'Occupy Wall Street' Protesters Regroup at Liberty Plaza With Pizza, Tales of Battle

imag02552 'Occupy Wall Street' Protesters Regroup at Liberty Plaza With Pizza, Tales of Battle

Police moving the edge of the protest line back into the park.

The Observer arrived at Zuccotti Park, across from 1 Liberty Plaza–the site of the camps, kitchen and “media tent” holding up the backend of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest that has been going for six days–just after 3:30 p.m.

Today’s march, which started on Wall St. and headed up to Washington Square Park and then to Union Square–was winding its way back, having lost a few dozen good men to police custody, a.k.a. an out-of-service MTA bus. A protester, Josh Lewis, is tweeting from zipties on the bus, which he reports made its way eventually to 1 Police Plaza.

“In handcuffs yet still tweeting with numb thumbs,” he texted The Observer. “Can’t believe the lack of justice, will call when I’m out (hopefully soon).” Then, he texted, “(torture conditions in multiple vans… ‘rioting animals’) 1 police plaza!!!”

There were reports of between 50 and 100 arrests. Protesters at Liberty Plaza were reporting the names of the arrested to members of the Legal Team–“Kat, with a K! Lou Richardson!” A man with a notepad raised an objection. “No, his name’s Lou Richardson. Or Luke Richardson! Who the fuck knows! Lou slash Luke Richardson!”–who were typing them into a list. Donated pizzas, pasta and bean salad were being served off the park’s marble benches. Liberato’s Pizza on Cedar Street was donating 20 pizzas for every hour a protester was held, protesters told The Observer–we also heard Ben & Jerry’s had sent ice cream.

Soon, NY1 arrived–cheers from about the crowd. “The media blackout is over!”

“It’s difficult for the media to build a narrative because this is a leaderless protest,” said Patrick Bruner, the bony 23-year-old, dressed in a black t-shirt and black pants, who was orchestrating the public relations effort. Mr. Bruner, a recent graduate with an English degree, lives in Bed-Stuy and has been looking for a job for months–he heard about the protest by word-of-mouth and headed downtown last week to volunteer. He shaved his punkish haircut this morning after reading a New York Times story that portrayed the protest as a motley crew of anarchists, hippies and delinquents.

Mr. Bruner’s phone rang. “Hi this is Patrick Bruner, Occupy Wall Street,” he said. “How can I help you?”

It was Nathan Schneider of wagingnonviolence.org, who had just left the scene at Union Square. “Want to talk to a reporter?” Mr. Bruner asked, handing the phone over.

“The police were trying to stop the march,” Mr. Schneider reported. “The Livestream team has been arrested.” That morning, he met a woman who said she was administering the stream–he had just seen her loaded onto the MTA bus which was surrounded by police. “The Democracy Now PR person got an interview with a woman who was pepper-sprayed!” he said, excited.

Among the protesters at the park were many students from Wesleyan and other schools in the tri-state area as well as visitors from other states. The Observer met a couple, he 26, she 21, who had taken a bus from Akron, Ohio, this morning. Members of Anonymous–or at least, people wearing Guy Fawkes masks, the trademark of that group–were seen arrested. The police were enforcing an 1845 law that prohibits two or three people wearing masks to stand together in public, said one protester who had been involved in the effort since it started with an AdBusters call to action in July. He heard about the effort on Tumblr, he said.

PHOTOS: Some Signs as to What Those Wall Street Protesters Might Want >>

The Observer ducked into a coffee shop and found Mr. Bruner typing at his laptop with two large cups of water. “I need an assistant!” he said. He was sending emails, watching the live Twitter feed from the arrested protester, and fielding calls from members of the protest’s various teams. “Hey, Google just shut me down,” he said into his cell phone–just a cell phone, not a smartphone–as he shook one hand in the direction of the computer in frustration. “I can’t send emails.”

For sending too many emails? we asked.

“For spamming!” he said. “When I’m not!”

We asked about the support the movement had received from businesses and local franchises. “McDonalds has been very friendly,” he said. “Burger King has been exactly the opposite. They actually banned us from purchasing.”

After another phone call, Mr. Bruner glanced at his computer, then at his phone, then looked at The Observer.“The police are amassing on Broadway,” he said.

It was time to go.

As The Observer scurried behind the long-legged publicist, he wiped his brow. “I’ve never done anything like this in my life,” he said. “I think I’m doing a pretty good job.”

Check out photos of the Occupy Wall Street protests.


