Occupy Wall Street News Update of the Day: The NYPD may be attempting to undermine the Occupy Wall Street movement by employing an extremely shady tactic: Encouraging “lawbreakers and lowlifes” to link up with protesters at Zuccotti Park.
According the the New York Daily News, a physical line has been drawn between the pretenders and the honest-to-goodness demonstrators, with the “real” 99 Percenters occupying the east side of the park, and the “stragglers” setting up camp on the park’s west side.
“The west-side anarchists are in 70s-punk costumes,” reports the Daily News’ Harry Siegel, “and to the extent that they have discernible politics, many of them would be more fairly described as nihilists.”
Siegel says that the freeloaders — who are mostly there to take advantage of the free food and supplies provided by legitimate activists — have been known to start fights and engage in open-air drug sales, to the detriment of the movement.
Two “drunks” Siegel spoke with claim they were “encouraged” by NYPD officers to “take [their illegal activities] to Zuccotti.” Members of the Community Affairs Working Group say they’ve heard similar accounts.
The New York Department of Correction has denied outright the rumor that it was sending newly released prisoners to Zuccotti Park, and an NYPD spokesman responded to the Daily News story by saying, simply, “it’s false.”
Meanwhile, Occupy Wall Street protesters were forced to weather their first significant storm over the weekend without any generators, as the dreaded “snowtober” pummelled the city with record-breaking flakes.
Any grumbling, though, was drowned out by the sounds of merriment and musical instruments giving the howling winds a run for their money:
Further Reading/Viewing: OWS organizers have officially filed the necessary paperwork to trademark “Occupy Wall Street”; protesters marched down Wall Street dressed as heroes and villains as part of an event dubbed the Occupy Halloween parade. Check out some snapshots from the festivities below:
Counter-Protest of the Day: A bunch of fun-loving UIUC students gathered in the main quad today to give ol’ Brother Jed a taste of his own medicine.
We Shall Occupy of the Day: 92-year-old folk music icon Pete Seeger was joined by working class hero Arlo Guthrie and grandson Tao Rodriguez-Seeger in marching with hundreds of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators down to Columbus Circle, where they performed “This Little Light of Mine” with composer David Amram, singer-songwriter-storyteller Tom Chapin, and blues musician Guy Davis.
Seeger can be seen in the video below sitting in the shadows with his cane to the right of a penny-whistle-playing Amram: