Occupy Wall Street National Day of Action: Live Updates From Downtown Manhattan


Good afternoon, and welcome to the evening edition of the Village Voice liveblog of Occupy Wall Street’s Day of Action. Today, November 17, marks the two month anniversary since Occupy Wall Street began in Zuccotti Park. Protesters did not succeed in stopping or even delaying the New York Stock Exchange as they’d hoped to this morning, but it’s still been an eventful day all the same. We’ll be updating you through out the evening as the after work events begin. Our Nick Pinto (@macfathom) is currently on the 6 train covering “Occupy the Subway,” Michelle Anderson (michellejourno) is with a group of students marching up Fifth Avenue, and Rosie Gray (@rosiegray) is en route to Zuccotti Park. We’ve embedded live streaming video after the jump and will be updating news as it breaks through out of the evening. Stay with us.

7:45 PM: Nick and Rosie have crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and are back in Manhattan. Both seem stunned at the number of people who are STILL teeming to cross the bridge. Given how desolate the day started — there were only a handful of demonstrators in Zuccotti Park just minutes before the fist action was to start this morning — it’s been quite a turn of events. It seemed in those pre-dawn hours that the Mayor’s clearing of the park had had the desired chilling effect. But now, the day has ended with about 200 people arrested, and perhaps tens of thousands of people marching through Lower Manhattan and across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Nick and Rosie are going to give their poor, overly tweeted phones a chance to recharge. But they’ll be attending tonight’s General Assembly in Zuccotti Park, and we’ll be back live-blogging when the human mic calls the gathering to order. Update: Nick and Rosie have gone back to Brooklyn; it seems tonight’s General Assembly will be happening at the Korean War Memorial…in Brooklyn!

7:30 PM: Nick reports that, moving back towards Manhattan, “People STILL streaming onto the Brooklyn Bridge. Just passed ‘the People’s Library in Motion.’ then a UFT posse.” Christina Boyle of the Daily News, who seems like she’s been on her feet reporting for about 15 hours now, reports there have been approximately 200 arrests today:

6:45 PM: Rosie has eyes on City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who was arrested and bloodied when Zuccotti Park was raided, leading the march at the front.

6:40 PM: Nick and Rosie are both on the Brooklyn Bridge, but not together. Rosie calls in to report, “I’m crossing the bridge. The marchers are staying on the walkway. The march is being led by a group of union members, and in the front there are a zillion Community Affairs cops, shepherding us along. There were a number of people couldn’t get on to the bridge at all. Everything is pretty calm.”

We’ve been hearing reports, including this tweet from the NYCLU, that 99 people were arrested in a planned act of civil disobedience:

6:20: Marchers are moving steadily towards the Brooklyn Bridge, but it’s unclear if they plan to take the walkway or the roadway, or if the NYPD will allow them to do either. Nick just called in to report: “I’m in a heavily union part of the march, near a bunch of SEIU banners. We just walked around City Hall Park. We came south on Broadway, and we’re looping up towards the bridge.”

Nick sent this picture of the equestrian cops on Chambers, and also notes that there’s an “Amber traffic sign at the foot of the bridge: ‘Peds on Roadway Subject to Arrest.’ “ He says, “March stalled at entrance to bridge. Bottleneck, though, not blockage.” The Other 99 livestream guy says that people are walking onto pedestrian walkway of bridge.

Nick Pinto: Im in a heavily union part of the march. Under the SEIU banners. I just walked around City Hall Park. We came south on bRodaway, looping back up towards the bridge. I can see the bridge, but there are polcei ling the raodway. Not clea to me if we’re going to have more luck getting to bridge from the sotuh than the Norht. Lots of chanting; it’s a very union vibe to the march, and the march is donaited of the by the megaphone.

6:10 PM: Harry Siegel tweets this amazing picture of a sign of the world’s two most notorious politicians to fight for a third term:

After some difficulty getting out of Foley Square, Rosie and C.S. are at the Brooklyn Bridge, waiting for the march to arrive. While we wait, here’s an interesting observation by Azi Paybarah of Capital New York:

5:45 PM: Nick sent us these two pictures from the rally. The first is of graffiti on a building on the north side of Foley:

The latter shows the union presence, which Nick says includes the UAW, the UFT, and the National Nurses Federation:

5:30 PM: Voice Editor-in-Chief Tony Ortega (@VoiceTonyO) weighs in on the big picture.

