Occupy Wall Street: Occupy Times Square

Monday, October 17, 2011

By Shaun Randol

October 15 saw an explosion of sympathetic Occupy Wall Street marches and occupations in 1,500 cities around the world (and on all seven continents - see Occupy Antarctica here). Hundreds of thousands marched in solidarity with New York City's OWS movement in Germany, Spain, England, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Brazil, and many other countries.

In New York City, marchers and occupiers descended into the heartbeat of NYC, Times Square. There, police barricades and mounted police prevented disparate groups from coming together to form one solid mass of politically and economically disenfranchised and disenchanted citizens. As a result, pockets of protest sprung up throughout the sprawling square, simultaneously befuddling, amusing, and encouraging tourists to join the demonstrations (many did). Music and chanting lasted for hours. Eventually, over 70 demonstrators were arrested, a factoid local and national media outlets were quick to exploit. Never mind that 99% of the occupiers (advocating for 99% of the population) were peaceful, empowering, and sober-minded.

After the Times Square event, thousands congregated in Washington Square Park to hold the daily General Assembly meeting. Spirited debate as to whether or not to open a second occupation site in the park ensued, ultimately failing in a voting round. Nonetheless, a dozen or so occupiers stood their ground after the park closed at midnight, and were quickly whisked away to jail.

Here is some video from New York City on the global day of action.

Occupy Wall Street: A Small but Crucial VictoryOccupy Wall Street: Eve Ensler

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Shaun Randol is the founder and editor in chief of The Mantle. He is also an Associate Fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York City, and a member of the National Book Critics Circle and the PEN American Center.