Occupy Wall Street Goes Global (10-15-11)
It’s a beautiful day for a protest. Unseasonably warm. I’m headed to meet my friend Pam and a few of her friends at the New York Public Library and then we’ll head over to Times Square and join up with the OWS protesters who’re marching from Zuccotti Park (Liberty Square). I get there first and see a young couple with southern accents speaking with a female NYPD officer asking if this is where the marchers will be coming?
I immediately pull them aside and find out they’re from Memphis, TN and have driven up to NYC in solidarity with the 99% and are planning on staying at the park with the protesters. They’re both adorable. Her name is Demi Moore; I’m not making that up and his name…Mohammad, Mo for short. After a short conversation I discover their car’s parked somewhere in New Jersey and they want to know what they should do about that. I don’t own a car but as soon as my friends arrive I hook them up and they assess the situation.
Turns out my friend, Pam, just happens to have a sleeping bag in her car, which she gives them since they don’t have one and from the looks of things they don’t have coats either. I remember when I first moved to NYC from South Carolina and didn’t have a winter coat. I didn’t need one down South and figured how cold could it be? Well, I soon found out and it took me about five years to collect all the gear I needed to survive the elements in NYC.
There’s a small protest going on at the library and they’re heading over to one of the corporate banks I believe it’s Bank of America to do a ‘die in’ and warn us of the possibility we’ll get arrested so our group decides instead to head over to Times Square and await the OWS marchers.
Soon we hear via Twitter two dozen people are arrested at Citibank when they try to withdraw their money. As sirens blare and police cruisers and vans sped up the Avenue several of us give them the black power salute. Soon thereafter the marchers descend upon Times Square by the thousands. And I do mean thousands. The place is packed to the gills with protesters. It’s glorious. I feel very proud to be a New Yorker.
After a couple of hours we decide to head uptown and began making our way via the east side of the sidewalk on Broadway. It’s slow going and packed. Two young girls with thick southern accents are outraged, “I can’t believe we came to New York City and get in the middle of a dang protest! We just want to see a Broadway show!” I turn to them, “Isn’t New York grand!” But this gives me a great idea and at one point when we stumble upon a police headquarters trailer on one of the side streets I proclaim in a very loud, very southern accent, “Hey come on ya’ll. It looks like a protest. Let’s go check it out. Don’t you love New York City!”
Finally, we manage to make it to 45th & Broadway where it became impossible to move any further so we decide to backtrack and maybe see if we can head over to 6th Avenue to get out of the crowds. By this time it’s late and dark and I need to go home so I can pee and eat something. Once over by 6th we decide to walk up to 50th so I can catch a train when Pam reads on Twitter a horse has gone down at 46th Street. Are you kidding me?
Turns out at 6:22 NYPD entered on horseback at 46th Street and try to get people to move. Well, there’s no place for people to move so the police officers try to get their horses to ram into the crowd but you see horses have more brains and sense when it comes to these matters and refuse to plow into the crowd and instead the animal had gone down on one knee but quickly recovered, thank God. Luckily, a high-ranking police officer appeared and demanded the horsemen back off and they did.
Pam, reads another tweet out loud, “This is what giving a shit looks like.” I immediately retweet it. So yes, this is what giving a shit looks like. As for Demi and Mo, last I heard, they left Occupy Wall Street and are now residing in Occupy L.A. You’ve got to admit the weather is certainly easier to deal with.
Turns out protests erupted in over 1,500 cities worldwide that day.
So, if you give a shit, come join us. It’s time to Occupy.