On the ground in and around Foley Square, Nick writes that he’s seeing an arrests on Centre and Worth, and cops are moving in:

5:25 PM: Rosie has arrived in Foley Square, writing, “This strongly echoes union rally of about a month ago – obv same place and similar crowd, diff vibe tho.” Matt Sledge says he can see five helicopters overhead. Harry Siegel writes, “Big #ows crowd running in street down Centre en route to Foley while police on sidewalk just let em,” echoing Hunter Walker’s observation, “Some marchers have left sidewalk and are on Centre Street. ‘These are our streets, we can walk on them'”.

5:15 PM: Here at Runnin’ Scared, we bring you the visual news as quickly as we can, often with the aid of quickly taken cell phone pictures of dubious quality. But we’re also lucky to have had photographer C.S. Muncy (CSMuncyPhoto) shooting for the Voice all day. Here’s a great photo slideshow our web editor, Francesca Stabile (frantaclause), put together from C.S.’s photos through out Manhattan today.

5:00 PM: We’re putting up another live videostream, courtesy of a user named OccupyNYC, which seems to have access to a helicopter feed.

The Other 99’s livestream, which we’d embedded earlier, is full of hyperbolic color commentary that can be off at time, but the visuals are right inside of the march. (We’re not sure where he gets his battery power from — he’s been broadcasting since the pre-dawn hours — but we want some of it the next time we’re just trying to live tweet for more than 30 minutes.)

4:50 PM: Huffington Post reporter Matt Sledge reports that, “Dozens of cops in riot gear already guarding BK bridge and approach. UnitedNY marshals in place.”

4:45 PM: Nick’s voyage on the 6 train is over and he’s arrived in Foley Square. He tweets that it’s already quite full, and the SEIU is the largest presence:

Michelle is at the intersection of 14th Street and Fifth Avenue. Michelle notes that there are two helicopters overhead and “Cops at blocked intersection are telling people to move. Some of crowd has split. Many have headed to Foley Square.” Rosie, close to Union Square, writes that “Cops in riot gear lining both sides of Broadway.” She’s heading down to Foley, where many people in her area are going.

3:13 p.m.: [RG] OWS is currently on the second major leg of today’s three-pronged direct action. The plan now is to “occupy the subways” (Gothamist has the full list), and there’s also been a student march up to Union Square, where the crowd is estimated at around 700 but isn’t very feisty.

Nick Pinto is reporting live from Brooklyn Borough Hall; follow him on Twitter.

2:47 p.m.: [Rosie Gray] Reuters has video of an injured protester at Zuccotti.

2:22 PM: Rosie Gray here: The Daily News reports that a cop was “cut on the left hand by a thrown glass object,” prompting the police to move into the park. For a while, the park was completely shut down. We’ve also heard reports of an injured protester. As of now, people can enter and exit the park and there is no indication of a mass arrest.

1:55 PM: The narrator of “The Other 99” livestream (scroll down to watch; we’ve embedded it lower on the page) says that Zuccotti Park is being raided. It appears the park has been enclosed with barricades, and no one is being let in or out.

10:25 AM: A large contingent of the march has returned to Zuccotti Park. The barricades have been pulled down, and people are being allowed to re-enter, en masse, without backpacks being checked. Heard on the livestream: “I see large bags here. I see prohibited items. I don’t know at what point the officers will close the park again.” But for now, lots of people are walking back in without being searched or harassed. Some tweeters are calling the return to Zuccotti a “victory party” for the delay of the opening of the NYSE; however, the opening bell was not delayed.

There are more planned actions planned today: at 3:00 PM there are scheduled events on the subways, and at 5:00 PM there’s an event at Foley Square.

With that, we’ll sign off for the morning. Follow @rosiegray and @macfathom, who will be covering the latest Occupy Wall Street events later this afternoon, and check out the blog, Runnin’ Scared, for more OWS and New York news coverage.

10:05 AM: On the livestream, there’s a General Assembly going on at Pine and Nassau, and the sign of “happy hands” seems to be approving a consensus to stop standing around and start marching again. They’re now on the move towards Broadway. Meanwhile, Nick sends this picture of a desolate Zuccotti Park.

Even during the biggest satellite demonstrations over the past two months, the park was never so desserted. Since the tents were removed by the mayor and the courts, it has really been decimated as a point of convergence.

9:55 AM: It seems there is a four way human mic going on right now, with the messages from each corner being relayed to the other three. Meanwhile, Nick has this breaking news: the Wall Street bull is safe:

9:45 AM: Nick was pinned against a wall at Beaver and Broad, and Rosie was surrounded by barricades in a quickly constructed scrum. But, both have gotten out and are roving around reporting. Here was Nick’s perspective before he squeezed out:

9:35 AM: The New York Stock Exchange opening bell has rung and it is open for business. The Occupy Wall Street National Day of Action did not delay its opening.

9:30 AM: Interesting detail: The Other 99 says they saw people trying to get to job interviews. But since they didn’t (yet) have an ID for the company where they had the interview, the NYPD wouldn’t let them through to the buildings.

9:25 AM: The opening bell of the NYSE should happen in five minutes. Will it be delayed?

Here’s a live video stream from CBS’s news helicopter.

9:20 AM: Media is not being treated well by the NYPD this morning, and it looks like our own Rosie Gray is getting closed into a scrum:

9:13 AM: Hearing a lot of chatter that the opening bell of the NYSE has been delayed. That may prove to be true, but a lot of people are erroneously saying it should have happened at 9:00. The opening bell is normally at 9:30.

9:05 AM: Rosie reports that the NYPD is telling people in the street near Pine and Nassau they will be arrested — and they’re not moving. Nick reports that “Irate Financial District employees asking police how they can get to work. Cops don’t know.” On the livestream, discussion is heard about protesters getting in line at police ID checkpoints, just to slow down the process of people getting to work.

9:00 AM: Both Nick and Rosie are seeing arrests near Nassau and Pine. Nick calls in to report that workers can, in fact, get to work at the New York Stock Exchange. Broadway and Exchange Place, and Broadway and Wall Street, have not been closed by protesters. Here’s a picture of the scene:

8:50 AM: Great photo of a sign from Rosie, perhaps from some of the people being kept from work downtown:

Rosie now sees a physical clash in the street between the protesters and the NYPD and says she (and everyone around her) is getting pushed around a lot.

8:35: Nick and Rosie call in to update from their vantage points.

Rosie: What’s happened is the protesters have managed to block off four intersections around Wall Street. At this point I’m on New Street and Beaver, and basically it seems like there’s a lot of confusion. The NYPD, as they are wont to do, has successfully splintered the crowd into multiple groups. This group here is about 100 to 200 people, tops. I hear sirens, but I haven’t seen anything big go down. I don’t think they have the balls today.”

Nick: I finally figured out what they are doing, which is obvious. As they march in circles, they’re leaving large groups of people at each intersection, and blocking and delaying people from getting to work. I’m trying to circle the perimeter, but the’ve covered all the big intersections around the [NYSE]. I think they may have it ringed, and that people can’t get to the exchange. I think the strategy is not to storm the exchange, but to keep people from getting to work [there].”

8:25 AM: The march is moving on in lower Manhattan, but Christina Boyle of the Daily News tweets:

8:20 AM: Here’s a livestream from the march from “The Other 99”

8:10 AM: Rosie tweets:

Still, the protest is apparently delaying the day for Wall Street workers, if not ultimately Wall Street itself:

8:05 AM: Rosie calls in to report: “The march is heading on Williams Street, and there’s an unbelievable number of press. We’re about to hit Wall Street, there are a couple thousand people in total. There’s a lot of hostility towards media. They’re getting to Wall Street now, in the middle of the street. The cops are in riot gear, and security is standing by right now.” There are multiple reports on twitter of hostility towards press. Rosie says, “Those who are willing to sit down in middle of wall st told to go to the front.”

7:55: Rosie reports that “Hipster Cop” Rick Lee is on the scene (and “looks great.”) Here’s Nick’s picture of the scene on Pine Street where, it seems, protesters are streaming in despite the NYPD’s efforts to the contrary:

7:50 AM: Nick calls in to report: “I’m at Nassau and Pine. The police are trying to block the street. The sidewalk is blocked, but the street is open. A police van is trying to block the street, it’s parked sideways, but people are streaming around it. The police are in riot gear, but it looks like the march is still moving south. For a second they were stopping us, but we’re still moving.”

7:45 AM: Rosie says there’s already a standoff on Cedar and Nassau, where people are moving the NYPD barricades. Here’s a picture of the march on the move by Vocal New York, which says the crowd is about 1,000.

7:40 AM: CS says that the crowd has swelled significantly to many hundreds now. Nick is with the crowd that is marching to attempt to prevent the opening of the New York Stock Exchange. On the other side of barricades, Daily News staff reporter Christina Boyle reports, “the police directly outside the NYSE seem very relaxed and jovial.”

7:25 AM: Here’s Nick’s picture of the scene at the red cube across the street from Zuoccotti, where a march to Wall Street will leave from. Rosie writes that, “I’d say around 400 protesters are assembled around the red cube for first march,” but that as Wall Street is closed off, “If they want to carry out this plan they’ll have to jump barricades, I’m not sure they have the numbers.”

7:20 AM: The cop-to-protestor ratio is quite high it seems, according to photographer CS Muncy:

7:15 AM: The park is filling up. Nick tweets:

Here’s the view in the park, tweeted out by the official OWS twitter account:

7:05 AM: Rosie reports that protesters were planning to meet in the atrium at 60 Wall Street — another one of these privately owned spaces that is mandated to be open to the public — but that the “atrium is entirely shut down. Guard says they’d been ‘advised’ by the NYPD to close.”

6:45 AM: With minutes to go before Occupy Wall Street planned to start a major day of protest, there are fewer than a hundred people in Zuccotti Park. From what Nick and Rosie can see, it seems as if there are more cops in lower Manhattan than protesters. There’s been a lot of talk the past couple of days about how important the tents were to the Occupy movement, and some speculation that the encampment in Zuoccotti Park might have even been a drag on the political front for the protesters. But right in this moment, it seems like Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s middle-of-the-night raid on the campers has been successful in taking the wind out of the protesters’ sails. Today’s action was planned before the raid happened, but without the home base the Occupy movement had as a 24 hour anchor and rallying point, it seems like the call to protest has been severely chilled. Of course this could change at any time, but think about this: at the same hour on the day the NYPD merely threatened to evict the campers, there were thousands of New Yorkers marching with them. Two days after the NYPD actually evicted them — a more egregious affront to the protesters — there’s hardly anyone standing with them.

5:15 AM: From the anchor desk here in downtown Brooklyn, we hear a helicopter that sounds like it is heading towards Manhattan. Nick sends two pictures: this one appears to be on an NYPD roll call, just north of the Wall Street bull:

And this one, he describes as a “very cute vehicle on Broad Street”:

5:05 AM: Rosie reports that officers are “massing at Broadway and Morris, maybe a hundred yards above the Wall Street bull. There are roughly 100 of them, about a dozen white shirts.” CS notes that there’s “no crowd control gear in sight.”

4:55 AM: Nick swung by the New York Stock Exchange, which he says did not have many cops around it. There is a large number of NYPD vans between the Brooklyn Bridge and Wall Street as well, he notes. But Rosie says the police presence at Zuccotti Park itself is typical and doesn’t look especially beefed up, and there are only about 25 protesters there.

4:50 AM: Today is November 17, the two month anniversary since Occupy Wall Street began. Protesters have declared today to be an International Day of Action, calling for people to “occupy their block,” to “shut down Wall Street” starting at 7:00 AM, and to “occupy the subway” starting at 3:00 PM. We have been hearing that protesters, and the NYPD, will be amassing all over the city today, and will be live blogging dispatches from our own Village Voice staff writers Rosie Gray (@rosiegray) and Nick Pinto (@macfathom), as well as photographer C.S. Muncy (@CSMuncyPhoto), who are on the scene through out lower Manhattan.

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