, but 10,000 seems to be a pretty widely accepted headcount.
5:23pm: The crowd is growing rapidly at Foley Square, where thousands of protesters and labor supporters are gathering for a rally that is supposed to end with a march over the Brooklyn Bridge. Here's aerial footage, via NBC 5 New York. And here's an image, via ThinkProgress:
5:00pm: SEIU reports that around 1,000 protesters in Chicago are beginning to march right now; estimates that the crowd in Boston has now reached about 2,000.
4:57pm: According to reports coming in on Twitter, MLK bridge in St Louis has been shut down by protesters for the past hour.
4:45pm: All eyes are rightfully on New York, but, as the SEIU blog notes, actions are taking place across the country. There is a major rally in LA; protesters in DC have reportedly 'occupied' the Key bridge and protesters in Portland were arrested after shutting down the Steel Bridge.
4:12 pm Organizers tell AlterNet that the "occupy the subway" actions planned for this afternoon do not and never have included any efforts to obstruct riders or delay trains, as Mayor Bloomberg has claimed. In fact, the plan is simply to pass out flyers around the entrances to the subways. Organizers say Bloomberg's claim is intended to "smear the movement," and note that many media outlets have uncritically repeated it.
3:33 pm Police say 175 people have been arrested so far today.
2:50 pm Some marchers are now moving uptown, others are staying put in the park.
2:30 pm Crowd is still milling in Liberty Plaza: next events are in neighborhood subway stations and Union Square at 3pm. Organizers have made it clear that the subway event will not shut down trains, but media-fueled rumors to that effect continue.
Here's a link to an OWS librarian's videotaped explanation of the scuffle and violence discussed earlier.
2:15 pm: The park is re-opened, however, with entry points and exit points. "people CAN go in and out," tweets Jaffe, adding that the drums, once so controversial, are back in full force and likely quite welcome at this point. The livestream confirms this.
2:05 pm: From the livestream: A man named Brendan nicknamed "Romania" was "reportedly" hit in the face by a baton, was bleeding, and was escorted out. Protesters being interviewed in the park confirming this report: the man was kicking the barricades and "They started beating him down" and stripped his clothes off while doing so. The UStream cameraman says the beating is believed to be an "act of retaliation" for his kicking the barricades.
A report just posted on Facebook by a journalist working in the neighborhood confirms this as well: "Editorial Intern witnessed police kicking the shit out of a kid, she's saying his teeth were literally kicked in...the NYPD are starting a riot, they are out of control. Lower Manhattan is laced with cop vans and busses, they came to mame and arrest."
Overheard from the Daily News cameraman: the police rush in Zuccotti may have been prompted by an officer being stabbed in the hand. Other reports say it was just the barriers being kicked in.
1:56 pm: Scattered reports over Twitter of person bleeding "profusely", EMTs being called to Zuccotti.
1:50pm: Reports of police kettling protesters (and some non-protesters) inside Zuccotti Park. Seeing speculation about upcoming mass arrests, as police swarm in with buses. From AlterNet contributor Meredith Clark: "MASSIVE raid underway at Liberty." From Twitter user Michael Tracy: "I think we're trapped in Zuccotti Park."
1:06pm: Situation is still tense at Zuccotti Park. Meanwhile, CNN reports that today's arrest count in New York City may have topped 100.
11:52am: Here's moving footage of retired Philly police captain Raymond Lewis being arrested in uniform:
11:45am: As police showdown with protesters in Zuccotti Park, the occupiers are quickly re-establishing some semblance of an infrastructure. Reportedly some protesters set up a miniature version of the OWS kitchen with some granola bars, and the People's Library Twitter feed says, "The People's Library is open.
#OWSLibrary is mobile, and on the streets!"
11:23am: Police using the metal barricades to smash into protesters. CNN is airing a near-continuous aerial shot of the scene.
11:12am: After streaming into the park, protesters are removing the barricades from around Zuccotti. Police shoving protesters and journalists. Several arrests. Huge police presence moving in.
11:10am: Angus Johnston is livetweeting some amazing quotes from CNN (look at that mainstream media coverage!):
"Cities around the country are bracing for what could be the biggest day of protest ever." —CNN just now.
CNN: "It could be a tipping point for the Occupy Wall Street Movement. We're looking at live pictures here."
"It's hard to estimate how many people have showed up for these protests. It was really a mass show of force." —CNN
10:53am: Per the Lawyers' Guild, this morning's arrest count may be as high as 80.
10:42am: Another amazing image from Zuccotti. Justin Elliott tweets, "looks like the early pre-tent days at Zuccotti again."
10:20am: Joshua Paul tweets a picture of what appears to be an LRAD sound cannon and says it was just used on protesters.
10:11am: Arrests are picking up steam, apparently. Via Twitter, protesters at William and Beaver streets are being dragged away as they go limp. Unconfirmed reports of LRAD sound cannons being deployed.
10:03am: Spirits remain high. Cordoned-off protesters are singing "happy birthday" to themselves--marking two months since their initial arrival in Zuccotti Park. Meanwhile, people watching on television say the stock exchange looks empty.
9:46am: According to @OccupyArrests, there have been up to 70 arrests today already.
9:32am: The Stock Exchange bell has rung, and trading has begun. More arrests and kettling being reported. Police buses on the scene. Wall Street workers having a hard time getting past the protesters. Protester's reportedly ringing their own "People's Bell."
9:12am: Potentially big news, via Jaffe: "Huge cheers to announcement 'the new york stock exchange bell has been delayed!'" This is unconfirmed, as the bell doesn't ring until 9:30. Waiting to hear more.
9:10am: Reports of police arresting a woman with disabilities who is in a wheelchair. Update, via Michael Moore on Twitter: "NYPD arrest woman in wheelchair but can't figure out how 2 take her 2 jail. They ticket her instead."
9:04am: More arrests and police violence reported. Via Laurie Penny, this protester was reportedly "pulled off the sidewalk for shouting 'shame, leave the girl alone.' 7 cops on him."
8:52am: Hearing that cops' batons are out. Reportedly there have been at least a few arrests, including AlterNet contributor J.A. Myerson. Hearing that protesters are linking arms, and some are being dragged off the street one-by-one.
And an impressive view of the crowd, via Michael Moore's Twitter feed:
8:42am: WBAI reporting that police are firing projectiles at protesters on some part of Wall Street. Elsewhere, protesters remain seated in the street:
8:40am: This is making its way around Twitter: "IMPORTANT: Mayor's office lying to reporters, saying #N17 will try 2 shut down subways. NOT TRUE. Smear [tactic]."
8:35am: Hearing reports of some police violence on Wall Street. Also, "Announcement that we now have all entrances to the Stock Exchange blocked. Helped, of course, by the NYPD's blockade." Protesters reportedly sitting down in the street.
8:17am: Another photo of protesters and the large police presence, via AlterNet's Nick Turse:
8:08am: With about an hour to go before the bell rings at the Stock Exchange, the marchers are splitting off into large groups. Kilkenny: "Plan seems to be to occupy various intersections to keep nypd busy. Left first group, with second march on pearl"
8:00am: A photo of the massive crowd, via AlterNet's Tana Geneva:
7:55am: Free Press campaign director Tim Karr reports on how the media is being treated around Wall Street. Reminders of Tuesday's media blackout:
Reports that press not being allowed near NY Stock Exchange unless they stay in NYPD "Free Speech Zones" (via
Isn't a "Free Speech Zone" unconstitutional? Unless that zone includes all of the United States
7:48am: We hear from Jaffe, "Two marches splitting, black flag and green flag." Meanwhile, Citizen Radio's Allison Kilkenny tweets: "Mass confusion. NYPD seemed unprepared for sudden move. Trying to keep protesters held on sidewalk but ppl slipping past them
7:30am: Hearing that the crowd at the "red cube" in lower Manhattan is "huge" and "building." Protesters being given advice about recording the police.
7am: Reportedly there is already a large police presence around Wall Street, and the NYPD is requiring word ID for entrance. Salon's Justin Elliott tweets: "This is the 100% blocked entrance to Wall St. NYPD demanding work ID for anyone to get by.
#ows #n17 http://twitpic.com/7fbcmo"
Here's the schedule for the day, via OccupyWallSt.org:
BREAKFAST: Shut Down Wall Street - 7:00 a.m.
Enough of this economy that exploits and divides us. It's time we put an end to Wall Street's reign of terror and begin building an economy that works for all. We will gather in Liberty Square at 7:00 a.m., before the ring of the Trading Floor Bell, to prepare to confront Wall Street with the stories of people on the frontlines of economic injustice. There, before the Stock Exchange, we will exchange stories rather than stocks.
LUNCH: Occupy The Subways - 3:00 p.m.
We will start by Occupying Our Blocks! Then throughout the five boroughs, we will gather at 16 central subway hubs and take our own stories to the trains, using the "People's Mic." [Click here for information on individual stations.]
DINNER: Take The Square - 5:00 p.m.
At 5 pm, tens of thousands of people will gather at Foley Square (just across from City Hall) in solidarity with laborers demanding jobs to rebuild this country's infrastructure and economy. A gospel choir and a marching band will also be performing.
Afterwards we will march to our bridges. Let's make it as musical a march as possible - bring your songs, your voice, your spirit! Our "Musical" on the bridge will culminate in a festival of light as we mark the two-month anniversary of the #occupy movement, and our commitment to shining light into our broken economic and political system.
Additional plans include a student walk-out and solidarity actions in Portland, Oregan, as well as Spain, Germany, and Belgium.