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?”