First it was Zuccotti, then the Brooklyn Bridge. Times Square followed, as did Washington Square and spaces — public and private — across the US. Now the Occupy Wall Street movement is calling for a day of action — and they want to see it everywhere.
Occupy organizers are calling November 17 an “International Day of Action” and, in celebration of the movement’s two-month anniversary, are plotting events across the world. In New York, of course, where OWS began 60 days earlier, demonstrations already have an agenda planned of occupations across the Big Apple in what looks to be their biggest series of protests yet.
Beginning at 7 a.m. NYC time, protesters will gather in Zuccotti Park — since renamed by the demonstrators as Liberty Square — and will rally to the New York Stock Exchange, aiming to effectively shut down Wall Street before the morning bell opens up the day for trading. “Enough of this economy that exploits and divides us,” organizers write on the Occupy Wall Street website. “It’s time we put an end to Wall Street’s reign of terror and begin building an economy that works for all.”
After the NYSE is occupied, demonstrators plan to take over the New York subway by gathering at 16 of the mass transit system’s central hubs. Organizers say that will employ the “People’s Mic” to share stories on subway and will do so by boarding the trains in various locales of all five boroughs — The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island.
By 5 p.m., organizers predict that tens of thousands of protesters will have already joined their forces as the group gathers in Foley Square in front of New York’s City Hall and lead a march to the bridges of New York. Accompanied by instruments, choirs and musicians, protesters say they will bring lanterns in order to shine light “into our broken economic and political system” as festivities culminate on the historic crossings that connect Manhattan with the rest of the City.
In the first weeks of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a mass protest on the Brooklyn Bridge ended with more than 700 arrests. In the weeks since, however, the movement has only gained momentum, however, and Thursday’s events aim to be the biggest step in the demonstration so far.
After almost two months of holding an occupation of Zuccotti, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg barred protesters from keeping tents and shelters in the private park after an early morning raid on Tuesday. Similar crack-downs have occurred in the last few days in cities across the country, though protesters have repeatedly returned to their encampments in bigger numbers every time.
In preparation for the International Day of Action, authorities in New York say that they are taking extra precautions. “Our plan is to be prepared,” Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway told the press on Wednesday. “Our goal is to ensure this city continues to run.”
Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson adds that they expect protesters to try to disrupt locales across the city and the NYPD and MTA have been working alongside one another to try to keep the city in tact.
Solidarity demonstrations are being planned in conjunction with the NYC protests on Thursday in cities across the US and the world.