The assault came rapidly and unexpectedly at 6:24, protesters and occupiers were caught off guard as about 30 riot cops attempted to seize control of the entrance to the building and push back the protesters. Although the police succeeded in preventing the doors from being closed, rapid and effective construction of barricades in front of the door prevented the police from being able to gain entrance. Although initially taken off guard the crowd, which had by now swelled to about 150 outside with more than a dozen inside the bank, reformed itself and surrounded the cops to the inspirational music of The Coup and NWA's 'Fuck the Police", with the front lines of the crowd linking arms and advancing on the police. After a 20 minute standoff, the riot police, outnumbered and outflanked, began to retreat and were forced to ask the crowd for permission to leave.
The mood among the crowd was a surge of exhilarating confidence and joy, protesters from newcomers to old veterans recognize the tremendous significance of the victory. Facing a co-ordinated police assault, the riot cops who seemed almost invincible throughout weeks of repression around the country, have been turned back and forced to ask permission to leave because of the militant solidarity and resistance of those within and without the occupied bank. It was clear for those of us participating that whatever happened later in the night, the victory in terms of the consciousness of those of us who participated in the action and succeeded in routing a police assault was one which would last the rest of our lives and could not be reclaimed by any further assault on us or the reclaimed building.
In the aftermath of the victorious confrontation with the police, protesters worked on expanding the defenses of the occupied space. Rocks were spread out to create rough terrain that would make a police advance in formation more difficult, and traffic cones seized from the police added to the primitive defenses. Attempts to improve the geography and reinforce the defenses within the building itself did not detract from peoples perspactive that is was recognized the number of people mobilized within and without to defend the building which would be the decisive factor.
Around 8:00pm a General Assembly was convoked of around 75 people. At this meeting the historic character of action was emphasized, with several speakers eloquently expressing the power of the example this action could set to the rest of the Occupy movement, with one speaker saying "I want to be a part of history" and exhorting others to join in the process of moving the Occupation movement inside, into a bank which presents the perfect target.