Saturday, May 5, 2012

Observations from the Edge 5.5

I hadn't originally planned on wandering the streets of Manhattan for 15 hours on May Day. The plan was to see what was going on, see if there were any shots to be had, than do some errands until it was time to settle into the bar for some cold beverages and the Flyers game. As they often say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

The day just got a bit more interesting than I thought it would. Interesting to the point that Reuters was forced to change their byline. In an obviously pre-written article they called the OWS "resurgence" a dud due to wet weather and poor turnout. A few hours later, when there were an estimated 30,000 people marching down Broadway, the Reuters twitter account posted "Live coverage of #MayDay protests show Occupy Wall Street resurgence far from being a dud." Noon deadlines must be a bitch.

At one point I found myself leaning over a roof near Grand and Broadway to take a shot of the protesters in the street (l). The march stretched as far as I could see in either direction, supposedly one end was arriving at Wall Street just as the other end was leaving Union Square, or about two and a half miles. At the protest's peak crowd estimates ranged from 30,000 to over 50,000 but the lower one seemed about right to me, not that I have a clue. Still there were only about 100 arrests made during the entire day.

One high, or low, point was being called missie not once but twice. The first time was early in the day, a male midget cop telling me to keep moving and I laughed and smiled, perfectly acceptable at the time. The second time was later in the day, a female pseudo amazon security guard asking if I had a problem. Not as acceptable and i fought to keep my hand, well my finger, down. I swore to more than one person the third lucky person to utter the word was getting laid out. By that point I don't think I was kidding.

Maybe it was a spring awakening as some claim, maybe it wasn't. Since the eviction from the Liberty Square camp in December the group seems to have gotten even more decentralized. This is a worry if it is to survive as a major player this election season. Either way it was a huge turnout that showed OWS hasn't gone away over the winter. It will be interesting to see how and if the May Day energy carries over into the summer with the political conventions and the NATO summit in Chicago.

In closing a sign of the impending apocalypse or at least of the world we live in. One of the official hashtags of the day was M1GS. By evening it had been "occupied" by pornbots.

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