Police vans are lined up along one side of the park, crew pulling extra barricades out of truck beds.
One or two officers keeping surveillance from the top of a cherry picker.
TV vans lined up along the other side of the park.
Interviewers dispersed throughout the park with cameras, recorders, notepads, microphones.
Several hundred people milling about, more than double the amount I saw the last time I was there. Many pockets of conversation. Many interesting tattoos. Protest signs in proliferation.
One stand’s sign: “Know Your Rights. If You Are Wrongfully Arrested, Call This Number:”
– White board with seminar/workshop times to educate people who want to be more prepared in case of wrongful arrest, man standing in front of it offering unscheduled advice on dealing with police interrogation.
Two full-scale meetings going on. Can’t hear one. The other is reciting, a few words at a time through the human megaphone, Martin Niemöller’s “First They Came…”
I wander past the comfort station, which has been improved since my last visit by a set of portable plastic drawers, stacked and labeled “deodorant,” “toothbrushes,” etc. A cheerful, completely normal looking girl asks me, with a smile, what I need. I smile and say I’m just wandering. She presses once more – “Poncho? Blanket? Bandaid? Can I get you anything?” I insist again that I’m fine, and she smiles and retreats to the next person hovering nearby.
People sit reading, talking, eating pizza.
One group is distributing a sizable shipment of plastic bins for people to use to collect their items, especially if they want to safeguard them by getting them out of the park tonight in case of arrest tomorrow morning.
Large prayer/meditation circle happening in the northwest corner. Many bearded and be-turbaned and be-scarved heads, “ohm”s, laying on of hands, raised hands (evangelical style), varying poses. After the meditation/prayer time is concluded, they take a vote on how many people want to re-convene at 5am tomorrow morning to meditate before the presumed action begins. Many takers.
I am handed flyers – one about anarchism (a very good read, actually), and one about the illuminati (a little too far into the conspiracy camp for my comfort zone).
I missed the major General Assembly happenings, but I overhear from someone else’s cell phone conversation that the plan is for those who wish to stick it out to sit and refuse to move; if/when the police insist, then they will lay down. Stay nonviolent, keep resisting.
Everyone is making sure their phones, cameras, and laptops are charged.
There is extra energy in the air tonight, but most seem on board with keeping things calm, staying put, and waiting to see what the police will do.
I have to work tomorrow. Sigh. So I’m going home.
But we can all watch the livestream here.