Anti-Wall Street protesters have been celebrating the last-minute decision to delay cleaning Zuccotti Park in New York City where they are based. USA. 14th October 2011
Around 6:00 a.m., Zuccotti Park hosted between two to four thousand occupiers. Occupy Wall Street's call to action had not only been heard, the people arrived and stood in solidarity.
The General Assembly began with inspirational speeches asking the crowd, "Who is ready to defend our park?" while also declaring, "Our time is now. We are the epicenter, the symbol of a global revolution taking place in various cities. We will not leave this park!" As the speakers continued to deliver, the occupiers vigorously roared with chants that echoed and bounced off the surrounding buildings.
And then, the big announcement was made.
"Everyone," the speaker said, "Brookfield Properties has decided to postpone the cleaning and there are two reasons why. First, they believe they can work something out with us. But more importantly, it's because there are so many people here!"
The crowd erupted in cheers, applause, and chants. The occupiers I spoke with were elated and no longer anxious as many anticipated possible arrests as well as beatings similar to those in Occupy Boston a few days ago.
The dancing began, the chants continued, and the first march commenced. "All day, all week, Occupy Wall Street" reverberated throughout Broadway. One loop later, the occupiers gathered more drummers and people and headed deeper into the city while morning commuters looked on.
Police presence was heavy at all times. Some wore riot gear and others had their batons ready while NYPD's TARU filmed Occupy Wall Street's every move. However, they weren't the only one's filming. Dozens of journalists, photographers, and bloggers marched with the occupiers capturing the early NY morning march. Luckily, Occupy Wall Street returned to Liberty Plaza without incident.
I'm currently in a local shop writing this blog post reflecting on the past few hours. Over this time period, Occupy Wall Street's mood had changed from anticipation and resolve, to confidence and fortitude. Today, Occupy Wall Street has undoubtedly won a crucial victory. As one occupier declared, "Let this moment sear in our minds and that together, we can change our reality."
More on this story as it develops into the weekend.
**Update 12:09 pm** A couple outlets are reporting some arrests as well as an officer who ran over a National Lawyers Guild member's leg (See here http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/14/us-usa-wallstreet-protests-idUSTRE79A41E20111014 and here http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-201_162-10009799.html)