Here's What Happened When Occupy Wall Street Became Occupy Bloomberg

Occupy Bloomberg Mansion

Photo: Robert Johnson — Business Insider

Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street threw a party called the Occupy Mayor Bloomberg’s Mansion Drum Circle Protest and Anti-Dictator Art Show. It was a celebration of sorts: a celebration of the beginning of the Occupiers’ action against the Mayor.The sting of being forced out of Zuccotti Park in the middle of the night last week is still very much with the movement. Since then, Occupy Wall Street’s lawyer, Norman Siegel, has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out details of the city’s raid on the park including which cops were involved,their command structure, how much the raid cost, and the vehicles that were used.

All of that is important to the movement because, as Aaron Black, one of the event organisers, told me, “we just want to open up a dialogue with Mayor Bloomberg… I don’t give a sh%t about tents… I have a problem with them beating up defenseless people.”

This event was one of Occupy Wall Street’s ways of inviting the Mayor to come over and chat.

Bloomberg lives on 79th street between Madison and Fifth Avenues—the NYPD had barricaded off that street completely. Straight ahead on 5th Avenue, however, there was a line of noise, costumes, and colour that unmistakably brought Zuccotti Park to the Upper East Side.

The party was in stark contrast with the serious letter that Siegel sent to the city earlier that morning. Signed by other lawyers, and a New York State Senator, it detailed all of Occupy Wall Street’s grievances surrounding their eviction from Zuccotti. It specifically addressed the role of the press, the destruction of property, and the city’s disregard for the Temporary Restraining Order the protesters got to let them back into the park just hours after they were kicked out.

All of this just means that the Occupiers are working with a multi-pronged attack. On the surface they’re trying to be as anti-establishment as possible. Underneath, they’re trying to work within the system.

Passersby took in the spectacle and started asking questions. Legally, the protesters could only use half of the street, so there was a barricade splitting the park-side of 5th Avenue, and the demonstrators were required to stand behind it.

One observer froze and asked, “why are you guys blocked off right now? I don’t understand.”

That started an entire conversation about the movement.

At the end of his conversation with Business Insider, Black said, “I just want to, at the end of the day, shake the Mayor’s hand and say ‘let’s fix this.”

But the word on the street was that Bloomberg wasn’t even at home.

Unable to get onto 79th St., protesters lined up behind barricades on 5th Avenue against the Park

People showed up for various reasons

But the event was scheduled to make some noise and show their displeasure at the Zuccotti eviction

From maracas, to tambourines, to saxophones, and drums

Protesters brought whatever they could to raise the decibel level

And it was loud — many police officers wore ear plugs

Other protesters were quieter

And some brushed up on their reading

But they were all there to show their support for the Occupy Wall Street movement

Mayor Bloomberg told the press the protesters books and laptops were available for pickup, but when protesters arrived to claim them they had to fish through dumpsters filled with rotting food and liquid — finding much of their stuff trashed

Kids at the Ukrainian Institute on the corner of 79th and 5th looked on with amusement

While down the block, Mayor Bloomberg likely heard nothing at all

Sunday's protest was mild compared with Thursday's march

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