Protestors chanted "racist, sexist, anti-gay! NYPD go away!" as they walked in a line led by three members of Grannies for Peace. At the rally outside 1 Police Plaza, speakers criticized recent and past actions of the police. (Last Monday, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna deployed pepper spray, apparently unprovoked, on several women and then, in a separate incident, on a news photographer.) The cops have prohibited the protestors from using sound amplifiers like megaphones, so demonstrators are employing a system called the People's Microphone: a speaker says a few words, which are repeated in shouts by those nearby, which are repeated by those a little farther back, until it has passed in a wave through the whole crowd. (It's charming but, ultimately, an exhausting way to communicate.) Speakers also asked the crowd to remain calm and peaceful, which it did—no one was arrested; much of the crowd marched back down to Zuccotti Park when the speeches ended shortly after 7 p.m. (Another march on Saturday across the Brooklyn Bridge resulted in the arrests of 700 people, the AP reported.)
Earlier in the day at the park, a crowd of hundreds grew over the afternoon into thousands. Many in the park said it was the largest attendance they'd seen since the protests began almost two weeks ago. Some were Radiohead fans responding to rumors earlier in the day that the band would play at 4 p.m. Some were press. ("There's probably $25 million of camera equipment in here," one reporter cracked to me.)
A halal-food vendor, a smoothie cart and several hot dog guys surrounded the park, but deeper into its heart there was a food station with milk crates full of canned goods, plastic tubs of apples, bowls of candy, pots of black beans and corn cobs, and of course several jars of peanut butter. Nearby are the camps of the few hundred people who are living in the park, the true occupiers with their messes of tarps, cardboard, blankets and mattresses. Many slept through the afternoon. A few of them looked like ordinary, non-revolutionary homeless people.
There were drummers at the west and east ends of the park, acoustic guitar players scattered throughout. There was a topless woman and several dogs. A truck bearing the WikiLeaks logo circled the site. Clumps of brightly colored flowers are scattered throughout. And it's loud, of course, a mix of indecipherable shouting from the People's Microphone, banged drums, strummed strings, the squeaks of breaking buses, revolutionary chatter, chopping helicopter blades, the honks of isolated horns.
Some are also urging the movement to broaden. Their new slogan? "Occupy Everything."