Occupy Wall Street: Faces in the Crowd

Yesterday, a friend from Toronto asked me on Twitter why there was very little news coverage on the #occupywallstreet protest, which was touted to be the American version of the Arab Spring. There was only one reason I could offer: the protest simply was not newsworthy.

When I arrived at Bowling Green Park to observe #occupywallstreet, I sensed it had a similar vibe to the 2010 G20 in Toronto. Like Toronto’s G20, there were many people – mostly young folks – who got together to protest about everything under the sun. Even the infamous Reverend Billy was there glowering in the media spotlight, advocating for a “change-a-lujah“. But the reverend, like most protestors, did not have a cohesive message about what kind of change he wanted. This was no Arab Spring.

Most Americans are against corporate greed but it seems like a wasted effort to organize a protest about everything since it eventually became a protest about nothing. There were Troy Davis supporters, students with Guy Fawkes masks, and people who generally seemed to be more amused to be part of a protest instead of being part of the concerted effort against corporate greed.

Who knows, things could change. Yesterday was only the first day, and organizers plan to occupy the area for two months. It’s possible that #occupywallstreet will find a unified message today and in the next few weeks. I hope they do.

Here are some shots from yesterday, all from Bowling Green Park:

Police prepare for #occupywallstreet protests, September 17 2011.

Signs in front of Bowling Green Park.

Protestors put on their war paint.

Tweeting the events, minute by minute.

There were more foreign reporters than American reporters covering the event.

Protestors were willing to explain their message to curious onlookers.

On top of the Smithsonian's American Indian museum.

The ubiquitous Guy Fawkes mask.

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