Activists Embedded in #Occupy
November 17, 2011
Stephanie, New York City 7:35
Is amazing. “don’t be afraid.” “we are winning.” support CWA Verizon workers. Occupy the Earth, and more.
Stephanie, New York City 7:30
Singing “Happy Birthday Occupy” on bridge.
Stephanie, New York City 7:00
The light show projected onto the Verizon building is amazing. “Don’t be afraid.” “We are winning.” Support CWA Verizon workers. Occupy the Earth, and more.
Stephanie, New York City 6:40
We’re on the bridge
Theresa, New York City 6:40
Favorite chant of the day: “You’re sexy, You’re cute, Take off that riot suit!”
Stephanie, New York City 6:10
Wall of mounted police blocking City Hall.
Stephanie, New York City 6:05
The march from Foley has begun!
New York City 5:57
Cops lining city hall plaza, which is ages away from Foley Square; barricades line all of lower Manhattan.
New York City 5:55
Near Foley Sq.
New York City 5:38
This is what the periphery of Foley Square looks like – across the street.
New York City 5:23
On the subway to Foley with students and faculty of the New School. Headrush dissipating. The cops are gone for now after pushing us back 20 ft in what felt like an instant and barking at us to disperse, but it’s not clear what the administration’s next move is. Will they let the cops storm the occupation?
Stephanie, New York City 5:15
M, New York City 4:58
Cops are handing out ear plugs in preparation for sound cannons.
New York City 4:57
Orders to disperse (from near the New School)
Stephanie, New York City 4:55
Stephanie, New York City 4:50
Student march taking over everywhere. We are huge!
New York City 4:45
Students got more people into New School and are forming a protective barricade. Just got rammed by a wall of cops.
New York City 4:41
Most people left for Foley Sq. Staying behind with a crowd trying to get into New School occupation. Circling the block. Sirens, choppers audible everywhere. We’ve taken 6th Ave. and are rounding 14th St.
Theresa, New York City 4:39
Lost street, now on sidewalk. Trying to head south, linking arms chanting “Protest is not criminal, let us through!” Cops are three rows deep on Broadway but are now letting people through.
Stephanie, New York City 4:27
Mobile People’s Library.
New York City 4:25
New School is occupied.
Stephanie, New York City 4:22
Student march is huge! How do we fix the deficit? Tax the rich!
Theresa, New York City 4:13
Student rally leaving Union Square, marching down 16th St. We have the street. Walking between cars.
Stephanie, New York City 3:59
Occupy Student Debt campaign kicks off Monday! The campaign will call for a national campaign for debt refusal.
Stephanie, New York City 3:53
Chant a friend renewed from Seattle,’Capitalism, no thanks, we will burn your fucking banks!’
New York City 3:51 PM
Brooklyn College student has the people’s mic and is telling it like is about “the war on education:” repression of students of color and Muslims, adjunct pay cuts and denial of healthcare, elimination of facilities, privatization…
Now Domingo from Students for a Free CUNY is closing it out – on the note that Columbia, NYU and New School should be integrated into CUNY – and free!
Webzine 3:46 PM
The Other 99 is now livestreaming the Union Square education rally. Terrific stuff!
New York City 3:36 PM
A Julliard trained pianist just made a speech about the commodification of everything, the increasingly precarious economy and how it is destroying the arts.
And now, the first student from a public university, finally. Christina from BMCC. She says CUNY was her only chance, coming from tje projects. Proud chanting of CUNY! CUNY! “CUNY used to be free – and it should be again. In 1969 students of color fought for open admissions. They occupied for this right – and they won.”
The rain has stopped and the sky is brightening through the clouds
Christina quoting famous Mario Savio speech at length.
Stephanie, New York City 3:35 PM
At Union Square – student strike. At least 2,000 people! We are only 1 of about 16 meeting spots for “lunch.”
New York City 3:15 PM
After the rousing chant of “We Will Win!” the first speaker tells us that Cooper Union-a free university for engineering and art students-may no longer be free, which is massive. The administration is claiming that the school will have to close in three years unless there is “drastic change.” Shame!
MC: “I’ve just been informed that 50000 people watching us. And I’ve just been informed that 3000 more people are coming to join us!”
New School student speech excerpt:
“If you look at any of our classrooms, the lack of diversity is overwhelming I feel like the black kid from recess or like Gerald from Hey Arnold. It all testifies to the fact that our country, our academic institutions are run by those with resources for those with resources. We are the future scientists, we are the future artists, we’ve got the momentum, the world is watching! We’re taking out the loans for our future! It’s time we muthafuckin seize what we want. Fuck internships, fuck kissing ass! If we want something, we have to get it ourselves.”
