Saturday, October 1, 2011

Walled Streets

It seems the near-media blackout over coverage of the Occupy Wall street protests has opened up to a diffuse grey. Two weeks after the protests over financial corruption began, corporate media entities have a taken an adequate, if not jaded, glance.

Yahoo News:

More than 1,000 people marched past City Hall and arrived at a plaza outside police headquarters in the late afternoon. Some held banners criticizing police, while others chanted: "We are the 99 percent" and "The banks got bailed out, we got sold out."

Workers from the financial district on their way home watched as the marchers passed, with some saying it was not obvious what outcome organizers of the Occupy Wall Street movement wanted.

Police observed the march and kept protesters on the sidewalk, but no clashes were reported. Police said no arrests were made before the protest dispersed peaceably by 8 p.m. after the march.

"No to the NYPD crackdown on Wall St. protesters," organizers had said on their website, promoting the march. Other online flyers for the march read: "No to Stop-and-Frisk in Black & Latino neighborhoods" and "No to Spying and Harassment of Muslim Communities."

The protest came less than a week after police arrested 80 people during a march to the bustling Union Square shopping district, the most arrests by New York police at a demonstration since hundreds were detained outside the Republican National Convention in 2004.

A police commander used pepper spray on four women at last weekend's march and a video of the incident went viral on the Internet, angering many protesters who vowed to continue their protests indefinitely.

Police have said pepper spray was a better alternative than night sticks to subdue those blocking traffic.

It was only after excessive force was used that the protests got any large-scale notice.

And while it's endearing to see all the funky homemade protest signs, since many of them are almost illegible, perhaps the most striking visual moment was when about 700 hundred Continental and United pilots, joined by additional pilots from other Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) carriers, demonstrated in front of Wall Street on September 27. The uniformity of signs, and, well, uniforms, really had an impact.

I mean, damn. Busby Berkley couldn't have done it better.

Other unions are joining in.
Here's a photo album.

UPDATE: 400 Arrested at Protests
Police reopened the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday evening after about 400 anti-Wall Street protesters were arrested for blocking traffic lanes and attempting an unauthorized march across the span.

The arrests took place when a large group of marchers, participating in a second week of protests by the Occupy Wall Street movement, broke off from others on the bridge's pedestrian walkway and headed across the Brooklyn-bound lanes.

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