As the sun rose on Zuccotti Park, a crowd began to gather. Amid the falling leaves and the the occasional shouts for a “mic check,” the park was flooded by TV camera lights and the constant hum of two helicopters flying high above the buildings.
It’s a cold day in New York and the Occupy Wall Street movement is hoping for a strong showing to mark their second anniversary, but by 6:30 a.m., the crowd was thin, perhaps 100 people.
Robert Segal, 47, said he was not going to march today, but he was here to “support community building.”
“I don’t do spectacle,” he said. “Today’s march,” he said, “is promised to be quite a spectacle. If the past gives us any indication, there will be much hilarity.”
There’s also bound to be some conflict. Every once in a while, a passerby will shout at the group from the sidewalks. One man in a Raider’s cap screamed, “Get a job!”
A screaming match ensued. Meghan White, 19, a college student who drove in for the rally said that wasn’t the point.
“We’re fighting for the right to not be poor anymore,” White said.
We challenged her a bit on that. She’s 19 and a full time college student.
“It’s not about me,” she said. It’s about the people who have a job and still can’t “afford a home.”
She looked up at the buildings and said, “I just can’t imagine why there’s such a gap between people in this country,” she said.
Ray McAndrew and David Faes, both 19, jumped in.
“It’s about corporate influence on our government,” said McAndrew.
“It’s about keeping corporate money out of government,” said Faes.
They pointed to the recent Stop Online Piracy Act, which is backed by big corporations, but they say will affect them and the medium which they use to organize.
Politicians they said are not taking into account their voices, which demand a free and open Internet. Instead they’re listening to big corporations they say want to censor the Internet.
Closer to 7 a.m., the crowd had grown. The park, however, is still far from full. The ultimate goal of today is to shut down Wall Street. We’ll keep you updated as the day unfolds.