I'm at Zuccotti Park, where people are gathering before marching to City Hall, where they will gather, again, and then march back to the park, apparently.
There are probably more than 3,000 people here, way more even than when Radiohead was supposed to play. Maybe a quarter of these people are currently being interviewed for European TV.
Lots of drums and chants of "Occupy Wall Street all day all week."
Three different people have come up to me to give me pieces of paper informing me of my rights if I'm arrested.
I got this one while listening to a rep from the National Lawyer's Guild tell a crowd not to consent to a police search.
I don't think it will be necessary.
On the way over I passed a nurse's union on their way to City Hall.
Who's going to arrest nurses?!
Queuing up now to march over to the park.
Marching over to City Hall. Apologies to the guy with the tongue out.
March organizer came by telling us there were "agitators looking to start stuff" and to not engage. "Look at their boots," he said. "They'll look like cop boots."
Cops are pretty laid back along the route. This guy was filing his nails.
Everyone is loving these old ladies who came with their cane and walker.
"You guys are awesome!"
This guy told me he was march "security." (Click on the pic for the full-size version.)
A teacher's union rep is speaking. Here's the scene in the park.
We're cool now. He said he was on the Brooklyn Bridge last weekend and got arrested for the second time. Right now he's talking to a reporter. Note to anyone interviewing him: I'd recommend fact-checking thrice whatever he tells you.
There are a bunch of speeches and chants by union leaders being projected from a giant bullhorn at the top of the park, which is so full of people they're spilling out onto the road, up the steps of the courthouse across the street. There's got to be at least 5,000 people here.
"We've had it. Wall Street got bailed out and we got sold out."
Meanwhile there's a giant drum circle. It's mostly Occupy Wall Street protesters who seem to be gathered around the circle, while it's more union heavy around the bull horn. It's almost like two separate protests in places.
Still waiting for the march to begin. It's so crowded it's hard to walk around the park. Here are what people are doing, in order of prevalence:
2) walking from one part of the park to another part of the park in the hopes it will be less crowded
3) taking pictures with their cell phones
4) posing for other people's pictures
6) looking for their friend that they lost
Sweet Jesus, the march is starting! Going south down Lafayette. The crowd was sort of subdued by the long wait. It was probably was all a scheme by the cops to beat people into submission with boredom rather than pepper spray.
Prediction: Some version of this is going to be this guy's profile picture.
At Broadway and Chambers, the march wraps around the block in both directions. There's a crust punk marching band here and I just saw Amy Goodman who is the closest thing to a celebrity I've seen yet.
Unlike previous marches, the route is hemmed in by metal barricades. Also unlike previous marches there are babies in carriages.
My phone is dying, so I'll leave you with this image of capitalism thriving in the harsh tundra of Occupy Wall Street.
This lady, wearing a jean jacket from The Rosie O'Donnell Show, was selling pins with MLK's face on them for $3 apiece near the end of the route. She said she had "no idea" how many she's sold today—but a lot!
The protest was big and diverse and, so far, completely peaceful; it's clearly a victory for Occupy Wall Street, assuming nothing major happens this evening as the crowds disperse. But cash finds a way.
Surprise! I'm back on a laptop in the middle of Zuccotti Park. It's a madhouse here—ABC estimates 15,000 people marched today and a good portion of those people are here now. Michael Moore is speaking but I can't hear what he's saying because the place is deafening with cheers and chants echoing off the building and the General Assembly is making announcements. Rumors are flying that Occupy Wall Street's Direct Action Committee will be leading a march on Wall Street itself—something protesters haven't been able to do since the first day. In fact a couple loud guys just screamed past my ear "Hey, Michael Moore! March on Wall Street!"
An impromptu march has been organized; protesters are apparently marching on Wall Street. This should be interesting. Police are already reportedly kettling protesters who head that way.
There's an impromptu march happening now. At least 1,000 people just arrived on Wall Street (at William Street) amid cheers of "Fuck You, Wall Street." Fancy partygoers looking down, amused.