The sounds of Mozart, Debussy and Donizetti may be accompanied by chants as Occupy Wall Street protesters threaten to take over Lincoln Center Plaza at showtime on Tuesday evening.
The OWS protesters plan to join a group known as the Granny Peace Brigade, which will hold a vigil tomorrow evening outside of the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. A celebration of their six year anniversary, the Granny Peace Brigade says they welcome the OWS protesters to join them “in an exercise of free assembly and free speech,” and the vigil is actively listed on the agenda of the OWS Web site. While the Granny Peace Brigade publicizes the event as a silent vigil -- to protest U.S. military involvement overseas -- the OWS group may add a new wrinkle.
Asked why they chose Lincoln Center Plaza as the location for their vigil, a representative from GPB said, "The GPB believes that all space should be open to dissent. We hope that the many people entering Lincoln Center at curtain time will pause and reflect on the many issues facing this country, domestically and globally."
The Granny Peace Brigade dates to 2006 when 18 women were arrested on charges that they blocked the entrance to the military recruitment center in Times Square when they tried to enlist. The group -- consisting of women age 59 to 91 at the time -- were handcuffed, loaded into police vans and jailed for four and a half hours before being acquitted. The group now stands to benefit from an act of solidarity by OWS protesters, who claim to share a common cause in their opposition to social and economic injustices. Ninety-two protesters were arrested in Times Square this past Saturday.
The vigil is scheduled to start at 7 pm, the same time that a performance of “War Horse” begins at the Lincoln Center Theater, followed by 7:30 pm performances at Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House and Avery Fisher Hall. Past OWS protests have been characterized by loud bongo drums not to mention large, chanting crowds that may greet audience members as they arrive.
Lincoln Center, when asked to comment on their preparedness for the protesters, gave the following brief reply: "Lincoln Center, as always, remains open for business."
Below: Cellist Matt Haimovitz performs at Zuccotti Park on Sunday: