The winter of discontent is over and Occupy Wall Street has made its presence known by marching on and reoccupying Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan. The New York Times reports that several hundred protesters descended on the park earlier in the day and set off on an unplanned march through the city. The police were not fully prepared and were unable to anticipate the path of the protesters. At one point, despite the police having blocked off the sacred ground of Wall Street, the protesters managed to outmaneuver them and marched down Wall Street for a short time. Oddly enough, nothing untoward happened leading me to wonder why Wall Street deserves special protection from protests.
Of course, there were several arrests as the police started to randomly grab people in crowd for…doing something. It is unclear what those particular protesters were doing. So far there have been no reports of pepper spray being used but the night is young.
Timcast is on the scene as of the writing of this article at 10:30 PM and has reported that so far only one or two minor news vans (NY1 and Telemundo) have shown up and none from the major networks. It bears repeating that a few dozen Tea Party protesters were enough to call out full network coverage but a thousand Occupiers doesn’t seem to worth the mentioning.
The Times also reports that several people have been harassed for recording the event or taking a headcount of the police presence. I can only assume they are gearing up for suppressing information over the next several months. It didn’t work last year, I can’t imagine why they think it will work this year.
A small first aid station has been set up and an ad hoc structure, a tarp draped over a banner with cardboard wall, has been built. This is pretty much a deliberate provocation and it remains to be seen how the police will respond. If past actions are any indication, sometime after midnight there will be a confrontation.
More on this story as it develops.