The Pivotal Moments of Occupy Wall Street
Compiled by Rebecca Chapman
Aug. 23: ANONYMOUS, the hacker organization, endorses #occupywallstreet with a video promoting the upcoming Sept. 17 occupation. Until now, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement was merely talk initiated by Adbusters, an anti-consumerist, not-for-profit organization out of Canada.
Sept. 17: Zuccotti Park, formerly referred to as Liberty Plaza Park, is "liberated" and occupied by protesters from across the country. Socialists, communists and anarchists are among the protesters. OWS organizers say they have no single demand but rather wish to call attention to the anger and discontentment of their peers over corporate power and the wide gap in wealth distribution, among other issues. Actress Roseanne Barr, rappers Lupe Fiasco and Immortal Technique all speak at the inaugural General Assembly.
Sept. 24: During a march of approximately 500 people toward Union Square, the New York Police Department (NYPD) kettle a group of protesters using orange mesh nets. Roughly 80 are arrested.
In the hours and days following the march, video footage of NYPD officer Anthony Bologna pepper-spraying three women is circulated widely on the Internet. The video garners mainstream coverage by major news organizations of the OWS movement.
Sept. 30: As Occupy movements sprout up across the country (Occupy Boston, Occupy Chicago and Occupy San Francisco are a few of the largest, among many more) a rumor spreads that the band Radiohead will play an acoustic set at Zuccotti Park. Thousands of people flock to the park, despite numerous denials from a spokesperson for Radiohead and OWS. Ultimately it turns out to be a hoax, but media coverage increases.
Oct. 3: During a planned march over the Brooklyn Bridge, over 700 people are reportedly arrested by the NYPD.
Oct. 5: Many unions and political organizations, including TWU, 1199SEIU and MoveOn.org, officially endorse OWS with a rally and march that starts in Foley Square. Over 20,000 people reportedly attend the rally. Later that evening, several protesters are arrested as they charge a barricade on Wall Street.
Oct. 10: Celebrities such as Kanye West, Russell Simmons visit Zuccotti Park. The Occupy movement is now using Meetupcom as a platform and there are over 1,300 occupations around the world.
Oct. 14: Brookfield Office Properties, the owners of Zuccotti Park, attempts to clear the park by announcing that they and the NYPD will be performing a cleaning of the park at 7 a.m. the next morning. Protesters spend the day cleaning the park themselves, MoveOn.org gathers more than 150,000 signatures on a petition asking Bloomberg not to allow their eviction and, by 6 a.m., with no response from either the city or Brookfield Properties, an estimated 5,000 people gather in Zuccotti Park to prevent the clearing of the park. At the last minute, Brookfield rescinds their request for cleaning as well as their request for NYPD support in removing the protesters.
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