Riding the 5:04 in from Stamford, the stockbrokers looked a little sleepy and a little nervous. they usually come to work three hours later, but Monday on the 50th anniversary of the Stock Market's disastrous 1929 crash, they went to work in the dark.
The early train still didn't enable the pin-striped hordes to beat the protesters to the scene. Thousands of anti-nuclear demonstrators converged on New York's financial district last Monday, determined to "expose the links between nuclear power and the national economy" by shutting down operation of the stock exchange.
They failed tactically--the stock market opened as usual at 10 a.m., to the cheers of brokers, but many of the demonstration organizers called the day a success.
"We made a lot of people listen," one demonstrator said as he spread the antinuclear word among lunching brokers. Television and newspapers spread the message too, attracted to the scene by the more than 1000 demonstrators willing to go to N.Y. jails.
The demonstration, which stayed peaceful all day, contrasted with the occupation attempt at Seabrook earlier in October. There, violence flared when police fired tear gas shells, sprayed mace and shot high pressure fire hoses at demonstrators attempting to storm the fence.
But the two demonstrations resembled each other in many ways, including the surprisingly high number of people who participated in both. Conceding that battling police would be riskier in New York City, demonstrators took a different tack. But many of those camped out on Wall Street also discussed plans for another Seabrook occupation attempt in early spring.
"We're going to go at this every way we know." one demonstrator said late in the day, the pink summons marking his arrest pinned to his chest with a button commanding, "Question Authority."