Occupy Wall Street Is Finally Occupying Wall Street (Or At Least Trying)

OWS_Federal_Hall_Muncy_0010.jpg
C.S. Muncy
Police look on as Occupiers sit on Wall Street.
Seven months after they first set up camp in Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street protesters are actually occupying Wall Street. But after a relatively uneventful week of lawfully sleeping on the sidewalk near the New York Stock Exchange, the protesters have been met with a strong police response over the past two nights.

For the Occupiers, the move to Wall Street -- after a month of high-profile efforts to establish a camp uptown in Union Square -- represents a refocusing on the movement's original message.

"I think it's good we're back down here at Wall Street," said David Intrator, a frequent protest participant. "We're literally confronting the powers that be. "It's good for people who work on Wall Street to see every day and every night a different point of view."

OWS_Federal_Hall_Muncy_0043.jpg
C.S. Muncy
Occupiers are relying on a 2000 federal ruling, Met Council v. Safir, which held that protesters occupying no more than half the sidewalk and not otherwise being disruptive are protected from arrest by the first amendment; sleeping on the street is a form of political speech.

But that ruling didn't stop police from arresting (and punching) protesters as they disrupted the sleeping group at 6 a.m. Monday morning.

Why the police shut the sleep-out down after allowing it for a week isn't clear, but activists speculate that they may have left themselves open to arrest by sleeping in a group of more than 25, the limit set by the Met Council ruling.

After Monday morning's arrests, protesters retreated to the nearby steps of Federal Hall, which, as a National Park site, is under the authority of the federal government and thus outside the immediate jurisdiction of the New York Police Department.

At 5 p.m., Park rangers told the protesters the site was closed, and that sleeping or camping on the steps was forbidden. While many occupiers initially wanted to return to the city sidewalks, effectively daring the police to arrest them in violation of the Met Council ruling, others were committed to staying on the steps, under the sheltering hand of an enormous statue of George Washington.

With more than a dozen officers and metal barricades blocking access to the patch of sidewalk where they had slept for the past week, protesters opted to stay on the steps, singing and sharing inspirational quotations into the evening. City police looked on from the street, but took no action.

At 9 p.m., half a dozen federal parks police climbed the stairs of the Greek-revival structure and lined up behind the protesters. But trouble didn't come until a half hour later, when a handful of neighborhood residents charged out of their buildings, shouting that they were trying to sleep and the occupiers weren't welcome.

OWS_Federal_Hall_Muncy_0014.jpg
C.S. Muncy
Some protesters responded with derision, noting the early hour and accusing the residents of being one-percenters who plunged the country into recession. One resident waded through a line of police and assaulted one of the vocal occupiers before officers could tear him away. Minutes later, the protester was arrested, cuffed, and thrown into the back of a police truck. Officers took no action against the resident, who stayed on the scene, declining in colorful terms to speak to the press.

The fracas opened a period of heavy police action, as "White-shirt" officers pointed out protesters they wanted arrested -- in many cases for "excessive noise" violations -- and sent less senior officers to arrest them. In at least one instance, city police made an arrest on federal property, at the top of the stairs.

"I'm really glad the police are being proactive," said Matt, a resident of 45 Wall Street, who appeared to be enjoying the scene as he looked on in a baby-blue polo shirt embroidered with "1%" on the breast. "The first amendment is not a blanket permission for misbehavior. I do respect their right to protest, but I think the way they're going about it is disrespectful and disruptive. They make the sidewalks narrower, and a lot of them don't shower regularly."

But Fatima Roland, who lives around the corner at 15 Broad Street, disagreed. "Sure, it's a little inconvenient that they're here, but I'm sorry, that's the price of democracy," she said. "The people who are out here complaining tonight are all the One Percent. Anyone who knows anything about what's going on in this country should be out here supporting these people, not complaining."

OWS_Federal_Hall_Muncy_0028.jpg
C.S. Muncy
At 10:30, several occupiers attempted to return to the sidewalk corner at Wall and Nassau Streets where they had been sleeping for the past week. Police immediately responded. "This is a high security area, you are not allowed to sit here," one officer told them, giving them a moment to move and then arresting them.

As the night wore on and the activists tired, they considered their options, ultimately opting to sleep on a distant stretch of sidewalk near the east side waterfront.

Bill Dobbs, who brings decades of activism and civil-rights work to his involvement in Occupy Wall Street, said he was frustrated that the evening's events once again centered around protesters' clashes with the police rather than the movement's larger messages, but he conceded the occupiers might have little choice in the matter.

"People say, 'Well, why do they have to be here?'" Dobbs said. "But the alternative is you're in your house, where you can't change anything, except by clicking online petitions. There's something special about these camps: It means the people have power. That's why the police want to make sure no one can get out of their house and gather."


Click here for a slideshow of images from last night's events on Wall Street.

Previous Coverage:

[npinto@villagevoice.com] [@macfathom]

Go to Runnin' Scared for all our latest news coverage.



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54 comments
BLUE PILL  RED PILL
BLUE PILL RED PILL

DAVID GEULEB  is his GAME ! THE FOUNDER OF OCCUPY... EVIL JEW TRIBE OCCUPTION...

Gordon Gekko
Gordon Gekko

Capitalism now! Capitalism tomorrow!! Capitalismforever!!!

LinNeX
LinNeX

When i see republicans bring up Marx in there posts i have to crack up the fact that republicans bring it up suggests they know what they are doing they know if they keep on beating the middle class down the Marx thing might happen so in the end they know what they do and they know whats wrong but they ignore it to serve there cause the free market aka Fascism the free market has no loyalty to sovereign nations if anything they are not patriots because they back a system with no loyalty to ones country.

Roy Greene
Roy Greene

next thing U know,they'll start the trickle down BS. hey common repuglicans. that trickle down is the rich pissing on Ur backs while U do their bidding!!!

Roy Greene
Roy Greene

i gatta get outa here. 2 many repuglican morons that think they know sumthin!!!

LinNeX
LinNeX

i think its funny how history is repeating you have the republicans aka the EU Fascists... here is the history that i have learned. Back in the 1930's these people called EU Fascists would bust up unions attack womans rights and bring extremes to labor debates hell the republicans are even acting like the 1930's Fascist's when it comes to welfare back in the 1930's the EU fascists would call welfare camps and people who lived in them Communist dose that not sound like something we hear from the right when it comes to OWS ? if i was all of you i would read "the grapes of wrath" by john steinbeck its the untold history of the 1930's Great Depression the 1% even kicked john steinbeck out of the state he lived in because he blew the whistle on labor practices and showed how the country could ignore the poor as long as they we're blind to it. from strike breaking to union busting to attack womans rights there are all traits of the 1930's movement taking over 1 party.

Sakara
Sakara

hard core dummies.

wall street isnt calling the shots----obama calls the shots.

go protest against obama, stupids!

proof that a lot of college grads now days are IDIOTS.

Gordon Gekko
Gordon Gekko

Fatima Roland is clueless.  I've got news for her, if she lives at 15 Broad Street she is part of the "1%" herself.  I have said it before and I will say it again. OWS will settle for nothing less than the total destruction of the American economy, the constitutionally elected government, and the American way of life. They want to replace each of these with a Marxist/Stalinist "workers' paradise." "From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs." Like the Bolsheviks before them, they will be coming for anyone and everyone who tries to get in their way. They will come to your door in the dead of night, drag you into the street and slit your throat. Your home and belongings appropriated for the "masses." I for one will not be going down without a fight. I will be waiting for them with my Armalite AR-10 Semi-Automatic. I will be going for the head shot and I will be taking as many of these wannabe Che Guevaras with me as I can.

Idrinklife
Idrinklife

As a Marine veteran from gulf war 1, I suggest that the capitalist on here read up on Marine Gen. SMEDLEY BUTLER, and what he had too say about capitalism//wall street. Call him unAmerican, I dare u, then go tell any Marine that, but b prepared for an a-- beating. Don't worry your little AR don't scare me, I have faced much bigger. I swore in 7 different times to defend and uphold the Constitution, the biggest threat to it are greedy capitalist corporations and the greedy people that work for them.

Don't talk about head shots, I have that capacity also, except I'm good at 500 yards, so was Smedley Butler.

I challenge u again too learn about Smedley, and yes my English is bad, but I do understand "WE THE PEOPLE". Last I checked it doesn't say "we the corporations"

Every time a capitalist uses,and wastes oil the blood of many Humans is on his hands, he will b judged on that someday by THE Creator.

Sakara
Sakara

typical liberal and/or teenagers----think everybody else is dumb.

typical cliche.

Sakara
Sakara

THE GRAPES OF WRATH is akin to 20 million spanish speaking illegal aliens bringing down the minimum wage.

THE GRAPES OF WRATH had farms advertising to pay a certain wage----and then when ten times as many people as needed showed up, they were able to pay half as much as promised.

that....is what THE GRAPES OF WRATH is about.

every dummy now days can go to college----and there are less jobs for those dummies.

