Wherever Occupy Wall Street says it will go, there go hundreds if not thousands of police officers. If Occupy Wall Street were a confrontational organization bent on occupying space, or more directly, limiting access to institutions like the stock exchange, or more generally disrupting people's commute (as they appear to be planning to do in DC), it seems to me they'd just have to announce that they would be there. The ensuing police presence would certainly create an obstacle, even if the protesters never showed.
But, as my friend Mrs. E points out, it's not really about blocking anything or limiting access or anything so shrewd. Which is why the protesters need to appear in person: It's about being photographed.
If your goal is to be photographed confronting a police officer while holding a sign about how "We are the 99%," the most important thing is to stage your visual dramatically. Maybe you extend out your arms, weep a little if you can manage, this kind of thing. It appears the strategy is that these pictures will persuade the hard-hearted among us to join up with the cause. But if your strategy is one focused on persuasion, you need to also not make people hate you just to get a good picture. Protests in parks are one thing -- few people are disrupted, you can just walk around. It allows each protestor to convince him or herself that he or she is making a difference, while they seek out a reporter or blogger to take their picture and watch them playing at rebellion.
But blockading a busy thoroughfare is not a message of suasion, it's a confrontational message. The strategy, ultimately, is confused. Do they want me to hate them, or love them? Are they wide-eyed collectivists or cynical anarchists? Are they an unstable amalgam of both? And is this discord in strategy a sign that perhaps things are falling, finally, apart?