Went to see a climate change protest yesterday in the downtown financial district. As far as I could tell it was a mix of yesterday’s climate marchers, Occuppiers, looky-loos, cops(lots and lots of cops), bemused businessmen and generally annoyed workers of the area that had to get to work on a crowded side walk. The protestors sat in the middle of the street at Broadway and Morris Street blocking traffic. I think they had got there around 9am, I didn’t get there until after 12pm. One thing that seemed off to me was that Wall Street was barricaded and protected by police. The protestors wanted to “flood wall street” but by the time of the closing bell the police force had sizably changed from a hundred or so to about 300-400. The barricade to wall street now extended into Broadway.
I did not stay for the arrests. I watched some of it online streaming. As I gathered while be there earlier in the day and from watching via the stream, this is a softer, gentler NYPD. I think they have learned the lesson from the last set of protests. I think pepper spray was used in one incident but the people who chose to protest and stay in the street were arrested without force. This isn’t an endorsement for the NYPD as a whole. I feel a little slighted by the way in which they were used: Basically to protect the financial community. From peaceful protestors who want to their voices to be heard. It is a sign of weakness to have a ‘private’ security force to keep away dissenting opinions. So the idea of the NYPD and it’s context of use here I don’t agree with. But I do give the humans behind the badge kudos for acting humane and having some grace in probably what wasn’t easy for them. And it’s not easy for some people to have to protest for things that seem like common sense. Don’t destroy the planet, don’t start wars based on energy sources that destroy the planet, find new alternatives that gives back just as much as it takes if not more.
Thanks for reading this if you did. I’m open to any thoughts or alternative opinions if you would like to share.