The “day of action” is to begin early, with protesters converging on Wall Street camouflaged in business suits hoping to blend in with office workers trooping out of the subway.
“We will rise from beneath. They can’t stop all of us. It’s going to get crazy,” vowed one organizer. “They took the first shot Tuesday night. [Thursday] we return fire. We will be peaceful, but we will resist.”
The city said it was bracing for tens of thousands of people in the streets.
“The protesters are calling for a massive event aimed at disrupting major parts of the city,” said Howard Wolfson, deputy mayor for governmental affairs. “We will be prepared for that.”
Will the suits fool anyone? Only if the men wearing them have gone home for a shave and a shower, and after the lice and scabies outbreak, that may not be enough. WABC’s live video feed shows police cordoning off the Wall Street area and providing only limited access today, a task for which they are well rehearsed — and thanks to the loose lips in the Occupy movement, well prepared. They’ll check IDs, just as they did in the neighborhood of the UN when I attended the DurbanWatch conference. It might slow things up a bit on Wall Street this morning, but it won’t have that much of an impact for New Yorkers who have been through this many times over the last ten years.
San Francisco wasn’t as fortunate yesterday. Protesters “occupied” a bank lobby yesterday, resulting in 100 arrests, and the use of the lobby as a latrine:
Protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement seized a Bank of America branch in the city’s financial district Wednesday, a demonstration that forced jittery customers and employees to flee and ended in nearly 100 arrests.
It took about 40 police officers in riot gear nearly four hours to clear the bank, but no one was injured. Police said many of those arrested were UC Santa Cruz students who were protesting fee increases and budget cuts.
Respect for private property was as important to the protesters as you’d guess:
They scrawled messages in chalk on the bank walls — “Greed!” and “Give Us Back What You stole!” — and plastered pink phone message slips on desks and computer screens. One man was seen urinating in a corner.
Classy! I guess the Occupier was so well educated that he couldn’t find a bathroom in the bank. It’s become so embarrassing that even the woman who earlier bragged that she provided the “intellectual foundation” for the Occupy Movement refused to sign a petition in support of Occupy Harvard:
U.S. Senate hopeful and Harvard Law prof Elizabeth Warren, who has claimed she laid the “intellectual foundation” for the Occupy Wall Street movement, is jilting the anti-corporate proteges in her own Ivy League yard, refusing to sign a petition in support of Occupy Harvard. …
The move distances Warren from an organization that is losing public support, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released yesterday. It also has made her a target of the Karl Rove-backed Crossroads GPS political organization, which unleashed a negative ad last week blasting her for supporting radicals over jobs. Warren backed off her “intellectual foundation” claim a day after making it, saying she doesn’t support all Occupy actions but stressing that she’s been fighting Wall Street for years. But Warren supports the movement so long as they follow the law, Sullivan said.
As long as it follows the law? What part of “occupy” and squatting does Warren not quite comprehend? It stopped following the law on the first day that it refused to leave. I don’t blame Warren for not wanting to put her name on this movement, though; who wants to put their name on a movement that consists of squatting, trespassing, vandalism, lice, scabies, “rape-free zones,” and losing one’s potty training? Besides George Zimmer and Mens Wearhouse, that is. Maybe they’ll get a sales boost from people who think they’re a Halloween costume shop, but I’m betting that the people who think of business wear as day-to-day clothing will shop elsewhere from now on.
Update: In the “I’d Like To Buy A Clue, Pat” Department, the protesters have broken into song on the streets in order to disrupt any counterprotest. Care to guess what they’re singing? From NY Daily News’ liveblog:
A group of about 30 protesters has now sat down in the middle of the intersection of Nassau and Pine.
They are what one protester called ‘soap boxing,’ which is basically ‘mic checking’ anti-Wall Street messages and they have just broke out into song, singing ‘We Shall Overcome.’
For the record, black people sang “We Shall Overcome” as they marched for equality before the law.
Hipsters are singing it because…why? They can vote. They can live and work where they want. They can enter stores though the front door.
Hipsters are angry because…why? They can’t find a job with a degree in Romance languages, therefore they want capitalism abolished?
Obviously LaShawn missed the explanation of why this protest is so much more significant than that silly little civil-rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.
Update II: If you’d like to see this as it unfolds without having to worry about lice and scabies, why not watch it here?
Looks like more police than protesters, but YMMV.