Occupy Wall Street Came to Brooklyn Last Night

11/18/2011 8:57 AM |


After a day of action around the city and around the world marking the two-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, hundreds of members of the movement crossed the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan yesterday evening, filing into Brooklyn through the narrow stairwell on Cadman Plaza East, down barricade-lined sidewalks into Cadman Plaza Park. After keeping police and media waiting, about fifty demonstrators arrived around 7:15, mostly labor representatives chanting “we are the 99 percent!” As soon as they reached the Brooklyn War Memorial their energy flagged. But fifteen minutes later, hundreds of reinforcements arrived, filling the north side of the park with an impromptu dance party. A brass band played funky music, while a giant Statue of Liberty puppet grooved from side to side. “Welcome to Brooklyn!” a woman in the park shouted. “We’ve been watching you!”

The mood at these things is always so much better in Brooklyn. “It’s an occuparty!” someone yelled. Like a typical Brooklyn occupation, the crowd was festive and good cheered, peaceful and positive, like a house party spilled into the streets. Police hung back. After dancing a while, the party moved across the park for a General Assembly. Led by the band, protesters marched to the Brooklyn War Memorial singing along to “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” Unfortunately, general assemblies are no less boring in Brooklyn than they are anywhere else, though one speaker did relay this message: “The last time I crossed the bridge I was arrested. It felt damn good this time.”