O.W.S. revived; 12 arrests during latest march

[media-credit name=”Downtown Express photo by Marshall James Kavanaugh ” align=”aligncenter” width=”600″][/media-credit]
Demonstrators chose baseball, sporting uniforms embroidered with the phrase “Tax Dodgers,” as their metaphor at an Occupy Wall Street event in Washington Square Park last Sunday.
BY MARSHALL JAMES KAVANAUGH  |  Despite various media outlets predicting “fizzling” support for Occupy Wall Street, on Sunday, Jan. 29 the movement demonstrated it still has the capacity to mobilize.

Responding to a national call for solidarity in reaction to the violent removal of activists and an estimated 400 arrests the previous day in Oakland, CA., O.W.S. organizers had a day to plan the three-hour snake march that stretched through downtown on Sunday night. The march followed an event called Occupy Town Squares, a daytime occupation of Washington Square Park, announced earlier in the month. The occupation succeeded in recreating the fervor prevalent during O.W.S.’s two-month occupation of Zuccotti Park last fall.

Thousands of participants frequented Washington Square throughout the day. The park was surrounded with info-tables. At one end a think-tank led a discussion on “What it means to be politically active.” Nearby there was a teach-in on the history of popular union songs.

By 6 p.m. the occupiers had packed up their tables and hundreds waited around for the Oakland Solidarity march to begin. On the outskirts, members of the Direct Action working group debated whether the more aggressive tactics used by their brethren in Oakland were appropriate for the movement in NYC. The previous night had seen activists in Oakland attempt to occupy an abandoned building in hopes of turning it into an active community center and when they were deterred by tear-gas and flash grenade bearing police officers, they turned their sights on City Hall, which they occupied and defaced with graffiti.

One activist, who chose not to share his name, said, “I believe in allowing differing degrees of non-violent tactics, but this movement won’t support acts of aggression. Nothing can be accomplished by that kind of rage.”

The march started with about 500 activists and police marched side by side separated only by the curb, with some journalists and photographers following along on the opposite sidewalk.

The first arrest happened around 8 p.m. A young woman was dragged out of the crowd, resisting, by two police officers. The crowd attempted to take to the street multiple times but was pushed back by the police.

The march finished at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. Twelve occupiers had been arrested. Some marchers rested on benches while others lay on the ground using their backpacks as pillows. Most of the participants eventually took their leave and only about a dozen police officers remained in the surrounding perimeter.