Jethro
Jethro

Look at the list of top 10 campaign donors for both Romney and Obama, then let's talk about who's calling the shots.

ocschwar
ocschwar

If you think Wall Street isn't calling the shots, you must have been living in a cave for the last 4 years. 

Ron
Ron

Those Occupiers will certainly cause the destruction of the American economy with their unregulated and unpunished fraud, forgery of documents, extortionate demands for bailouts from taxpayers, political bribery in a fancy dress, tax subsidies for the rich, destruction of real commerce, and selling future generations into tax slavery and McJobs.

Oh wait, that's what the Occupiers are protesting. I guess they don't want to be reduced to feudal serfs.

Someone
Someone

Funny how none of the posters actually addressed the core point of Gordon Gekko's post, namely that the Occupy Wall Street chumps are essentially closet communists. Their main complaint is that they are not getting enough freebies from society. My suggestion to them is to go generate value if they want something because, you know, things you want cost money. Don't expect someone with money to bankroll your life (although I guess that is the natural result of the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality of the Millennials).

Tian Gao
Tian Gao

you can't just intuit your way to these conclusions, you sound like a paranoid old man. 

jnbstraight
jnbstraight

You are indicative of how just brain damaged the right wing of this country has gotten. In reality you would be too drunk to get up off your sofa and stop watching Fox news to shoot anyone loser.

John Sheehan
John Sheehan

LOL! Would-be gunsels like Mr. "Gekko" make me wanna puke. I wonder what this hero has been up to for the last ten years while Americans his age have been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan? Big brave warriors like "GG" scare the type off the Internet page. Have fun explaining the electronic transmission of a credible threat against peaceful protesters to the FBI, Mr. "Gekko". See you in the funny papers.

fear sells
fear sells

 stay scared in your home with your ar-10, waiting for the hordes, while we build a better world...

Al Swearengen
Al Swearengen

Nice fantasy about shooting fellow Americans in the head you got there.Lighten up Frances.

Grandma
Grandma

 Every government that has ever fallen has fallen when it has driven the majority of their people to their knees.  We, unfortunately, are almost there.  And remember, you, in all probability, are NOT the only person who is armed and who will be going for " head shots".  I do not say this with malice.  I am a middle class, well educated Grandma with a wealth of knowledge about history both present and past. 

LIMEN !
LIMEN !

Thank you! My Aunt Flora Carmine was a high ranking officer in the Air Force. And there is one thing that I've learned about young men and women in the armed forces,they pay dearly for our stupidity! Ihad two uncles that spent thier whole lives in Veterans hospitals. Because of wat they endured in WW2. I'll stand with this young man any day, And be proud to! I hope that GOD blesss you with what you want and need in this life. Thank you!

Steve-annie
Steve-annie

Um, excuse me, but you're the "genius" calling everybody else "dummies."

Steve-annie
Steve-annie

Perhaps you should study Spanish, Sakara, since you're not doing too well with English.  Spanish is much easier to learn.

LinNeX
LinNeX

i love how you ignore the story to try to justify your Position thats what they did in the 1930's too theres more to the story then farmers exploiting workers. ohh yeah and the people exploited we're not Mexicans they we're poor people who lost there homes after the Great Depression.

ulrikemeinhof
ulrikemeinhof

I don't want you to bankroll my life. I want my taxes kept away from corporations in need of bailouts (aka, "freebies"), I want banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America shut down because of their incessant need to rob their depositors of their hard-earned money ($7 a month to Wells Fargo of my money as of May 7th as a "service fee"), and I want the value I generate in *my job* -- which is not in the goddamned financial services industry -- to be compensated justly and fairly. Playing around with dollar bills isn't the only job in the world that generates value. This is why I laugh every time I hear some banker moaning about how contractors ripped him off and overcharged him for repairs on his house. Welcome to the world you created, pal.

Get it? That's what I and a lot of others want. We've been taking it hard for about 15 years from people like you, and -- let me just tip you off to some history -- that situation isn't likely to last much longer. Something tends to give. 

