Soak that in. That's the power that we -- the collective 99% -- hold.
They can smear us at DFHs. They can lie about infestations. They can employ willful obtuseness on the message. But we have power.
After threatening to evict the protesters out of Zuccotti Park to "clean up" the park, hundreds of volunteers appeared with brooms and scrub brushes and gave the park a sparkly clean shine:
Hundreds of people had gathered overnight in Zuccotti Park in anticipation of what might happen on Friday, swelling the crowd to much larger numbers than have typically been encamped in the park, while others continued cleaning the park, which Brookfield Properties complained had become filthy and a potential health threat.
Around 5 a.m., a collection of mops and brooms had stood in a plastic bin on Liberty Street. Nearby were 27 buckets of soapy water. A woman handed out white rubber gloves to more than a dozen people. They walked to the west end of the park, at Trinity Place, and announced they were going to begin a sweep, picking up and discarding objects that did not belong to anyone.
“This place is extremely important,” said Kyle Christopher, 27, a photographer from Buffalo, who had been part of the protests since their first week.
Patrick Bruner, a spokesman for Occupy Wall Street, said that on Thursday night protesters tried to deliver a petition with more than 100,000 signatures to City Hall, calling upon Mr. Bloomberg to allow the Zuccotti Park occupation to continue.
On Thursday night, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. sent a message to members asking them to show up at Zuccotti Park early Friday morning to support the protesters.
By 6 a.m., the crowd had swelled to more than a thousand. Police officers stood behind metal barricades that lined the park.
And for now, with the promise of an increased police presence, the park remains open to the protesters.
Try as they might to diminish and dismiss Occupy Wall Street, we have the advantage in numbers. Because we are the 99%.