Yesterday’s Occupy Wall Street demonstration saw its largest numbers since the movement began. According to organizers, between 15,000 and 20,000 people participated, as students, transit and city workers, teachers, and union officials joined Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in a march from Foley Square to Zuccotti Park. Protesters even secured a permit from the NYPD to avoid the kind of drama that what went down on the Brooklyn Bridge last Saturday. For the most part, that’s exactly what happened.
At 3 p.m., teachers and students walked out of class and gathered in Washington Square Park to meet their union before joining the march in Foley Square. It was easy to see the differences between union members and Occupy Wall Street protesters, but their common goal resulted in a mutual respect.
Just before 6 p.m., the streets of lower Manhattan were shut down as people struggled to walk because the crowd became too large, forcing police to widen barriers. As expected, the barriers were broken and although tension began to rise between protesters and police, the NYPD allowed them to proceed.
The march finally reached Zuccotti Park by nightfall, and people continued to pour in by the thousands. Unions and organizations congratulated each other on having created another spectacle that was impossible to ignore. By 9 p.m., many of the labor unions had left, but the day’s events were far from over.
Photos by James Thilman (Gothamist), Bethany O'Grady (Gothamist), the AP, Omar Cruz, Allison Kilkenny, and Kate Goldwater.