Gordon Gekko
Gordon Gekko

You, sir, hit the nail on the head.  These over indulged children have been told their entire lives that they are the best and have been given what ever it is they wanted.  Now the economy has hit a bump in the road and all of their B.A.'s in 12th century English literature are doing them no good in the free market.  For the first time in their lives someone is telling them no and they are throwing a fit like the overgrown children they are.  If the pro-OWS posters here had read my entire original post instead of focusing on the last few sentences, they would understand that I have no interest or desire to shoot anybody.  I will, however, defend my family and my home if the Bolshevik horde succeeds in what is undeniably their ultimate goal: to destroy the free market economy and replace it with a Marxist economy and dictatorship.  History has shown us what happens next.  The so-called "dictatorship of the bourgeois" is replaced by the dictatorship of the proletariat.  Private property will be confiscated and redistributed.  Those unwilling to go along with the new order are sent, if they are lucky, to re-education or work camps, at worst they are shot in the street as an example.  When the Communists took control in Eastern Europe after World War II, the first thing they did was set-up their state security apparatus.  They let it be known in no uncertain terms that now that they had control, they had no intention whatsoever of giving it up.  The far-left wing can not deny history.  It has happened before and it will happen again if OWS and their fellow traveler in the White House succeed.  The class war in this country began the day Barry Sorento was elected President.  I will make a last stand at my front door if they succeed and I will take as many of them with me as possible.

Sakara
Sakara

protesters crapping on sidewalks----building a better world.

Gordan Gekko
Gordan Gekko

I will shoot anybody who comes to do harm to my family,my property or me. It is called the Castle Doctrine. Look it up. As for a"fantasy," OWS are Marxist/Stalinist trying to create a fantasy"workers' paradise." It has been tried before and was a miserablefailure. A capitalist free market is the only economic system that works.

Sakara
Sakara

20 million illegal aliens speaking spanish are what is bringing the gringo usa to it's knees.

YOU are too uneducated to understand that.

Sakara
Sakara

you are UNABLE to understand supply and demand.

another example: ONE BILLION CHINESE are willing to work for a dollar an hour.

another example: ONE BILLION INDIANS are willing to work for a dollar an hour.

china...india----get it?!

LinNeX
LinNeX

funny how you don't see people from Oklahoma as Americans even though they are ! even using the old terms the fascist used in the 1930's like Oakies you proved my point thank you for trolling me :)

Sakara
Sakara

haha...YOU ignore the story to justify YOUR position.

supply and demand....supply and demand.

college educations meant a lot decades ago----cause there werent as many college grads.

illegal aliens now....oakies in 1930s calif----same difference...duh!

ulrikemeinhof
ulrikemeinhof

I've said nothing resembling any of that. Try to read what I've actually written.

Get lost, creep.

Gordon Gekko
Gordon Gekko

This quote from your namesake proves how dangerous you are and why you and your kind need to be dealt with harshly: "If one sets a car on fire, that is a criminal offence. If one sets hundreds of cars on fire, that is political action."

Gordan Gekko
Gordan Gekko

So you are advocating, if not inciting, the overthrow of the constitutionally elected government of the United States together with its economy?  If so, you represent a clear and present danger to the security of the United States and should be put on the next CIA rendition flight out of here.  I'd volunteer to water board you myself.

ulrikemeinhof
ulrikemeinhof

Why is the below apartment opening in July 2012 advertised as rent-stabilized, then? Is that the same magical apartment that the tenant was evicted from? Then why does the rent control law still apply to it?

http://www.blockhawk.com/nyc/r...

And did you not read the article in the New York Times from the smirking new resident amazed that the building might soon be rent-controlled? Here I was, thinking all these smart banking types adored the free market and would never take advantage of any socialist-style perks.

As soon as that case is settled (see the link to the article from Reason below), you can bet your ass every single resident in that building will be clamoring to pay below-market rates for their apartment.

http://reason.com/blog/2012/04...

Only a gun nut would read what I wrote on Gothamist as a threat. You're deranged. I'm through wasting time with you.

ulrikemeinhof
ulrikemeinhof

We have redistributed wealth in this country already. You described it perfectly in your rant about the bailout of the banks, the funds for which were mostly taken from the American taxpayer. That was wealth, and it was redistributed. (Of course, since it's the kind of redistribution you like, it doesn't qualify as communism, I suppose.) And our planned economy is managed quite well by the Federal Reserve, whose members are taken from the major banks and/or are on their way to government service and academia. They function much like the Politburo. We already have state capitalism in the US; deal with it. Every government uses dire emergencies to justify seizing money from certain classes of people; fall 2008 was no different. The Lehman collapse didn't affect me at all.

As for the rest, take your Book of Revelation stories back to the street corner: no one would be living in caves if a few banks went under. Human beings -- with the probable exception of yourself -- have a remarkable capacity to weather some of the worst disasters possible and recover in a short amount of time. My grandparents lived through WW2 in Europe and the extermination of most of my distant family, and a small part of it was due to the insanity that people like you bring into politics with your nightmare scenarios and constant warnings of horrific, immediate crisis right around the corner. It rarely happens, and when it does, it's at the hands of people who can't even bring themselves to use the president's own goddamn name.

