The Occupy Wall Street protesters in Manhattan looked set to be getting some serious support this week as groups of US marines said they were heading down to give them some protection. Some supporters of the movement believe that the arrival of the marines will be the start of a new phase of the campaign.
It was reported over the weekend that at least 15 marines would be heading to the site to offer protection to the protesters against over-zealous police tactics. The idea of marines holding a line against police to protect protesters is slightly surreal, and shows the extent to which different groups are lining up on different sides of the debate.
There’s no news so far as to whether the marines are in place, but the Occupy Wall Street crowds cheered when the news was relayed to them. The arrival of the marines will undoubtedly change the dynamics of the protest. Police will likely be loathe to engage with the marines, while it will no longer be possible to write the protests off as the work of a bunch of unemployed college kids.
Update: Several days later, and there are apparently no marines. Looks like the marines either got distracted along the way, or they were never going to show up in the first place.