  1. Lippyulu says:

    There is no longer a right to peaceful assembly or protest in NYC.  These arrests are ridiculous. NO ONE is breaking the law.  The city wants to the protesters to leave so are arresting random people USING NETS.  Shame Shame Shame on the Mayor and NYPD for carrying out this injustice.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Everyone should bring a bad and their own shield lets even this up.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nice report. Not condescending like Times coverage.

  4. argentina says:

    USA is crazy,arresting inocent people ??? i think 3 world police is better than this brutal police.

  5. Anonymous says:

    good job, patrick!  :)

  6. elu says:

    Now we find that we’ve become,
    The things from which we used to run,
    Escaped on borrowed attitude,
    Fed on others thought for food,
    Instant wisdom, Instant gain,
    … Buy me now, Intone my name,It’s sick, It’s barbed,It’s lost it’s art,The system lives without a heart,For now, ‘Social Forces’Have made us prostitutes of Mammonhttp://www.myspace.com/elusiver

  7. Here’s a good place to start on why Occupy Wall Street makes sense by Amy Goodman: http://bit­.ly/pU5Zyb . On another comment thread I also read, “I don’t care if they don’t have a coherent message; the number of foreclosur­es
    is enough of a message for me.” Lastly, I think it’s important to
    recognize that this group really values every voice. They are using
    consensus-­based decision-m­aking to create their goals. This
    sort of structure does not give rise to a single leader or a single
    message, which I think is perfectly legitimate­. With them, every voice counts and there are a lot of different reasons that people are upset with the status quo. 

    1. Anonymous says:

      if you are angry about foreclosures, why not protest at countrywide or any of a series of predatory lenders out there.  or at the families who let people live beyond their means.  or protest the high frequency trading funds.

      why occupy lower manhattan and burden the people who rent homes in the neighborhood.  you know that no one who works on Wall Street actually works on “Wall” any more right? 

      1. guest says:

        why not go stick your head in the oven?

      2. Anonymous says:

        why not have a dialogue versus a knee jerk hostility?  do you live here and understand anything?  don’t be mad – let’s chat!

      3. Chris says:

        I have to take issue with your statement “why not protest… at the families who let people live beyond their means”.
        You have no right to get the families involved.  Even if you dont like a banker and think he wronged you that’s know reason gather at his front door and harass his wife and (young) children  When a 13 year old boy is so terrified of the people outside his house that he is driven to cowering inside the closet, that is when it has gone WAY TOO FAR! 

      4. Anonymous says:

        egad.  i didn’t mean the banker’s families.  i mean the millions of americans who leased expensive cars and lived in mcmansions on credit while working modest jobs.  everyone is culpable.

  8. JS says:

    America yawns, the world wakes up.Salute to America aware.

  9. sobisahn says:

    “…And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now [insert politician here]. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent…” -V 

  10. Chifilam says:

    This is better reporting than that of Kat Stoefell who is very condescending and hostile.  As a good journalist she should do her job of reporting and not to take on another TV acnhorman’s comment.  A journalist must maintain objectivity and not be drawn into a verbal contest with another.  This Kat Stoefell is fighting rather than reporting. 

  11. Raytek2 says:

    Useful idiots…

  12. bil says:

    you don’t get arrested if you don’t break the law … there are many laws these people are breaking … and I have seen them do NON-peaceful things …….

  13. Colbrooksinc says:

    If we are against the big guys which I am, then lets hurt them where it matters.  The banks who we bailed out and they turned their backs on us but now want to charge us more for using their ATM cards.  Lets all pull our money out of their hands at the same time, same day demand our money.  Keep a dollar in to hold the accounts open and deposit only what is needed to cover our bills?  I am sure that with some thought we can really cripple these establishments.  This is othe only ways to make them take action.

  14. actjust says:

    ana christina here…

    GA related event. Please support in response to the tragic suicide of a young Columbia University student. Occupy Wallstreet and this countries woes affect us all. These issues are intertwined.  

    Lets start a conversation. LIGHT THE CANDLE OF TRUTH!

    Remember. Reflect. Rebuild.
    9:30 pm
    Thursday, Oct. 27th
    Silent Candlelight Vigil

  15. actjust says:


  16. John Brobst says:

    Occupy Wall Street will get no where without concentrating on one or two specific goals.  In my opinion those goals should be: 1) Term limitations for all federal representatives.  2) PUBLIC FUNDING OF ELECTIONS.  The 99% cannot be represented as long as this nation remains a plutocracy.  Big money selects who will be a candidate and big money selects what candidate is most likely to win.