Occupy Wall Street at Washington Square Yesterday and Later Today

A contingent of the Occupy Wall Street March which marched to Times Square for a big gathering yesterday met first at Washington Square Park for a “student assembly” in the afternoon; headed to midtown and then a large group returned to the Park in the evening (perhaps barricades of the Fountain and Arch had been removed by then? Seems like yes since people were *in* the Fountain past midnight – the park’s official “curfew”).

News articles:

New York Observer Live Blogging the Times Square March

The Local East Village 10 Arrests reported in Washington Square Park Demonstration

Fox News: 92 Occupy Wall Street Protesters Arrested in New York City

NY1: Occupy Wall Street to Return to Washington Square Park Today — Sunday

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7 thoughts on “Occupy Wall Street at Washington Square Yesterday and Later Today”

  1. Last night there was still a barricade around the arch, but not the fountain. Probably a good idea since otherwise the crowd might have tried to convene on the grass. So far I haven’t noticed any damage to the park – hopefully it will stay that way. And hopefully the midnight closing time will continue to be enforced even if it means mass arrests. If people illegally camp out there overnight it will ruin the park.

    i don’t understand why the protestors came to WSP. Their “enemies” are the big Wall Street banks, which are downtown. The WSP area residents are not people the demonstrators should have a gripe with. I guess they are doing it to increase visibility. They are not helping their cause, though, by alienating the people who actually vote.

  2. The reason all our parks are getting so many unnecessary millions of dollars worth of upgrades (like moving a fountain 4 feet) is because bloomberg is giving out city contracts to all the elites. They are like kids in a candy store — stealing tax-payer dollars. Every member of the 99% should applaud what the protestors are doing. So what if the park is ruined? It can be fixed. Our lives have been ruined by these criminals. We can fix the park. Some people will never recover from the theft of the economy, their jobs, houses and 401ks.

    OWS needs more space to accomodate its growth. Zuccotti Park (Liberty Square) is tiny. It cannot contain the many thousands of angry Americans who flood into it on weekends to protest.

  3. Hi Seth,

    I agree with Casey Jane that it’s about a larger issue not just about taking over a Village park. Washington Square is a place that once was at the cusp of new ideas and ways of being but hasn’t been in a long while. The Bloomberg Admin spent unnecessary millions to redesign every inch of this park almost as an affront to the community and its wishes. Now, they can’t even keep the most basic upkeep because money IS just thrown around in the wrong places. Occupying Washington Square, in my opinion, is not about one neighborhood. It’s about something we’re all being subjected to – a way of being, a system, which only helps a certain select group of people and not everyone else.

    Monica, sorry for delayed response. Yes people were there at 6 yesterday and likely will be there around that time today too. But you may know and have been by Zuccotti and checked the calendar. 🙂

    Casey Jane, thanks for your comment. you’re so right that some people will never recover from what’s been done and what’s been allowed to be done. I appreciate your viewpoint and agree with you.

    best,
    Cathryn.
    WSP Blog

    ps fountain was moved 22 feet but still ridiculous.

  4. I am the first to agree that redesigning WSP was a big waste of money and that the contractors benefited from it. All that was needed was a more modest renovation, not a tree-killing redesign. (Although if you think about it, those contractors do provide blue collar jobs….)

    But I resent the idea that because a bunch of protestors – many of whom are sincere and feel the economic system has not been fair to them, but many others who just think it’s the “cool” thing to do (like being pro-Palestinian without thinking about what that really means) and a good place to meet groovy guys and chicks – feel they are enitiled to 24-hour use of a neighborhood park and possibly wreck it. To say “it can be fixed” is not satisfactory. There is no reason the protestors can’t respect their neighbors (and they have for the most part so far). I not only live near the park, but I have worked very hard for almost 30 years to make a good living – working 60 hours a week to do so – and I pay outrageous amounts of taxes – almost 50% of what I earn if you include NYS and NYC tax (and no, I’m not at the “1%” level, far from it). Why should I have to pay MORE tax so that the police can work overtime due to the protests trying to provoke them, and possibly to repair a park that I as a taxpayer paid for and I as a neighbor have been waiting for years to be finished?

    And what for? I agree that the tax code is unfair in the way it provides loopholes to the extreme upper end, and that corporations have gotten so adept at making money that some of them have forgotten any other reason to exist. But many of the protestors I witnessed are unaashed Marxists who would throw out our entire system – Constitution and all – and end up in a society that will be primitive even by third world standards. How will these kids’ iPhones and laptops and credit cards (excuse me, their daddies’ credit cards) work if there is no corporate and banking infrastructure to support them? Maybe the window will open for the Islamists will take over so we can all live under Shariah law (assuming they allow infidels to live here)!!!!

    I agree that WSP historically has been the site of “new ideas”. Setting aside the fact that the times are hardly right for revolution – incremental change is more like it – ever hear of voting?? – WSP is a good place fr a group to convene. But they are saying “occupy”
    wsp, as if WSP did something to harm them (like Wall St.). If anything, they should celebrate WSP, not try to occupy it. It makes no sense.

  5. Hi Seth,

    Thanks for your further thoughts!

    So true re: park needing modest (not tree-killing) design. Yes, it provided blue collar jobs but … at what ultimate ‘cost’ (both actual and otherwise)? Ultimately, I think we’re on the ‘same page’ as far as that goes.

    I see it a bit differently as far as the idea of “occupying” the park. And the city is choosing to over-police — someone wrote a great comment it was at one of the Times’ articles I believe about the ways the city uses their money – such as basically losing $30 million by giving away money previously collected from the Yankees’ parking garage fees TO them – money that previously went to the city. So many bad decisions! You can isolate the cost of police and agree or not — whether it’s justified the # of police — but to target the OWS protesters on that one when there’s so many other examples where the city is making bad decisions or using money to protect a corporate interest over the people seems to me not appropriate.

    I look at WSP as (obviously) a public space that is a place to put forth, as you also confirmed, “new ideas” and I don’t object to the park being used in this way. I also have learned there are efforts being made to “respect the neighbors” and reach out to the community – which hopefully you’ll see the outreach work from soon.

    We can’t just in one fell swoop characterize everyone involved (on either side in some respects) and I also am not convinced that voting is going to change things. I think the society changes and then the people who come into office reflect that.

    Anyway, it’s a large discussion clearly and Occupy Wall Street opened that discussion up further.

    Thanks as always for your commentary and thoughts.

    Cathryn.

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