The area is adjacent to New York University and is near Cooper Union and the New School, so the area is an attractive magnet for college students.
As NY1 and other minor news outlets point out, a potential showdown looms, as the park is closed for a midnight to 6:00 AM curfew.
Correction: Gothamist gives the curfew as 1:00 AM.
Will the New York City Police Department (NYPD) make this a scene of police brutality against protestors? Make your call: was the violence by night-stick batons, pepper-spray mace, tossing protestors head-first over a metal fence or scaffolding, or charging demonstrators with motorbikes, as shown on the videos on this page? Does the conduct of the officers evince the NYPD's motto of Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect?
Gothamist has live stream video from the protest. As one can see from the Gothamist site, the NYPD wagons are ready.
Excerpt from Gawker.com posting:
Occupy Wall Street Expands to Washington Square Park
Occupy Wall Street is growing! The demonstration, entering its fourth week, has gotten a little too big for Zuccotti Park downtown; today, at around 3 p.m., it founded another encampment in Washington Square Park (they're holding a General Assembly right now).
In most senses it's a smart move: Washington Square Park is a lot bigger than Zuccotti, and it's in a neighborhood dominated by NYU, so they'll have a steady supply of college kids. And the food is much better in the Village, too. (Also: chess boards!) But, as with everything Occupy Wall Street, it's unclear exactly what the plan is; Washington Square Park is a public park (Zuccotti is privately owned but publicly accessible), and theoretically protesters won't be allowed to stay past sunset. One representative told the Post that the group didn't plan on testing the curfew, but another says they "plan to stay... and form a second permanent occupation."