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Watch the #N17 Hashtag To Track A Day of Protest

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, November 16 2011

Tomorrow, labor groups, Moveon.org members, Occupy Wall Street protesters and others will convene in lower Manhattan to celebrate the two-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.

In that time, it has grown from an idea seeded on the Internet to a global movement, rooted firmly in physical space by occupations in public spaces. The protests, too, are very much situated in a sense of place: One of the called-for opening events is a rap session in front of the New York Stock Exchange, before the opening bell.

As part of the run-up to tomorrow, organizers are promoting the #N17 hashtag, and it's already starting to grow (although hasn't hit bacon-like popularity yet):

The occupiers plan to host events across the city, from the Bronx to Brooklyn. There are calls to congregate in front of subway stops in all five boroughs. While it's pretty clear that the main events downtown will be packed, will these events be as popular? There are Occupy the Bronx and Occupy Brooklyn groups; Occupy the Bronx has over a thousand members. Occupy observers have pointed out that the movement's focus has been moving away from their hubs in major cities and towards their spokes in neighborhoods and small towns. One way to read tomorrow would be a as a test of Occupy's ability to bring people out on a smaller scale, on a local scale, here in New York — in many smaller settings where more voices can be heard, as opposed to the events to take place downtown where each attendee will be one drop in what organizers hope will be a massive wave. Anyone who has made the schlep by subway from lower Manhattan to the subway stop that's expected to be the Bronx action hub of the day can tell you it's a significant time investment.

Unfortunately, trying to track them online in real-time will be difficult. While there'll be a lot of Twitter traffic as a result of tomorrow, hardly anyone attaches GPS locations to their tweets. Trendsmap can get you as close to the city level, but can't help users get more specificity than that on locations where Twitter traffic is coming from. The best way will probably be to use carefully constructed Twitter searches, like combining #N17 with "Bronx" or "Brooklyn."