I shot some video at last night’s Occupy Wall Street protests in Times Square (commentary by my friend Matthew Palevsky, a strategist at Purpose):
By the time I got to Times Square around 6:30, the group, with number in the tens of thousands, had already marched over from Washington Square Park, and some confrontations with the cops had already taken place. (I did see an older woman with short hair on the ground with a bloodied head getting assistance from others. I don’t know the details, but 50+ people were arrested as the cops stifled the movements of the marchers.)
While I was there, the situation was more diffuse, with hundreds of metal barricades set up so that protesters were mainly relegated to the sides, allowing some car traffic to drive through. Protestors, tourists, and onlookers were squeezed into narrow spaces and kept apart from one another, so as far as I could tell, there was no central spot for Occupy Wall Street. Instead, there were mini hubs up and down Broadway from 42nd street up to 47th, with people grouping around one another in each block to chant, do mic-checks, etc. This was probably not ideal–and it’s probably exactly what the cops wanted. The protest was effectively fragmented. I was getting word that a General Assembly was happening, and even though I suspect I was only half a block away from it, there was no way to get to it or hear what was going on.
I just stayed until there was a decision made to march back to Washington Square Park. Perhaps the situation in Times Square was too tense, crowded, and tight. According to reports, people stayed in the Park until midnight or 1 a.m., when police enforced the curfew.