Just back from Wall Street & the driver of the X27 (Manhattan to Bay Ridge — I was the only passenger in that direction at this time, i.e. mid-morning) was dithyrambic about the importance of the protests & the fact that the country was becoming a third world banana republic with all the money in the pockets of the few & nothing left over for anyone else — which brought to mind the early morning chant of “we are the 99%.” I had gone to the park with the first X27 from Bay Ridge to Manhattan so as to add one more warm body to the many already massed there & worrying about the “cleanup” order the mayor had issued. The first sight was an array of placards: Which on closer inspection revealed these texts: The police were there, though many more still massed behind the big red cube & out of sight on “Liberty Street” a sort of ironic conjuncture — as I had noticed already when I had come across some 50 of them waiting with 4 white shirts in the same place a couple days earlier.
Of course Zuccotti Park had once been called Liberty Park, but in good American fashion, a private name was made to replace a generous concept. The idea of the cleanup had worried many: once hygiene had been reasserted, dirtbags (demonstrators & their sleeping bags) would no longer be allowed to settle down. That’s why there had been a call for major presence this morning. And here I was too — stumbling over the many instruments for cleanup the people themselves had gathered: Then, twenty minutes before the “official” cleanup was to starts, a message from the city was relayed (“mic check! mic check!” — & then the words of the one speaker would be picked up & repeated in all directions by the chorus of demonstrators) allowing us to claim victory: the mayor had decided not to go ahead with the forcible cleanup. And an hour and a half later, I nearly stumbled over the following objects, & am still not sure if they belong to the intention or the result of the voluntary clean-up, or if in fact impro installation art:
At any rate, with that little victory won, I decided to leave via the 8:50 bus which was supposed to stop right at the corner of Broadway & Zuccotti Park; though right there at the bus stop & not waiting for the bus were a long line of men in blue carrying what from a distance looked like looped lassos but turned out to be handcuffs — that came in two colors: white & black — & one of these gents told me to move on, the bus don’t stop here no more, go further down Broadway, which I did, not really wanting either white or black handcuffs… So I walked further south & finally caught the bus just opposite that ignoble bronze bull, which had, I must say, a somewhat bearish expression this morning.