Two Months In, Public Sentiment Turns on 'Occupy'

The Occupy Wall Street movement has marked today, the two month anniversary of the protest, as a so called Day of Action, including blocking people’s paths to work while delivering their message around Wall Street this morning, then gathering at 16 subway hubs around the city to “take our stories to the trains.”

Around 75 people were arrested at the various mobile protests in lower Manhattan this morning.  (Here’s some video on, some of it violent)

One veteran reporter, who asked not to be named, said public sentiment is shifting away from the protestors. While many support the message of the protest, the reporter says, many more are seeing the protestors as a scruffy nuisance.

Since the ranks at Zuccotti Park have thinned considerably since the police cleared the park out early Tuesday,  says the reporter, those who live and work in the area have been more likely to confront the protestors on quality of life issues, and their reasons for protesting.

“There were more police and security guards than protestors yesterday,” says the reporter. “The group has not been as strong. People are speaking out [against them] now, because they’re not intimidated. There’s a lot of ‘why are you here?’”

And while several reporters were detained by police while covering the park’s evacuation earlier this week, the reporter says relations between media and law enforcement has been positive, with the police even helping disperse protestors intent on blocking camera shots.

“The police have assisted us in getting the folks out,” says the TV journo.

The protestors will probably lose considerably more public sentiment through today’s planned disruptions.

Protestors with a plan of action. Police intent on stopping it.

I’m heading downtown now to check out the story, and the coverage, firsthand.


Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.