On Friday a tipster sent us an email noting that several hundred NYPD officers had been conducting training exercises on Randall's Island in preparation for May Day's protests. While the sources of other journalists confirmed that information, Mayor Bloomberg declined to go into specifics today when asked about the training by the Voice. "We are prepared for everything we can think of all the time. Our tactics are something that we don't talk about in advance for obvious reasons." Occupy's wide range of scheduled events, both "official" and covert, promise to spread the department's resources from Lower Manhattan to Midtown.
The master list of events is huge—there are teach-ins, marches over bridges, a thousand-strong "Guitarmy," markets, free food, musical performances in Union Square, and a final march into the Financial District.
But the proceedings that will draw the most attention from the police don't have thoughtful websites or donation options: will people answer the call to shut down bridges into Manhattan? How great is the chance that the MTA will be forced to cut service? Will the anarchist-sponsored Wildcat March be allowed to advance beyond East Houston? And what of the picketing of individual financial institutions in Lower Manhattan?
"[The picketing actions] are organized relatively independent of one another," a protester who refused to give their name told us on Friday. "Some of them aren't listed. Who knows how those will pan out? But the Wildcat March, there's a definite strategy forming there." The protester, however, declined to comment on that strategy.
We asked two other protesters, both of whom refused to be identified in print but have been involved in the movement since October, if they thought Occupy realistically had the ability to stop subway service from coming into Manhattan. One smiled and shrugged, while the other replied, "You'll have to see. You might find that you're more than a few minutes late to work. Why not take the day off and join us?"