Yesterday, I went down to Liberty Square in downtown Manhattan to check out the Occupy Wall Street protests, and after hearing about what happened on Saturday (with 700 protesters being arrested), I was surprised to see the small, peaceful crowds there. The whole movement took up only one city block:
Granted, there were hundreds of people and they did get pretty creative with their signs (including ‘Hitler’s Bankers,’ ‘BofA Give My House Back!,’ or ‘I could lose my job 4 having a voice’). But after walking through the crowds of protesters in Liberty Square, where people were peacefully playing their guitars, smoking weed, passing out slices of pizza, or flat-out sleeping on blow-up beds, I don’t see this protest movement having legs. Joshua Brown, author of The Reformed Broker blog, would seem to disagree.
Brown does, however, make a good point that the protesters seem to be winning when you look at how the stock market has performed lately. The Dow was down 2.38 percent today. That said, I don’t think the protesters are to blame, and from what I saw yesterday, I think they’ve mellowed out… in more ways than one. Here are some of the photos I took downtown, including a protest against BofA, whose thundering herd has had their share of uncertainty recently.