The Occupation continues. Saturday we went out to see how the movement was growing. I met up with JohnJ and we marched up 6th Ave with the procession. The cops had blocked the intended route of 42nd St, and asked everyone to cross at 46th. It got a little hectic as people spilled out into 46th and cops started arresting people who ran into the street. Of course they couldn’t arrest everyone. This vid is from 46th at the entrance to Times Square. We couldn’t really go any further because the square was already packed with people.
Later we wormed our way further into the square, but the cops had blocked off 7th Ave in an attempt to keep it open to traffic. After they got a few buses through, they started diverting that traffic above Times Square, effectively giving the space to the people. But they didn’t bring the barriers down. The cops kept the streets to themselves. Still, I thought there were at least 10,000 people, and maybe closer to 20,000. This vid shows just some of the crowd:
You can hear people chanting “Give the cops a raise” at one point. We are not anti-police. Still, it was a really terrible decision for them to bring in horses to try and intimidate the crowd and make them move back. Especially because, where they did this, there was no way for people to move back at all. If you watch this segment on DemocracyNow!, you can see some disturbing footage of horses getting spooked by the crowd, the noise, the lights. Just an awful idea. On the other hand, there was also a very wise police commander who created some space between cops and the crowd by asking the cops to move back. This not only resulted in cheers from the crowd (who were barricaded anyway), but immediately reduced the tension of the situation and, thereby, the chances of anything bad happening.
JohnJ and I took it all in for a while and then split. But I saw Chris Hedges giving an interview and I had his book “Empire of Illusion” with me, so I got him to sign it “For the People’s Library” – which is where I donated it the next day.