Occupy Broadway protest expected to descend on Times Square


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First there was Occupy Wall Street. Then there was Occupy L.A. and the many other geographic spinoffs that followed. Now comes Occupy Broadway, which promises to provide an artistic spin on the grassroots protest movement.

Theater performers and artists in New York are planning to descend on the Times Square area on Friday for a 24-hour occupation that they are describing as ‘a form of creative resistance.’ The occupation is expected to feature continuous free performances from some noted downtown New York artists.


Organizers of Occupy Broadway say that the exact location of the event won’t be revealed until later, only confirming that it will be a ‘privately-owned public space’ near Times Square.

An online petition launched by the organizers states: ‘We are using public space to create a more colorful image of what our streets could [look] like, with public performances, art, and music in spiritually-bankrupt corporate, bonus plazas.’

A ‘bonus plaza,’ they define, is a privately owned public plaza whose owner has received ‘bonus’ development rights from the city for nearby property. ‘Today and forever we will hold developers to their legal obligation to provide publicly-owned private spaces,’ state the petition. ‘We call for an end to the trampling of our constitutional right to public assembly, our occupation of public space and our right to democracy itself.’

In a release sent Tuesday, organizers of Occupy Broadway said that participating groups will include the Civilians, a New York theater group, as well as performers Mike Daisey and Penny Arcade.

The occupation is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on Friday. Organizers said they are inviting the public to join them in the protest event.


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-- David Ng