David Kaplan, Paul Lane, and I met at the Public Library on 5th and 42nd to go to the big Occupy Wall Street rally in Times Square this evening. We saw row after row of police vans and mounted cops, and we decided to go someplace where we would not be penned in and could make a quick dash for the subway just in case the cops charged. We joined the rally up on Broadway and 49th street far away from the police phalanxes and near several subway stops.
The weather was perfect, a cool breezy autumn evening. The crowd was immense, much larger than we expected. From our vantage point, it looked like Broadway was packed all the way to 34th street. Far from pot smoking hippies, the crowd struck me as very middle class, and very diverse in terms of age and ethnicity. The mood was determined and very happy and festive. I'm a great believer in the political power of a good time had by all. We left just as the police helicopters appeared, usually a bad sign. I'm not sure, but I think that there was no parade permit. I don't know if the cops are going to forcibly clear the square and Broadway or not. We decided not to stay and find out.
Here are some of my pictures from the rally.
The Conde Nast building and part of the crowd in Times Square
A picture looking down Broadway at the crowd as far as the eye can see
Yours Truly with my very wordy sign quoting Dr. King
Dangerous radical attorney David Kaplan (aka DKNY) reads The Occupied Wall Street Journal
There were lots of small children there, a presence that we hope will keep the cops at bay.
People and signs
The Vampire Squid
A gladiator; I must admit that I don't quite know what this is about. I saw lots of zombies in the crowd too.
Waving sparklers and singing "This Little Light of Mine"
A last view of the huge crowd there
One last note: tomorrow is the formal dedication of the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington DC. Of all the famous people from the last 70 years, Dr. King is probably the only one who really deserves a memorial on the Mall. And yet, as I stood there amidst the crowd in Times Square, I thought of Dr. King, and I remembered the epitaph on the tomb of Christopher Wren in St. Paul's London, "If you require a monument, look around."