The downfall of those banks (and Bank of America's day of reckoning is coming soon) will be a mote of dust in world history. Life will go on in a matter of days so long as the cops keep you locked up.

And the bathing stuff -- Jesus, this is so incredibly pathetic. I bathe everyday. I have a job. In fact, I work part-time on weekends. Maybe I even work as a bank teller. I'm not a protester. That's what you ought to start worrying about.

Gordan Gekko
Gordan Gekko

I've seen your posts on other sites (e.g., Gothamist).  You think you're so intelligent claiming that 37 Wall residents are trying to get their apartments classfied as rent stabilized.  Maybe if you got off your lazy ass and did some research you would have discovered that in fact it was one resident tenant who was trying to get the rent stabilized classification.  That one tenant was in fact evicted for failure to pay rent.  The rent on every single apartment at 37 Wall is set by the free market.

You made a threat on the Gothamist: "See you around. We know where you live. But you don't know where I do."  Come and get it.  I have a bullet with your name on it.  Castle Doctrine.

Gordan Gekko
Gordan Gekko

Keep on protesting with all of your filthy fellow travelers.  No one will take you seriously if you never take a bath.  It's not the '60's anymore.  Get that through your thick skull.  Banks like Wells Fargo, BofA, JPMorgan and Goldman don't just employ the so-called "wealthy."  They employ thousand upon thousand of honest hard working Americans who have worked damn hard their entire lives to get into the position they are now. 

As for the bailouts: I am intellectually opposed to them, but was anyone really willing to find out what would have happened if the bailouts never happened?  We saw what happened with the collapses of Bear and Lehman.  Tell me with a straight face that you really wanted to see what would happen if AIG, Morgan Stanley, Goldman and JPMorgan all collapsed.  At the same time.  We all might as well have picked up and moved to a cave because that would have been the end of it.  NOTHING GOOD WOULD HAVE COME FROM TOTAL COLLAPSE OF THE ECONOMY.  It's bad now. What would it have been like if the entire banking system had imploded?  In a choice between bad and worse, I'll choose bad. 

Does the banking system need further regulation?  Absolutely.  Do the banks get away with murder with the fees they are allowed to impose?  Yes.  But none of that and any other "abuse" in the system does not call for what President Sorento, Van Jones and the rest of the OWS crowd are calling for.  It does not call for a communist style planned economy with a massive confiscation and redistribution of wealth.  You don't like the "big banks?"  Fine, go bank at a credit union.  The Soviet Union and every other state that had a planned economy with redistributed wealth was a total, abject failure.  Period.  End of story.

ulrikemeinhof
ulrikemeinhof

There's nothing in here even remotely resembling a coherent argument. It's just a series of hackneyed insults and threats. Somewhere along the line you heard the phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat" and those are the only words in this rant that indicate you live, geographically, in the same time/space continuum as the rest of us.

Just making me think any more about this makes me want to give up on the idea of education altogether. It clearly didn't work with you.

The Red Army
The Red Army

Calls himself Gekko, thinks he's Rambo, wails like Yoko.

BS
BS

It is not communism nor capitalism that kills the free market - it is greed and monopoly

Lostarchitect
Lostarchitect

The party structure of 100 years ago does not resemble today's structure and is irrelevant to the discussion at hand anyway.

Ben
Ben

Well it's a good thing that OWS has nothing to do with the Democrats then, huh?

Art Dekko
Art Dekko

If the day of reckoning ever came, it's painfully obvious that the semi-toting "manly man" Gordon Gekko would wind up as a communal fuck-hole for any unwashed hippie who wants to make an unregulated deposit.  

The only bloodshed Gordon would contribute to the streets would be the blood trickling out of the same place his understanding of economics and history comes from.

Roy Greene
Roy Greene

WE DON'T HAVE A CAPITALIST FREE MARKET!! WE HAVE CORPORATE WELFARE!

Sakara
Sakara

LINCOLN WAS A REPUBLICAN.

the democrats used the kkk to fight lincoln's post-war policies.

fear sells
fear sells

 no one is planning to come to your home, fox-for-brains.  stay inside, sweating and staring out the windows, pissing in a jug.  we're not coming for you...

Ozz Exonar
Ozz Exonar

Study your history.  Abraham Lincoln first identified the problem that Occupy Wall Street is addressing.  It keeps returning in cycles.

Roy Greene
Roy Greene

whatevr!! those bastards crashd the American way of life. blame it on aliens. that's Ur typical repuglican strawman. why don't U go beat it sumwhere else...

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