Occupy Wall Street: The October 5 Demonstration

Sam Friedman

The October 5 demonstration in New York, when labor unions and community organizations came out to support Occupy Wall Street, produced one of the largest turnouts to date of the Occupy Wall Street movement  – Editors

I went down to Liberty Plaza, got there about 3 pm.  It is fascinating and terrific. Hundreds of people living there, thousands there at many times, everyone learning how to cooperate and get along and talk with each other.

After I was there about half an hour, people started slowly marching down and around the Plaza and then up Broadway to the Federal Bldg. There were cops around, but by and large they were ignorable except when I or others invited them to join us after they got off work.

When we got to Foley Square, by the Federal Building and also near the Health Dept, it had a lot of people in it, but nothing like it grew to have.  LOTS of people, many workers from a number of unions (or not), including TWU, UAW, Childcare Workers, Nurses, construction workers, AFSCME, Teamsters, PEF, etc.  People there from a number of socialist and anarchist groups, but they were a minor presence in this crowd.

One lovely feature, in a way, was that among the thousands of faces I saw, I saw no one I recognized. That is a sign of a healthy and growing movement–I am sure that a number of people I know were there, but they were swallowed up by the size of the event.

Being an old guy with foot problems, I could only stay until about 5 pm. People were still coming into the rally area in very large numbers. As I was leaving, I saw folks from Housing Works and then a small army from the Professional Staff Congress (the CUNY Staff Workers Association).

As I think about it, I am very impressed by the fact that there are thousands of young people learning how to work together, think together, march together and act in many ways together.  They seem friendly, impressive and the birth of a new movement.  I hope they and the worker groups can find ways to work together and learn more from each other.

This is BIG.


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