Yesterday afternoon, thousands of people participated in the exhilarating existential exercise, "Waiting For Radiohead"/Hipster Great Pumpkin at Zuccotti Park, the site of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Some Occupy Wall Street supporters held signs that said, "If U R Here Only For The Band Go Home", but one protester, Jimmy Holovat, took a more optimistic stance: "If people only come here to see Radiohead at least they get to come here and see what's going on."
Earlier in the day yesterday, a rumor that Radiohead would perform for Occupy Wall Street protesters emerged and was later confirmed by protest organizers, sending the groups' fans into paroxysms of excitement. The band's management issued a denial, but organizers continued to say it was happening. Finally, shortly before the supposed 4 p.m. performance, Occupy Wall Street admitted it had been hoaxed… though some protest spokespeople kept insisting that the band would come (and insisted on clearing a path for the musicians). But when it became apparent there would be no "Reckoner," organizers began to rally the hordes of demonstrators and Radiohead fans to participate in Occupy Wall Street's "silent march" from Zuccotti Park to 1 Police Plaza... except they didn't quite end up there.
At 5:30 p.m., upwards of 3,000 occupiers walked in silence (or as much silence as possible) to what they thought was 1 Police Plaza—but it was actually the Municipal Building—and then they settled at 1 St. Andrew's Plaza, a few blocks from 1PP. Upon entering the plaza they began to chant, "we are the 99 percent!", while waving their cardboard pizza box crafted signs high.
No apology was made for the no-show, until three hours later, when Occupy Wall Street spokesperson Patrick Bruner issued a statement:
#occupywallstreet would like to apologize to the members of the press and public who came out today to see Radiohead and left disappointed. We would also like to apologize to the band directly, and appreciate their kind words of support in the face of this confusion. They had nothing to do with what happened today.
Over the last twenty-four hours #occupywallstreet received several emails purportedly from Radiohead's manager detailing a show for Friday, September 30th at four in the afternoon. Due to
miscommunication within our rapidly expanding and adjusting group, we were unable to determine that this was a hoax in time; it can be difficult to seperate rumor from fact in an open source movement.
Bruner added that to "insure the quality of our communications" he would be responsible for all official statements from the group.
While waiting for Radiohead, Holovat, a Psychology teacher at Baruch College, told us: "I've been coming here since it started, really, in the beginning. I'm here today because I heard Radiohead would be playing, they're my favorite band, but that's not what I care about. I've been here every day. I care that they're coming because then it gives us more exposure and more people will show up and see that this is more of a peaceful area than has been portrayed in the mainstream media."