This has been the great American family reunion, everyone in the square is talking to everyone else, the youth are getting a practical education in the workings of things, concessions are being made for the elderly, stories and goodwill and rollie cigarettes and water and homemade vegan food are being shared profusely.
It’s late, and I’ve been working the information booth for 7 hours after the big march, so this post might be a bit short and cryptic. Working the information booth, located on the perimeter of the square, has been the most rewarding experience I’ve yet had in what is promising to be one of the most rewarding adventures of my life. A Citibank employee who sells derivatives for a living came by at 3am to tell of his struggles to sell good derivatives, that he hasn’t starved doing it, that everyone around him where he works is doing bad derivatives. He thinks there is going to be a major economic collapse in one or two weeks at the most. He said he supported us in the utmost.
Teenagers kept coming by, enthusiastic. Everyone coming by was enthusiastic. We are on the people’s side.
At the big march, where 93 people were arrested according to the media center at Liberty Plaza, we finally took to the streets, not just the sidewalks. The march was going well until the cops managed to get everyone into Union Square, where they proceeded to bat around elderly women, net in people and use pepper spray. Word around the Plaza is that the people arrested have been circling in an NYPD van for hours.
The actual marching was electrifying-imagine the numbers of the Macy’s Day Parade, but with no one being a dick. That’s the difference between a collective protest, the relationships it produces, and the relationships fostered by capitalist consumerist spectacle-everyone in the march was looking out for everyone else and people were constantly drifting through with water and cough drops. I stuck by Alexander Penley, an IP lawyer who has been to many of these protests. He has an odd accent, the product of growing up in NYC and moving a lot-imagine if Howard Stern kept slipping into the queen’s english and you might have some sense. The man has many many stories, which I will recount a couple of when I don’t feel like I’m about to collapse.
To gain numbers, Alex and I would go to all the stalled taxi drivers in the line of the protest and tell them “When you get off your shift, come over to Liberty Plaza. We’re gonna be here all month.” We said it to the security guards at the thieving private schools, NYU primarily. We said it to the food cart people. All of them were enthused. That invitation goes out to anyone reading this too-get out there, either at Liberty Plaza or at any one of the numerous solidarity protests. This is not a test.
The media blackout finally ended, and stories of the police brutality that occurred are coming through. The BBC, who said there were only 50 people there, must look like real jackasses now that there’s a reported 80 person arrest figure. Well as they should.
We’re going to be on the front page of the NY Daily News tomorrow, we were on ABC National News tonight. Youtube is blowing up. This is the real deal.
I could talk about the topless woman straight from a blaxploitation movie who walked around with a boa constrictor after the protest, Troy’s strange night among the Billy Joel groupies, or the lovely girl with one eye I flirted with, but I have to sleep people. Keep getting the word out.