Editor's Note – This story is ongoing. See our continuing live coverage.
Good morning! As of 10:00 am CDT there are reports now that the major media outlets are starting to cover this event. The New York Post is treating it as a non event, saying only 300 people showed up, "mostly aging hippies and college kids." (Our sources who are there indicated that there were at least 1,000 people there). We'd love to know how you're doing out there, so drop us a line!
As of 11:20 pm CDT, it is looking like police will allow people to sleep in the park tonight, and it also looks as if the NYPD has cut power to the plaza where the protesters are. Crooks and Liars has put up a series of updates titled "This is not a one day demonstration, we're not leaving."
As of 7:50 pm CDT, the news outlets that are reporting this are saying there were only 700 people in attendance at the protest, while the Boston Globe reports 1,000 were in attendance. Attempts to find a true number in attendance have been unsuccessful here and it can be said that even the news outlets that are reporting truthfully don't know how many people are there. If anyone in NYC knows how many people are there, feel free to post a comment telling us.
As of 5:45 CDT, the major networks are still not carrying any major coverage of the Day of Rage. CNN has it so small on the left hand corner of the page that if you weren't looking for it you'd miss it. The protesters' aims, according to Twitter, are to protest corporate takeover of the government, demanding financial responsibility and an end to immoral wars.
UPDATE 4:45 CDT: Day of Rage website is reporting the police are asking for reinforcements, and Code Pink says obvious protesters with tents are being stopped. There is a rumor that 4 peaceful demonstrators were roughed up, 2 arrested and 2 released for chanting "pay your taxes" outside Bank of America. Reports are coming in that police are intimidating people with searches. Conservative tweets are now coming in, stating that the only thing Barack Obama will take on Wall Street is to host another fundraiser and spreading rumors that ACORN and SEIU are behind the demonstration.
UPDATE: 3:50pm CDT: Protesters are reporting via Twitter that there is almost zero media coverage other than Al-Jazeera of this event. There are now reports via the same medium that are giving headcounts of 50,000 people. THere are Twitter rumors that the event is being blacked out by CNN and other media outlets.
UPDATE: 3:32 CDT: The New York times reports:
As it turned out, the demonstrators found much of their target off limits on Saturday as the city shut down sections of Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall well before their arrival.
By 10:00 a.m., metal barricades manned by uniformed police officers ringed the blocks of Wall Street between Broadway and William Street to the east."
UPDATE: The conservative website Town Hall is sarcastically writing that the protesters are echoing the Tea Party, calling them "ignorant, and anti-capitalist." Town Hall cattily says:
There may be some truth to the notion that corporations, businesses, and big monied interests are allowed too large a hand in influencing the direction of our republic, but the corporations are not the problem. The problem is that the government envisioned by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution has been slowly perverted into a massive, sprawling, untameable bureaucracy that unabashedly encourages, as I mentioned in an earlier post, rent-seeking. The antidote for crony capitalism, tax loopholes, et al is not to increase the power of the government to regulate them, but to get rid of big government. Which, funnily enough, is what the Tea Party has been advocating all along. From the IBTimes:
As the protesters call for President Barack Obama to establish a commission to end "the influence money has over our representatives in Washington," it will be interesting to see whether New York will succeed in transforming Lower Manhattan into an "American Tahrir Square."
Occupy Wall Street, a leaderless resistance movement, was published by activist magazine Adbusters on July 13, and since then people from groups such as NYC General Assembly and US Day of Rage have participated to organize the event. "The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%," says the event's official website. …
While deemed as a mass movement against corporate dominance, the organizers' plan for Occupy Wall Street is to crowdsource the decision of what to demand through discussion.
"More than having any specific demand, per se, I think the purpose of September 17th, for many of us who are helping to organize it and people who are coming out, is to begin a conversation, as citizens, as people affected by this financial system in collapse, as to how we're going to fix it, as to what we're going to do in order to make it work for us again," said an organizer Justin Wedes.
Did none of these enlightened Day of Rage organizers happen to notice that Jeff Immelt, the CEO of GE, was an honored guest of President Obama's at his 'jobs' speech to the joint session of Congress? I mean, come on! It's like they're not even trying to hide how easy it is to get in bed with the administration. And if these protesters really hate corporations, I cannot even conceive of how labor unions are avoiding their ire.
We at GodDiscussion are following a live feed and reporting to you as the news happens. According to protesters who are at Wall Street, there is a "high, high" police presence, with police increasing "sevenfold" in the last hour, with at least 3 vans of police and NYPD motorcycles. Cries of "we the people not we the banks!" are echoing from the crowd. GlobalRevolution has got the protest streaming live (Editor's update – see our updated news page with continuing live coverage, with the feed and chats).
The live chat is going a mile a minute, with people writing everything from "Down with capitalism" to "socialism rules!" The "Day of Rage" is going full steam ahead, and as we reported yesterday, the protest could go for months as the protesters have planned:
The Day of Rage is protesting the influence of special interests and corruption that threaten a democratic form of government. On its website,it explains:
We have had enough.
Legitimate government is born of the self-interest and will of the people expressed by its citizens in free and fair elections. It does not spring from a tyranny of special interests, patronage, or a system or ideology that runs counter to the aims of life.
The institutions of government were designed to protect the principles of our democratic republic and to serve the will of citizens.
Corporations, even those owned by foreign shareholders, use money to act as the voices of millions, while individual citizens, the legitimate voters, are silenced and demoralized by the farce.
Free and fair elections inspire good citizenship and public service, because they engage the intelligence and genuine good will of the American people.
The occupation of Wall Street began at noon today. Countries from all over the world are showing their support on the live chat, from Russia to New Zealand. Clearly, people who are there are outraged at Wall Street and the special interests that influence the government. At the present time, it is not clear how many people are there; it seems like thousands. The feed does skip, so be patient with it.