May 25, 2013
Protesters Invigorated by Show of Public Support
Posted on Oct 19, 2011
NEW YORK—Despite a continuing barrage of defamation attempts by the mainstream media and right-wing political advocacy groups, Wall Street’s occupiers seem to be enjoying a rising popularity with the public, especially fellow New Yorkers.
Sixty-seven percent of almost 1,100 New Yorkers polled told Quinnipiac researchers that they “generally agree … with the protesters’ views,” while just 23 percent said otherwise, and 72 percent said they “understand the views of the … protesters very well.”
The numbers bode well for those occupying Liberty Plaza (aka Zuccotti Park), who have survived through a month of winds, rain, falling temperatures and an aborted attempt at evacuation by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the NYPD and the park’s owners.
The vote of public confidence seems to have emboldened protesters. While talking with an OWS representative Tuesday, I learned that the group was able to preserve a newly erected medical tent that police officers had ordered to be taken down after the Rev. Jesse Jackson and others surrounded it with locked arms Monday night. Keeping the tent is a clear violation of park rules, but as of Wednesday afternoon, it still stood.
Police officers also seem to have relaxed in their roles as pedestrian traffic controllers. As early as the third week of the protest, officers were regularly ordering people to keep the sidewalks at the perimeter of the park clear. Now, when the crowds are not huge, protesters and tourists are permitted to gather there to talk and take pictures.
Later during my conversation with the representative, cheers rang out throughout the park as a woman aboard the top level of a tourist bus heading south on Broadway Street held a sign that read “KEEP IT UP!” high above her head. Such shows of support from passers-by are not rare. Honks from truck drivers and motorists heading in both directions can be heard throughout the day, and in those moments, the park buzzes with excitement. —Alexander Reed Kelly
Truthdig reporter Alexander Kelly has been reporting on Occupy Wall Street from Liberty Plaza. For more, visit truthdig.com/dig/occupy_wall_street
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