Do you suppose it's because the whole Arab Spring phenonemon now holds a certain trendy allure for the corporate journalists? The first Wall Street "Day of Rage" last March sponsored by New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts only got mentioned in a few independent blogs and Al Jazeera, even though it attracted thousands of people. This time, the anti-consumerism magazine "AdBusters" was doing the (loose) organizing and perhaps is savvier at publicity and use of social media to get the message out... via Twitter and Facebook.
All indications are that this day of leaderless, mellow musical rage will be similar to previous demonstrations, but some media (especially right wing media) are forecasting a Marxist bloodbath. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on the radio warning that the high youth unemployment rate could lead to riots in the streets -- though he didn't really specify his streets, on this particular day.
The culmination of today's events will be a 3 p.m. rally at Chase Square. According to the website OccupyWallSt, the NYPD is expecting total crowds of about 5000. Participants hope the protests last until December, or at least through Monday, when President Obama is due in town to speak to the U.N. (and raise some bundled Wall Street cash).*
This summer's peaceful encampment ended after a few weeks with the arrests of what were called "The Bloombergville 13" on charges of obstructing traffic. In New York City, it is legal to sleep on the sidewalks as long as you only take up half the walkway so as not to trip up pedestrians. And despite what the poster above advises, tents are supposedly illegal within the city limits. If you come, bundle up. The nights are getting nippy in the concrete and steel canyon.
|Wall Street Day of Rage, March 2011 (it was peaceful)|