But what is the idea? The most consistent criticism laid against the occupiers is their lack of a central organising system or core message. Who are these people, and what do they want? The fact that the mainstream media is even asking this question can be considered a victory for the Occupy Wall Street.
Part of the point of this occupation, like the occupations in Greece, Spain and London, has been to create a different kind of political space, a temporary reality outside the lassitudes of mainstream politics where human beings are equal and respected. People have come from all over the country and all over the world to be here, and not all of them, contrary to most of the reports, are white and college-educated. I meet black high-schoolers from Brooklyn, young men from California, young women from St Louis, Maine and Wisconsin, older laid-off workers from Texas and Virginia, and activists from Spain who have come to see if America can really host the kind of revolutionary space that has been opening up across Europe and the Middle East. It seems that, in its own way, it can: copycat protests are opening up across the country, from Chicago to Denver to Los Angeles and Boston.
To those of us who came up in the '60s, this really is a deja vu. Young people I know are discussing going to New York this coming weekend to join them.
(Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal.)
The same story, updated again, with the lead changed slightly and yet another author added to the byline:
Police Arrest More Than 700 Protesters on Brooklyn Bridge
By AL BAKER, COLIN MOYNIHAN and SARAH MASLIN NIR
Updated, 3:35 a.m. Sunday | In a tense showdown above the East River, the police arrested more than 700 demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street protests who took to the roadway as they tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
The police said it was the marchers' choice that led to the enforcement action.
"Protesters who used the Brooklyn Bridge walkway were not arrested," Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the New York Police Department, said. "Those who took over the Brooklyn-bound roadway, and impeded vehicle traffic, were arrested."
But many protesters said they believed the police had tricked them, allowing them onto the bridge, and even escorting them partway across, only to trap them in orange netting after hundreds had entered.
"The cops watched and did nothing, indeed, seemed to guide us onto the roadway," said Jesse A. Myerson, a media coordinator for Occupy Wall Street who marched but was not arrested.
@OccupyWallSt points to this 14-second clip above as "proof of entrapment." It's part of a nearly 9-minute video, NYPD Arrests 700 #OccupyWallStreet Protesters On The Brooklyn Bridge, that ends with arrests, and cries of "Shame!" and "The whole world is watching."
Update: 2:07 p.m. Dueling videos: Police Gave Warnings at Bridge, Videos Show. NYT's City Room blog:
Updated 12:33 p.m. | With the Internet bursting with videos showing various interactions between the police and protesters from Occupy Wall Street, the New York Police Department decided to add two more.
The videos, which were released on Sunday morning, show the police issuing two separate warnings to marchers who were either poised to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on its roadway, rather than the pedestrian walkway, or had already begun doing so....
See them at the link above. Without much context, it's hard to know if this is a contradiction -- there's no doubt that at some point police formed a line and announced people would be arrested. If these same police had led the protesters onto the bridge, how were they to disperse from the cul de sac?
Sources: #OccupyWallStreet, aggregating everyone's tweets on the topic, including Salman Rushdie, Alyssa Milano, Yoko One and Bianca Jagger.
Occupy Wall Street | NYC Protest for American Revolution. Official site of the protest.
Their "General Assemblies Statement, Declaration of the Occupation of New York City" -- why they're doing this.
Live stream: "Global Revolution brings you live stream video coverage from independent journalists on the ground at nonviolent protests around the world."
Tweets from jail:
RT "@NYCSep17: #occupywallstreet i am out. High morale in jail. Songs and laughter. Police seemed confused and guessed at 800 detainees"
jeffrae Jeff Rae
Our cell does not have running water but toliet works. Cell next to us had a non working toliet #occupywallstreet
7 hours ago
Wikipedia attempts to corral it all: Occupy Wall Street.
Interesting detail: Alexander Eichler at HuffPost describes the human Twitter that evolved in the park earlier in the week, passing the messages back through the rows.
NEW YORK -- The members of Occupy Wall Street are not allowed to use megaphones, so they've adopted a low-tech workaround.
At their twice-daily general meetings in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan's financial district, whoever has an announcement to make speaks slowly and clearly, with a pause every few seconds, so that everyone within earshot of the speaker can repeat back what he or she just said -- amplifying it for the crowd of hundreds to hear.
One more: Every Action Produces Overreaction. Gina Bellafante in the Times.