Over 40 Occupiers are currently sleeping on Wall Street, for the first time since our protest against economic inequality and political corruption began. As of 3am eastern time, after citing their legal right to sleep on the sidewalk, police have left alone Occupiers across from the New York Stock Exchange near the corner of Wall St & Broad. Anyone who is angry at the greed of the financial system is encouraged to bring a sleeping bag! Follow on Twitter: #SleepOnWallSt, #SleepfulProtest
Background: On March 16, we attempted to peacefully re-occupy Liberty Square (formerly Zucotti Park), the small park just south of Wall Street that had become home to Occupy Wall Street exactly six months earlier. The NYPD had other plans. They attacked us once again. When many homeless Occupiers were left with nowhere to go, many went north to Union Square in midtown Manhattan. Union Square, which has been a central point in popular struggle in New York City for over a century, quickly became a central point for the Occupy movement as well.
As an excuse to arrest and harass Occupiers, the NYPD began enforcing a midnight park closing rule for the first time in history. In response, Occupiers developed a new tactic: Sleeping on sidewalks directly in front of banks. On April 6, NYPD gathered once again for the nightly ¨eviction theater¨ only to find Occupiers had moved to the sidewalks and erected a sign declaring their legal right to do so. When police moved in and prepared to arrest them, Occupiers on livestream began reading the law permitting sleeping on sidewalks as political protest. The police backed down. The tactic quickly became a model for other Occupations in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and elsewhere.
Now, the tactic has been applied to, finally, occupy Wall Street.