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The Community/Labor march to Wall Street is on, with thousands of people filling Foley Square, where marchers are assembling prior to the march, which begins at 5 p.m. They’re scheduled to head past City Hall and to Zuccotti Park to “unite in solidarity.” Nick Pinto (@macfathom) and Rosie Gray (@rosiegray) are on the scene with reports. We’ll be updating here with their perspectives and breaking news on the march as things proceed.
4:30 p.m.: Nick: “Foley Square is more or less full, and the OWS march is still streaming in with no end in sight. This is by far the most since it started. Thousands and thousands.”
Rosie: “The nurses union has been the most vocal. Now the crowd is getting a lot huger from the occupy wall street people arriving. Elected officials Scott stringer, Brad lander, Bill Perkins, and Jose Rivera just showed up.”
5:07: Willis Plummer, in a student group marching down currently at Franklin and Lafayette, reports that the police have trucks and police buses parked in the middle of the streets as seeming barricades, but that people are going around them.He says “there are about 2000 people marching down” to meet the group at Foley Square.
5:12: Students reach the park. Chants of “students and workers shut the city down” are heard.
From Occupy Wall Street:
A photo of Foley Square:
5:14: Police are reportedly widening barricades.
5:15: Nick tells us the giant crowd is about to head back down to Zuccotti.
5:19: Rosie reports that people are booing at Mike Bloomberg’s name, and that it’s so packed she can’t see. We’re also hearing that cell service is spotty in the vicinity of the march.
Here’s a live-stream of the march and rally.
[#occupywallstreettweets are updating something like 1 per second right now, and getting faster.]
5:24: Nick reports that they’re moving south, and that the NYPD has unfurled orange nets at Centre and Chambers. We hear there’s a strong police presence. The group is heading right on Chambers, left on Broadway.
Another photo, from the courthouse steps:
5:33: Willis tells us that there are “thousands in people” in a drum circle in Zuccotti. Bucky Turco of Animal NY tweets “There’s not enough room on the sidewalks, so the NYPD has once again pushed human pens out a lane.”
We hear that Centre Street closed to traffic 8 minutes ago.
Interestingly, #occupywallstreetmovies is trending but not #occupywallstreet.
Fox has a live helicopter stream of the event, for those asking for an aerial view.
5:45: Rosie reports that a guy next to her antagonizing the police, saying “fuck the white shirts.”
5:46: NYPD has shut down Broadway south of canal, according to Twitter. From @amNewYork, “Police are barricading #OccupyWallStreet protesters into a single lane to walk in as they march down Broadway, reports our @Marc_Beja”
John Cusack is on board.
5:53: Willis writes that there are thousands of people, tons of union presence and a diverse crowd “with lots of older people. Nick is back in Zuccotti Park, ahead of the marchers, and says that there’s “No way it can accommodate a tenth of the marchers. #actualsafetyproblems?” From Rosie, “We got sold out, banks got bailed out” seems to be a very popular chant.
5:55: People from the NYCLU are chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, corporate greed has got to go.” [ed: NYCLU has tweeted “We’re not chanting, we’re legally observing.”]
5:58: Rosie is arriving at Zuccotti, where she says they’re “getting packed in like sardines.”
5:59: Tim Robbins was apparently seen on a bike at Occupy Wall Street one minute ago.
6:00 Willis says the police have started fencing in Foley Square. Here’s a photo from earlier:
6:04:Is this the youngest OWS protester?
6:09: Rosie reports that the General Assembly is starting. Also, that the New York Daily News just got booed.
6:11: From @levitandan, “Front of march reaches #libertyplaza but back of march is still trapped back at foley square! #occupywallstreet”
A photo from @hyperallergic: “The view looking up Broadway from Zuccotti Park”
6:18: Nick reports that the OWS speaker at the General Assembly has said, “We have been criticized for not having demands, but we do not need demands to be justified in our anger. We do not need demands to be justified in our dissent. For we are fighting the entire system.”
MoveOn.org has a “Virtual March on Wall Street,” for those playing along at home.
We hear the Brooklyn Bridge is shut down. Currently it’s unconfirmed whether this is related to the march. [Update: The NYPD says the Bridge is not closed. They also say there’s “an adequate police presence” at the march.]
6:25: Nick says that the crowd is chanting “Corporate greed is destroying our lives.” He said the OWS speaker is using “the people’s mic.” Speakers claim there are 20,000 at the march, and more coming in.
NYPD would not give estimates on crowd or number of police at this time.
Here’s a self-proclaimed “1 percenter” with the 99, via @Matthew4300:
Here’s the proposed list of demands for the Occupy Wall Street Movement. [Update: This list was written by one person and has been widely criticized. Per our commenter below, squall_loire, “They are ridiculous, outlandish requests that make the entire movement look bad.”]
6:30: Rosie says there’s now a speaker talking about the colonial history of genocide. Meanwhile, tweeters are saying things like “there’s no end in sight” — “the march seems to be going on forever.”
6:42: NYPD tells us that, to their knowledge, neither Broadway nor any other street downtown has been shut down. (We’re hearing differently. Semantics?)
6:44: News from the West Coast, via @beliefbeat: “10 arrests so far at #occupyseattle, cops are giving remaining 3 tents a chance to “relax” before continuing.”
Some other perspectives on OWS:
6:57: Rosie reports that a speaker has claimed there are 50,000 people at the march. No confirmation on whether that’s true; reports on numbers are varying wildly. She says they’re about to march on Wall Street.
