October 9, 2011

In News

Occupy Wall St. protesters march from Zuccotti Park to Washington Sq. and back, escape NYPD trouble


Sunday, October 9th 2011, 4:00 AM

Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters left Zuccotti Park and headed to Washington Square Park yesterday before turning around and marching back a few hours later – without clashing with cops.

About half the protesters who have inhabited the private lower Manhattan park for three weeks left around 2 p.m. and marched north to Greenwich Village.

Cops tried unsuccessfully to herd the protesters as they flooded the streets. Eunice Cruz, 21, was among the marchers.

“Apparently, we’re still not being heard,” the teacher’s aide from Yorktown HeightsWestchester County, said. “If they don’t see us in the streets, where are they going to see us?”

By the time the protesters reached the nearly 10-acre Washington Square Park, their numbers appeared to have grown into the thousands, with many joining them as they arrived.

Travis Morales, 59, was waiting at Washington Square Park.

“I think what we hope to see is a fresh wind of resistance blowing through the city and the country,” said Morales, co-manager of Revolution Books.

Many of the demonstrators have been protesting bank bailouts and calling for increased Wall Street regulation. But the movement has been criticized for being disjointed and carnival-like.

“I think this needs to spread all over the country,” Brooklyn social worker Arielle Weiner, 42, said. “I think this is the people, and it needs to be all the people.”

While Zuccotti Park is open around the clock, Washington Square closes at midnight. There was some fear the protesters would clash with cops if they tried to remain in the public park overnight. There appeared to be no major incidents.

Protesters said cops wouldn’t let them use an amplifier, so they were spreading their message using a modified version of the game “telephone.” What one speaker said was repeated first by the closest concentric group around the speaker and then by the next layer and the next.

Mohammed Ezzeldin, 28, was among the speakers.

He told the crowd he was a CUNY student living in Jackson Heights who had participated in the uprising in Cairo earlier this year. “They handcuff our hands, but they will never cuff our ideas and revolutionary goals,” he told the crowd. “They will never cuff our whole revolution.”
Aspiring filmmaker Jeff Schmidt, 21, said he came to the city on a bus from Boston to join the protest. “We should be occupying everything, to take over and take the power back into our own hands,” he said.

Protesters said they were going through the rules of how to hold a general assembly. They had brought in reps from each Zuccotti “working group.”

Hannah Morgan, 23, of Vermont, said she was unemployed and hoped the protest would spread.

“I think the more people are exposed to the way this works,” she said, “the more they’re going to be inspired by it.”

Mary Hanafee, a 21-year-old nanny from Riverhead, L.I., said the group returned to Zuccotti Park to hold a general assembly meeting. She said the march was meant “to raise awareness for our cause.”