Next speaker: a single mom from NYU who has her two year old cradled in her arms – because she can’t afford childcare. She’s worked without a contract since she got there in 2005. “NYU is a union buster! NYU is not for students! NYU is for profit!”
New York City 2:58 PM
Exited Union Square station to the sight of a candy cane striped, yuppie-friendly green market. Probably the site of a lot of feelgood purchases and beautiful soul moments in the heart of gentrified downtown NYC. 14th Street used to be a cheapo commercial corridor for New York’s working class; Union Square still plays host to the occasional manifestation of class struggle. If all goes well it will be where a new student movement begins to make history and wipes away the sour memory of years of staid rallies. A lot of yuppies are about to feel very bad today indeed.
A huge cheer erupts in the distance. The first wave of activists are here and march in an arch towards the first destination We’re filling the top half of the park. Texts from friends start to crowd my in box. “MIC CHECK!” Here we go…
Joaquin, Atlanta 2:21 PM
Flash mob mic check the Atlantic Station Wells Fargo. Atlantic Station is a completely privatized neighborhood. Even the sidewalks are privately owned. Well, Occupy Atlanta just “owned” their bank!:
Wells Fargo branch on Marietta St. gets occupied:
Kate, New York City 2:16 PM
Final thoughts for the afternoon– I was particularly proud to see/run into and march with so many other CUNY staff, students and faculty. The idea that CUNY is “public space” that needs occupying and taking back from privatization. Several speakers called for, not just fight back against tuition hikes, but demanding tuition cuts. there was good discussion at the speak-out about what CUNY means to working class students and what Occupy can mean for working class people in NYC.
CUNY grad students made giant “book shields” for the march, in honor of our fallen comrade, the OWS library:
Kate, New York City 2:14 PM
Headed back to Brooklyn as CUNY feeder march left for Union Square. Word on the street before I left, Union Square will be “big.” Great morning/early afternoon–even as NYPD was trying to turn today into a regular NYC protest–demoralizing, boring shuffling down the street or sidewalk–it definitely wasn’t that so far. I would say that all day there was defiance in the air.
Theresa, New York City 2:00 PM
Cops hitting demonstrators with clubs in Zuccotti. One person hit in head and started bleeding profusely. They went after him because he kicked a barricade and now the cops seem to be retreating.
Kate, New York City 1:18 PM
‘Whose CUNY? Our CUNY! Whose streets? Our streets! Whose city? Our city!’
Kate, New York City 1:13 PM
Cuny grad students speak out, ‘Equal pay for equal work!’. Report from Hunter Education,’Teaching is a sacred profession..what gets lost in the conversation about privatization is that they are whittling away at what is special and sacred in human relationships.’
Kate, New York City 1:04 PM
Before leaving Chase bank I overheard a Wall Street guy tsking the protesters who were being chased and arrested. I got into a heated exchange with him and all the other people standing around turned out to be protesters or sympathetic. He was a Queens College grad.
Webzine 12:34 PM
Events coming up later today: Subways, labor and bridges! Stay tuned!
From Occupy Wall Street:
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”.
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.
Kate, New York City 12:19 PM
Protesters at Chase bank chanting ‘NYPD blue, they will take your pensions too!’, ‘Shame!’ and ‘Let them go!’ at cops making arrests.
Kate, New York City 12:14 PM
Walked into action at Trinity Church on my way uptown; sign says ‘Don’t mace our children’ next to children.
Ansar, New York City 12:13 PM
Cops putting barricades back up. Taking advantage of the somewhat fewer numbers at Liberty Plaza. As usual, NYPD using unnecessary force.
Kate, New York City 12:02 PM
Medics and FDNY EMTs attend a downed protester. One medic is wearing his FDNY hoodie with the FDNY crossed out with tape. Unclear what the medical emergency is.
Kate, New York City 11:55 AM
A security guard at the computer store lets me pee for free and thanks me for “my service”!
Ansar, New York City 11:45 AM
There are two contingents going back to Wall St. One by subway another on foot. A third contingent is staying back at the park.
Kate, New York City 11:42 AM
Park on lockdown lines of riot cops deciding whose in or out.
Ansar, New York City 11:11 AM
At Liberty Plaza. Protesters removing barricades!
Ansar, New York City 11:02 AM
Correction. We’re marching on the sidewalk on Broadway towards Liberty Plaza. Schoolchildren waving their support from their classrooms.