Kid’s sign, via @legaleagle, says “My school has no art teacher.”
7:04: Nick confirms what Rosie said: “There’s talk among the direct action working group that this giant crowd will now march on Wall Street proper.”
7:17: Jocelyn (@silverjocelyn) has confirmed with the NYPD that “no streets are closed” despite what we keep hearing, and that there are no arrests related to Occupy Wall Street.
7:27: Nick reports that the “Crowd is moving south. Others are warning them it is likely they will be arrested if they go to Wall Street.” The marchers appear to have diminished in numbers, with the southbound march looking like hundreds as opposed to thousands. “Police vans are racing ahead of us,” he says.
7:30: Nick, at the corner of Wall Street and Broadway, reports an armada of scooter cops. The marchers have come to a halt. There are dozens of cops trying to keep people on the sidewalk, and buses are having trouble getting through. “At this rate they may have to close Broadway.”
7:38: Via AaronBBrown, an aerial shot that appears to have run on CNN:
7:35: The crowd is chanting “Police / come join us / they want your pensions, too.”
7:42: Looks like a consensus meeting is going to be held. Nick reports that people are climbing onto scaffolding. From the human mic: “In order to proceed, we need to agree 100%. We need to respect the process.”
7:44: Our NYPD source tells us that he has no information on Wall Street being blocked off, and none on people climbing scaffolding.
8:06: Nick tells us that cops are making arrests in front of the barricade set up at Wall Street. (He says the handful of arrests were from those trying to break through into Wall Street.) Among them, the crowd is chanting “the whole world is watching.” Cops are ordering people off scaffolding and buses are being brought it. “People’s mic to the police: ‘We are the free people of America! Who the fuck are you protecting?”
We’re also seeing many tweets about alleged pepper spraying by the cops. NYPD says there’s no confirmation of that at this time.
8:15: Rosie says they’re fenced in with metal barriers. From Nick, “NYPD adapting on the fly, netting off the whole intersection of Broadway and Wall St.” However, he clarifies that the nets look like they’re to control access.
8:17: The crowd at Wall Street has dwindled to a few hundred.
A small aside: Occupy Wall Street tweeted the sad news of Jobs’ passing about half an hour ago:
8:22: Nick is now back at Zuccotti Park (where there’s a complimentary phone charging station). He says things there are volatile, too, and that protesters have nearly closed Broadway.
8:25: Harry Siegel (@harrysiegel) just called in a report from Broadway and Cedar, saying the NYPD is not letting anyone south from Cedar unless they’re showing ID that they live there — he thinks that’s the first time police have done that since right after 9/11. He said cops in his location are being pretty calm as people scream at them and try to rile them up. He also said he’s seen no pepper spraying, but that an empty police school bus just went south toward Wall Street, so he thinks there may be arrests.
Further, he reports a disturbing interaction between protesters and a guy in a suit who was let through by the cops, resulting in protesters screaming at him and calling him names. He said the feeling is “increasingly mobby” and that “people are looking for it to explode.”
8:40: From Rosie, “Apparently we will be let into Zuccotti, but not out.”
8:49: We’re hearing reports of mounted cops.
8:51: And, this night may not be ending anytime soon…
8:52: Natasha Lennard, the New York Times stringer who was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge, has tweeted “#OccupyWallStreet ‘mass casualty’ warning on liberty st and nassau sent out. arrests and macings”
8:57: More from Harry: People are chanting, “This is what a police state looks like, JP Morgan doesn’t give a fuck about you.” The plan seems to be to return to the park and group to march to Bowling Green. According to people around him, a cop “just got mouthy and aggressively pushed two women”; protesters then started chanting the cop’s name a few inches away from said cop.
9:07: Rosie, in the middle of Beaver Street, reports chaos and yelling, along with aggressive police action: “Saw cop throw three girls against a car,” “Cop hitting people.”
9:11: Via Mother Jones, here’s an interactive map of Occupy protests (including and beyond Manhattan.)
9:12: Nick, at Zuccotti Park, says that a large assembly is debating whether to go down to Wall Street en masse. Also, “reports of pepper spray and nightsticks down on Wall Street.”
9:21: One protester getting arrested.
9:25: Rosie says she’s hearing “If you’re in the street you will be arrested.”
9:28: NYPD tells us “there have been arrests,” but no comment on how many at this point. As for the use of pepper spray, “we don’t have that confirmed.” [The Daily News, however, reports that pepper spray and the notorious orange netting were both used.]
9:33: Via Animal New York, protesters being loaded onto the paddywagon:
9:46: It seems that there may be another march on…Nick reports a mass of maybe 1,000 leaning toward heading to Wall Street to get arrested, “but the debate will likely go on.”
Continue to watch the live-stream.
More videos are coming in. There’s a video posted to YouTube now making the rounds on Twitter that appears to show an NYPD cop beating Occupy Wall Street protesters aggressively with a nightstick. We’re attempting to get more details about this. (The YouTube poster says the incident occurred today around 8:45 p.m., and also included the use of pepper spray.)
10:26: There’s video of the human mic chanting “We are a peaceful protest. Everyone remain calm….please remain respectful and peaceful”:
10:28: There’s a cop saying “my little nightstick’s gonna get a workout tonight.”
10:38: Apparently, Fox 5 photographer Roy Isen was hit in the eyes with mace, and reporter Dick Brennan was hit “by what he believes was an officer’s baton.”
10:42: From our Nick Murray, still on the scene: