“Four hours is too much,” said a mother of four who lives by the park and did not want her name made public for fear of backlash from protesters. “It’s been hell. Even as I speak, these drummers are going at it.”
Yet Mr. Abramson — who said he agreed with much of the protesters’ message — said the drumming was merely a symptom of a broader problem, a sentiment shared by several of his neighbors. They said they felt menaced by the protesters and sickened by unsanitary conditions in parts of the park. They feared that the violence and deaths that have occurred at other Occupy sites would unfold at Zuccotti, too.
Han Shan, a member of Occupy Wall Street’s community relations working group, said he and other protesters were trying to be better neighbors; he cited the procurement of portable toilets. But he also said the encampment was a microcosm of a society riddled with homelessness and financial inequities, and that it could not be expected to be drama-free.
“At the end of the day, it’s an occupation,” he said. “We didn’t ask permission to be there and we don’t want to. It’s about bigger, broader issues.”