The media was the big story last night at Occupy Wall Street. As the protest entered its second work week, renewed media interest coupled with a surprise appearance by filmmaker Michael Moore allowed the protesters some assurance that there was no grand conspiracy to silence them. As a result of a particularly nasty police pepper spraying on Saturday, or maybe just because this thing has lasted over a week without any major signs of slowing, big mainstream outlets like NBC and FOX were present last night covering the protesters’ march during “Luxury Night Out.”
The evening began around 6 p.m. with a march around Lower Manhattan, taking the crowd from Zuccotti Park to Water Street, down to Broad Street and back up to the World Trade Center. It was there that the crowd of several hundred people — it was hard to be sure of the number, as the streets were narrow and the drumlines echoed — stopped and held a brief moment of silence in memory of 9/11.
The march then returned to Zuccotti Park, where a surprise guest was waiting. In front of dozens of television cameras, Michael Moore gave a few words of support. In a speech lasting around seven minutes, Moore ran through the same rhetoric and talking points as the rest of the protestors had throughout the week–the difference being that major networks took notice. Moore later left to go on Piers Morgan’s CNN show.
Video of Moore’s speech at Zuccotti Park (the call-and-response pattern is the “people’s mic,” commonly used at Occupy Wall Street meetings and marches):
With a possible eviction on the horizon, Occupy Wall Street is entering a period of uncertainty. But they’ve also developed a new relationship with the media; after the NBC News reporter finished his interviews, a slew of protesters applauded him.