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Occupy Wall Street: march on police plaza – live

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are planning to march on the New York police department headquarters in protest at last week’s pepper-spray controversy

3.53pm: The organisers of the Occupy Wall Street protest – if a leaderless organisation can be said to have organisers – say they were “hoaxed” about the potential appearance of Radiohead.

3.47pm: Fans of Radiohead in New York – who may or may not outnumber the Wall Street protesters – will be disappointed to learn that the band have confirmed on their Facebook page that they are definitely not going to make a detour to Zuccotti Park.

We wish the best of luck to the protesters there, but contrary to earlier rumours, we will not be appearing today at Occupy Wall Street

“Sell outs,” says one commenter.

Another, Ian Bradley, says in a more considered contribution:

I’m here at the park now and it would be a pretty dumb move for them to show up. First off, there’s no amplification systems allowed, it’s packed, there’s no electricity because the company that owns the park shut it down, and the cops would never allow it. Also this entire thing has been a shallow distraction from the point. Kind of pissed at whatever asshole here spread this rumor.

3.33pm: Adam has been speaking to protesters at Zuccotti Park. Phill Lentz, 30, is a dispatch supervisor at a car service firm by day and a “punk rocker” by night – singing for World War 9 and drumming for Joey Steel and the Attitude Adjusters.

Sitting on a plastic covered mattress at Zuccotti Park, Phill said he had been sleeping at Occupy Wall Street since Monday. It’s his first time at a protest.

This is the first one I’ve seen that is not marginalised. It’s proportional – there’s people for and against the death penalty, for example. Everyone here knows somebody who’s been laid off or can’t afford health insurance. I don’t know anybody who’d be turned away.

Of his own motives for attending, Phill said:

Everything. My parents are in a tough spot, my mum was treated badly at work. My dad was in the navy but his pension is barely enough to live on. I’d love to go back to school but I just can’t afford it. I’m lucky to have a job and
I work hard but I earn hardly enough to live on.

3.31pm: Adam Gabbatt has been surveying the scene at the New York Police Department headquarters, where barriers have been put up in preparation for the expected march later this afternoon.

A police officer has told Adam that the protesters, if they arrive, will be channelled through the barriers in order to prevent them getting near the building. Lines of police officers will ring the barriers.

Adam says it looks like quite a small space: if there are a large number of protesters, things could get quite tense here, I think.

3pm: The anti-Wall Street protests are continuing in Lower Manhattan. Police have allowed the protesters to stay at their makeshift camp in Zuccotti Park in the Financial District, and the this week a stream of celebrities arrived to pay homage to the occupiers of this ramshackle collection of tents and sleeping bags.

Until now, it has been the usual suspects: the actor and activist Susan Sarandon, radical film-maker Michael Moore (twice), the Outkast rapper Big Boi, and the provocative black intellectual Cornel West.

For a time today, it looked as if the celebrity score would go to a new level, with reports that Radiohead, who are in town for a series of concerts, would play an unannounced gig at the park. Unfortunately, it was announced (by the protesters) and then denied (by the band’s public relations firm).

Whether it goes ahead or not remains a moot point – and in any case the substantive story today is that the protesters are planning a march on the New York Police Department headquarters in protest at the now-notorious use of pepper spray at last Saturday’s demonstration.

Our reporter Adam Gabbatt is in Lower Manhattan and we will be bringing you news of the march as it happens, and the Radiohead gig if it happens. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds