MEDIA MOMENT: OCCUPY WALL STREET, NEW YORK STYLE

By Valerie Seckler

Two things stood out from the ordinary in Washington Square Park, late last Saturday afternoon in Greenwich Village. A bigger than usual crowd was flowing to and through the fountain plaza, in the 10-acre patch of green. And a copy of an unfamiliar, oversized broadsheet newspaper — “The Occupied Wall Street Journal” — lay abandoned on a park bench.

A quick flip through the four-page newspaper provided a primer on Occupy Wall Street events, large-scale photographs of demonstrators in Lower Manhattan, calls to action (“5 Things You Can Do Now”) and more. 

The fast-growing crowd was hidden from my direct view, which fell in the park’s northeast quadrant near the Garibaldi statue. After relaxing on a bench for a short while, a run through Twitter showed that Occupy Wall Street demonstrators had overflowed Foley Square in Lower Manhattan. Some had headed north to continue protesting socio-economic inequities, in Washington Square Park.

A quick look up and turn of the head revealed the park’s center had been thronged by a massive outpouring of Occupy Wall Street protesters, many of them hoisting signs. Two waves of the demonstrators exited to the East, chanting, “All day, all week, occupy Wall Street.”

Some of my bench mates took in the protest parade; others seemed as if they were unaware of the procession.

The Occupy Wall Street denizens formed the largest crowd in Washington Square Park that I have seen in 16 years of living nearby — and it took some real-time Tweets to bring them to light one Saturday afternoon.

— Photographs by Valerie Seckler, @vaseckler, October 8, 2011, Washington Square Park, and October 10, 2011 (“The Occupied Wall Street Journal”).