Yesterday afternoon, approximately 3,000 Occupy Wall Street protesters walked from Zuccotti Park to Washington Square Park for a rally and General Assembly. And despite early reports that organizers were planning on occupying the park for an extended period of time, and a noticeably active police presence, the afternoon was wholly peaceful and without incident, with most protesters heading back downtown by sundown. Click through above to see some photos from the rally.
It was the group's first public meeting outside Zuccotti Park since the protests started three weeks ago. Because the group has attracted more and more numbers to join in their cause since September 16, they've begun to consider whether they need to expand beyond Zuccotti: “Today we made a public call for additional occupation of public land and foreclosed public and commercial spaces. At this time there is no call to occupy Washington Square Park tonight,” a 24-year-old organizer named Brian told the Post.
The Post found one local at the scene who was not won over by the group's determination: “There is no cohesive message. They want gay rights, animal rights—they’re talking about the bank bailout—and they’re not doing anything about it. They’re nincompoops,” the man screamed. Despite his protestations, things seem to be headed in the right direction for OWS ever since last weekend's chaos at the Brooklyn Bridge: the unions have joined in, the media has begun covering them, tourists are flocking to see what's happening, and politicians have finally begun to acknowledge their existence.
Put it this way: when before they had massively disappointing Radiohead hoaxes by misguided supporters trying to drum up attention, now they have a new prominent musician turning up in solidarity nearly everyday.