It was a genuinely friendly scene in Zucatti Park (formerly called Liberty Plaza Park) on Saturday, Oct. 1 as the Occupy Wall Street protest continued into its 15th day. The park, a haven amidst the skyscrapers of lower Manhattan's financial district, is owned by a firm called Brookfield Properties, not New York City, hence the police cannot raid the area without consent of the owner. Photo by Eric Francis. Note to webmasters and bloggers -- you don't need permission to use our photos of the protest that appear in this space. Just say where you got the photo and please give us a link back.
It was a mellow scene at Zucotti Park in Manhattan on Saturday, as the rain drizzled down on protesters who have been occupying the park for more than two weeks. This is not merely a bunch of kids; there were people of all ages. I personally met three different people who said they were grandmothers. The park is owned by a real estate development company, so the protests cannot be cleared without its consent — which it has not given yet. Let’s hope its liability insurance carrier keeps its cool. At about 3 pm yesterday, a few thousand people headed over to the Brooklyn Bridge. The New York Times reported on its Cityroom blog, “After allowing marchers from the Occupy Wall Street protests to claim the Brooklyn-bound car lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge and get partway across, the police cut the marchers off and plunged into the crowd and began making arrests.” About 700 were taken into police custody. Those who crossed via the pedestrian walkway above (including our photographer) were not caught in the trap.
As for the Tony Bologna pepper spray incident last week, the immune system known as Jon Stewart took care of that one.
Brother, can you spare a billion? This is a reference to be many, many billions in federal bailouts given to Wall Street institutions, which continue to hoard cash and gamble away the economy. Many taking part in the protests had a feeling of light-hearted street theater, but with a serious message. Photo by Eric Francis at Zucotti Park on Oct. 1, 2011.
Issues raised by protesters included unfair practices by health insurance companies to being unable to get a job out of college with a good (and expensive) education. These participants stood on Broadway, facing passers-by. Photo by Eric Francis on Oct. 1, 2011.
Blue Period: the Occupy Wall Street protest in Zucotti Park includes a number of 'facilities' including this sign-making shop, which had quite a bit of blue paint. There is a also a free kitchen and food service area, and a technology center powered by a generator. Photo by Beth Bagner on Oct. 1, 2011.
The Occupied Wall Street Jounal, a protest newspaper, was published last week. Copies were being given out free on Saturday, Oct. 1. Photo by Beth Bagner.
Another dog for economic justice. This photo is dedicated to my friend Billy, who urged me to be careful at the protest yesterday. Photo by Eric.
NYPD Community Affairs cops arrived at the protest Saturday evening to have what amounted to a rap session with protesters. Photo by Eric Francis.