Occupy Wall Street wants to respond to the Tuesday's police raid on Zuccotti Park with a massive "international day of action" on Thursday. The series of actions culminating in a big evening rally had been set to mark the New York occupation's two-month anniversary, and to shake out some of the stagnation setting in at Zuccotti Park. Now it's taking on the reactionary feel of Oakland's so-called general strike earlier this month.
The actions sound similar, though not exactly parallel, to their West-Coast counterparts. In Oakland, protesters sought to shut down the city and the port with marches and rallies throughout the city center and then a mass migration to the waterfront in the evening. The Wall Street demonstration follows a similar schedule, but with more specific actions planned. Occupy's website calls for a 7 a.m. meeting at Zuccotti Park, where protesters will try to "shut down Wall Street" by "confront[ing] Wall Street with the stories of people on the frontlines of economic injustice," the idea being to "exchange stories rather than stocks." Then they're going to spread out to 16 different subway stations throughout the five boroughs and do more storytelling there through general assemblies at the stations. Finally, the plan is to assemble in the evening at Foley Square and march to "our bridges" (which ones are not specified, but the closest is the Brooklyn Bridge). In addition, actions are planned in cities nationwide, on college campuses through Occupy Colleges, and internationally. The Nation's Peter Rothburg has a rundown on plans for Spain, Germany, Belgium, and Greece.
As you may recall, the last time Occupy protesters took their protest to the Brooklyn Bridge, 700 of them got arrested. That encounter preceeded a huge spike in Occupy's press coverage, as Nate Silver pointed out a few days later. Similarly, in Occupy Oakland, the march that shut down the port and ended in chaos dominated the news cycle for days. Thursday's Occupy march has another glaring similarity with Oakland's big rally: It follows on the heels of a nighttime crackdown that saw police sweep an established downtown occupation, to the chagrin of activists nationwide. Judging by the crowds that turned out to reclaim Zuccotti Park, and the estimated thousands that responded to Oakland's eviction debacle with their march on the port, Occupy protesters can expect a big turnout on Thursday.
The #N17 hashtag has already gotten big on Twitter, with people comparing notes on what's happening in their city. Occupy Miami tweets: "Public Defender is at camp explaining our legal rights in the lead up to the massive rally tomorrow." Occupy Wall Street has been playing up protester anger over Tuesday's raid. "If ur enraged that @mikebloomberg would keep press out of #OWS eviction 'to protect them' from #NYPD, #N17," read one of their tweets. "If ur enraged that the richest mayor in USA feels enabled 2 defy supreme court order, #N17" read another.