Kate New York City 10:42 AM
Mic check! Pizza is on the way! Pizza is freedom in Newyorkese I think. Photos from Zuccotti:
Ansar, New York City 10:48
Marching towards Broadway. Cops finally “letting” us march on the street.
Stephanie, New York City 10:41 AM
Webzine 10:35 AM
Kate, New York City 10:26 AM
Jubilant cheers as cops take down barricades: ‘Whose park? Our park!’
Kate, New York City 10:14 AM
Arrive at Zuccotti just in time for march to arrive chanting ‘Mic check and ‘All day all week occupy wall street!’. Marchers confined to the side walk, kettled by a line of police.
Stephanie, New York City 10:14 AM
Looking down Wall Street.
Ansar, New York City 10:13 AM
The cops are arresting a lot of people now at Beaver and William Streets. Someone announced a victory march on Broadway at 10:30 to Liberty Square.
Stephanie, New York City 10:01 AM
Still going! Crowds move, block streets. More arrests. We move again. Back and forth. More arrests.
Ansar, New York City 9:52 AM
Police arresting protesters at Broad and Beaver. I saw two arrests. Cops Trying to get people off the streets.
Stephanie, New York City 9:47 AM
Cops barrel in, shoving and pushing. People get slammed into a coffee cart and the cart starts moving. Vendor gets out and protestors help him move the cart to safety.
Stephanie, New York City 9:43 AM
Big cheer as a group comes through drumming the song “Downtown”.
Ansar, New York City 9:41 AM
Riot police pushed crowd from Exchange entrance to Broad and Beaver. Cops are checking IDs to walk on Broad. Wall St. white collar people get through, but blue collar workers can’t get past cops.
Stephanie, New York City 9:29 AM
Some bigwig in a white shirt is shouting out to Wall Street employees trying to get through: “Sidewalk is open ladies and gentleman, show your employee ID to get through. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Stephanie, New York City 9:20 AM
Holding the line. Rough arrests in spots while other cops stand nearby chatting and cracking jokes. As people get arrested from the line others fill in.
Stephanie, New York City 9:10 AM
They shut the Starbucks! Cops just fought people to the ground.
Stephanie, New York City 9:00 AM
Chant: “Wall Street’s Army”.
Ansar, New York City 8:58 AM
Cops at Broadway and Exchange pushing crowd back physically. Crowd chanting: “Who do you serve! Who do you protect!”.
Kate 8:52 AM
Leaving home, listening to Democracy Now. People are already
getting arrested. The commentators for today include the former police chief of Seattle who apparently regrets using tear gas in 1999. He thinks that police restraint has improved since then. We’ll see.
Stephanie, New York City 8:43 AM
People sitting down to block Pine and William. Arrests starting here; police dragging people.
Ansar, New York City 8:40 AM
Riot police everywhere. NYPD checking work IDs at Citibank. Ridiculous.
Stephanie, New York City 8:36 AM
Some angry people in suits trying to get to work. Pushing us. Just told us to get a job.
Stephanie, New York City 8:30 AM
Crowd broke through police lines at Pine and Nassau. Some are sitting in the streets. Other marches moving still. Crowd so packed I can barely type this.
Stephanie, New York City 8:22 AM
At Pine and Nassau. Filling the streets but not moving.
Stephanie, New York City 8:13 AM
Crowds are really big now- march moving but slowly. I’m marching with lots of union folks – we are growing!
Stephanie, New York City 7:58 AM
Two marches already left, but not ours.
Stephanie, New York City 7:51 AM
Plans are still unclear but very organized with color codes for routes, then risk level with groups.
Stephanie, New York City 7:41 AM
OK, now we are breaking into groups. I’m in green with lots of labor people. Our route is secret, we just follow our flag.
Stephanie, New York City 7:31 AM
The crowd seems a bit apprehensive since many don’t yet know the full plan. We are stopped to do lots of prep on NLG phone number, know our rights, film the media, get their badge number and name, etc.
Stephanie, New York City 7:18 AM
This is the most American flags I’ve seen yet at OWS.
Stephanie, New York City 7:03 AM
Police, media, crowds. Lots of energy, tension, excitement.
Stephanie, New York City 6:46 AM
I am on the train now and not sure what to expect. The main event today is at 5 pm so I don’t expect huge crowds this morning, particularly because many people know the police presence will be so high and there will be arrests. It is also about 20 degrees colder than it was 2 nights ago, and rainy, so I worry it might help some people decide to stay home.
We were asked to bring simple cardboard signs with our story on them but I couldn’t find any cardboard this morning in my stupor. I have been going to Zuccotti at strange hours lately and am starting to feel the exhaustion. I’m looking forward to today though, and know I will be re-energized soon!