The protesters settled in front of barricades on the southwest corner of 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue, in view of the Sheraton hotel at which Mr. Obama was expected to appear by 9 p.m.
Demonstrators held signs that leveled some of the Occupy protest’s most pointed criticism to date of the president.
“Obama is a corporate puppet,” one said. “War crimes must be stopped, no matter who does them,” read another, beside head shots of President George W. Bush and President Obama.One man, wearing a mask of the President Obama’s face and holding a cigar, carried a sign that read, “I sold out!” Events like this mark a shift in sentiment for the movement, from initially supporting Obama's calls for fairness and reform, then realizing that the President was just using the protest for political reasons.
Ben Campbell, 28, one of the march’s organizers, said he hoped to prove to skeptics of the protests that the demonstrators were political critics of equal opportunity.
“President Obama is coming to town solely to raise money from the richest of the rich,” Mr. Campbell said.The march from Bryant Park forced shoppers and theatergoers into retreat on what most likely would have been a difficult night to find sidewalk space anyway.
At one point, two pedestrians tried to move through the crowd head-on but quickly reconsidered, breaking into a jog in the other direction.
“You better not go that way,” one protester told them moments earlier. “You’re going to hit democracy.”
President Obama even tried to imply that this was some kind of protest against the rightwing and the policies of GW Bush.
However, the protesters who actually did learn something in college soon realized that President Bush is no longer in office, and for the past three years it has been President Obama who is cutting all these sweetheart deals with huge banks and giant multinational corporations.
The irony of this doesn't go unnoticed as Obama holds fundraisers to rake in money from his supporters in the "top 1%" while giving more lip service to the concept of financial reform and fairness.