At 3 p.m. on Thursday, the Occupy Wall Street movement promised to take over the subways in all five boroughs. However, there was relatively little disturbance for commuters. On 23rd St. and 8th Ave, a group of about 30 protesters gathered near the subway terminal in order to continue the ongoing protest of the day.
Protesters appeared relatively calm compared to their counterparts at Zuccotti Park and in Foley Square. They held up signs and gathered, but it remained quiet throughout. In order to counteract the possible commuter disturbance police were readily available. While there was a visible police presence, it was limited to about six officers with an occasional squad car or van driving by. The officers did not allow protesters to stay underground, saying they were blocking people from entering and leaving the station.
Stand with the people. The system is broken, shouted Josh Douglas. Douglas, a Hofstra law school graduate and attorney, came to support the cause in the subways. He was standing near the stairs of the uptown trains when three officers said he had prevented a handicapped individual from coming down the stairs. He vehemently denied the claim, but eventually conceded and made his way above ground.
Above ground, the protesters assembled. Groups of them met at the four adjacent corners. They each had similar messages as the rest of the movement.
I support it more now because what happened on the fifth, said Ronnie Cozzie, an Occupier from New Jersey.
I thought it was a good day to go out and protest, especially after Tuesday, said Hugh Joseph Conway, who admitted this was his first time at one of the protests. We are still here. We are still free.
The crowd began to chant We are the 99 percent. You are the 99 percent, but it died down relatively quickly. Individuals also held up the usual assortment of signs with familiar phrases such as Capitalism Sucks. Jobs for All, and Resist.
Among the crowd of angry citizens were several members of the Christian community. Brother Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan monk from Long Island, felt it was important to support to the movement because he was Christian.
I'm here to occupy, Brother Kolbe said. I came here because I support people who are homeless.
Episcopalian Seminarians from the General Theological Seminary were also in attendance. However, they claimed they were not there to take any sort of political stance.
We are here to bear witness, not exactly protest, said John Bethell, who originally was from the Westerleigh section of Staten Island. This is the Church.