|A speaker on the people's mic, arguing against occupation, at about 20 minutes to midnight|
Over the course of the evening, a crowd of three thousand or more had gathered in and around the dry fountain basin in Washington Square Park. Returning from the earlier march on Times Square, the attendees were agitated after a day of chanting and dancing, packed, often shoulder to shoulder, between police barricades. There were reports of scores of arrests and a couple of violent incidents. Word had spread of a possible illegal occupation of Washington Square that night. Meanwhile, a line of police officers stood at the entrances to the square, announcing to each arriving crowd that the park would close at midnight—i.e. “you’ve been warned.”
A little after 10 pm, a handful of facilitators from the Zuccotti park occupation stood up on the grate that covers the water jets at the center of the fountain basin and asked the mob to be seated. The general assembly had begun.