Occupy Wall Street, unions and immigrants’ rights groups collaborated to organize massive protests on Tuesday in New York City and Oakland and smaller events across the country and around the world.
Yet one would have little knowledge about the scale of the rallies by reading and viewing the establishment media. The New York Daily News absurdly claims “hundreds of activists across the U.S.” participated in the marches, despite the fact that in New York City alone tens of thousands of people took to the streets. Reuters concurred, calling the resurgence a “dud,” adding accusations of a “poor turnout.”
Even the so-called left-leaning network MSNBC devoted little time to the gatherings. (photo via @dontbeaputz)
Perhaps it would have been easy to adopt a pessimistic perception of the day standing in the rain at 4 am by the Brooklyn Bridge, waiting for a mass show of civil disobedience that never came or later sprinting through the streets of Chinatown on the Wildcat march that consisted of hundreds of masked young men and women overturning garbage cans, carrying a “Fuck the Police” banner and leading police on a wild goose chase that lasted forty-five minutes, as officers used their scooters like battering rams and activists seized police barricades to partition the street and make their getaway.
There was a time in that morning period when even the most devoted Occupier felt some anxiety about the protest. The weather was crappy, the turnout smaller than expected and police ultimately arrested around thirty activists (the AP puts it at fifty arrested), sometimes in highly aggressive fashions for specious reasons. For example, the Wildcat marchers barely took two steps before police attacked them, and one young man I saw arrested was taken into custody for jaywalking. (photo: Wildcat march)
Zack, an Occupier who had been involved with some of the May Day organizing, remained optimistic during those hours and said he attended the event to see how the past four months of organizing would shape up.