Monday, October 17, 2011
#OWS Occupies Times Square
Many thousands of people turned out Saturday night to bring the #Occupy Wall Street movement uptown to Times Square. While confused tourists milled about and police laid down a heavy hand with horses, motorcycles, and blocks and blocks of metal pens and barricades, thousands of people came out just before sunset to express their support to the rights of the 99% for economic (and social) justice.
The police response seemed to atomize the protest a bit, isolating a louder, angrier crowd around the military recruiting station from a more playful, music-playing "Occupation Party" crowd up near the TKTS booth. The police prevented feeder marches from joining the protests, and generally amped up an aura of explosive tension. After some abusive arrests earlier in the day at a protest inside a Citibank branch, the cops staged a confrontation with some protesters at the end of the Times Square event, arresting dozens. The protesters were engaged in nonviolent expression, and it's clear that the Mayor has ordered the police to limit that expression as much as they can get away with.
I love the sign above: "Decolonize Wall Street - Wall St. Is On Occupied Algonquin Land - Decolonize the 99%"
The Occupy Times Square Action was part of a global day of actions, with protests held in hundreds of cities in dozens of countries. Here's a sign expressing common sentiment at Occupy Wall Street Protests, and I gather, at protests world wide: "If Voting Could Change Anything, It Would Be Illegal - Join Us. We Are the 99%." If the fruit of all that excitement prior to Obama's election means anything, this is certainly a point up for debate.
And Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara made a welcome return visit to New York City courtesy of this red flag with the iconic Korda silhouette of the martyred hero. Of course my eye gravitates to red flags, but there was plenty of more middle-of-the-road sentiment present also. Considering this is a movement of the 99%, that road is pretty broad; and more power to it.
(Photographs by me; click on them to see them larger)