I made my way down to Occupy Wall Street this past Saturday. They were participating in a day of worldwide action protesting the state of the global economic system, and marched from Wall Street to Washington Square Park.
Later that night, I watched the General Assembly debate the possibility of expanding their occupation to Washington Square. It was pretty incredible to watch thousands of people have a rational conversation — using the people’s microphone — about the costs and benefits of staying in the park after it closed at midnight. Police had already begun to gather and threatened the arrest of anyone who stayed past close. Some people gave good reasons for beginning the expanded occupation, despite the possibility of arrest, while other believed they didn’t have the numbers on that particular night. At around 11:45 P.M. the assembly decided to table the discussion for the next day and left the park peacefully. I guess that’s what they call ‘direct democracy’.
I think what struck me the most was the diversity — racial, ethnic, age, socio-economic, gender, everything. Like a seemingly grungy young kid in a tie-dyed tank top linked arms with a mother pushing a stroller. It was incredible.
Here are some pictures from the march:
The evening’s General Assembly in the drained fountain in Washington Square Park.