Joe Marino for New York Daily News
Protesters will storm Wall Street camouflaged in business suits Thursday morning.
Occupy Wall Street hoped to show there was life after Zuccotti Thursday by staging a series of marches and rallies - starting with a sneak attack on the Stock Exchange itself.
As the city braced for a "sizeable" crowd, observers on both sides said the scale of the protest would show whether the two-month-old movement could regain momentum after Tuesday's demoralizing defeat.
OWS hoped anger over the NYPD raid that razed their iconic tent city at Zuccotti Park would breathe new life into a cause that had begun to sputter.
The "day of action" is to begin early, with protesters converging on Wall Street camouflaged in business suits hoping to blend in with office workers trooping out of the subway.
"We will rise from beneath. They can't stop all of us. It's going to get crazy," vowed one organizer. "They took the first shot Tuesday night. [Thursday] we return fire. We will be peaceful, but we will resist."
The city said it was bracing for tens of thousands of people in the streets.
"The protesters are calling for a massive event aimed at disrupting major parts of the city," said Howard Wolfson, deputy mayor for governmental affairs. "We will be prepared for that."
He said the Police Department was working with the MTA to head off any subway disruptions.
"We're ready," said a top police source. "The problem is no one knows how big they will be. We'll have a lot of people out there and if it doesn't pan out it'll look like overkill. But we're going to be ready for it, just in case."
The weather may curb the crowds: Indian summer vanishes today, leaving behind rain and temperatures in the 40s.
Protesters said they aimed to "shut down Wall Street" and disrupt the 9:30 a.m. opening bell - a prospect Mayor Bloomberg scoffed at earlier this week.
"The New York Stock Exchange will open on time. People will be able to get to work, you can rest assured," he told reporters Monday.
The protesters also planned to head underground at 16 MTA hubs across all five boroughs to conduct "subway speakouts" - billed as an effort to "share stories of economic hardship" with straphangers.
A 2 p.m. student gathering at Union Square will then march to a 5 p.m. permitted union rally at Foley Square, which may draw thousands.
Among the unions expected to participate are the transport workers, teachers, municipal employees, communications workers, building employees and health care workers.
"You are going to see thousands of frustrated American workers on the street," said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, which represents the city's unions. "The hardships and economic disparities that exist for working American people today are broader than Zuccotti Park."
The day will end up with an evening march to the Brooklyn Bridge, where mass acts of civil disobedience are planned, including a sit-in by 99 faith leaders representing "the 99%."
"We expect to be arrested," said Sonya Zink, 40, of Park Falls, Wis. "We have tried to compromise with our oppressors. The time for compromise is over. [Thursday] is the time for action, and there will be action."
OWS organizer Chris Reider, 49, of Freeport, L.I., predicted the "day of action" would reenergize a movement sapped by police raids and signs of waning public support.
"It's going to be massive and historic," Reider said.
"We are regrouping. A lot of people were lost in the jail. A lot of our equipment was taken. But our purpose remains strong, and [Thursday] the whole city will see the renewed strength and vigor of Occupy Wall Street."
The movement suffered a blow Tuesday when the city swept away its tent city and began imposing new rules on the 24-hour public park: no gear, no bags, no lying down and no sleeping - even sitting up.
Nevertheless, about 40 die-hards spent the night Wednesday.
Police confiscated blankets from the small number of people who tried to smuggle them in, and woke anyone attempting to sleep on the marble benches.
Judson Memorial Church near Washington Square Park became a temporary shelter, taking in about 50 people.
"I'm just happy I got some sleep," said Requiem King, 26, from Boston.
With Joanna Molloy, Rocco Parascandola, Erik Badia, and Christina Boyle
Well comrades, things are going exactly as we predicted. First comes the protests. Then police action. Then violent reaction from the protesters. Finally, ZOG sends in the REAL shock troops.
What will happen next depends on how many people have the guts to stand up to these Judeo-Capitalist tyrants. If it's a lot, then things will continue to escalate. It will spread even more than it already has.
If too many of them walk away with their tails between their legs, then this movement will die a quick death and the banksters will have won again.
Once again, I urge everyone to get involved. If you follow Homer Simpson's way, "Can't someone else do it?", then it surely will fail. My local Occupy group is waiting to see what happens Thursday. If it all goes well, they'll continue standard demonstrations. If things don't go well, then they will act accordingly.
Unfortunately, this movement is not well organized. They have no idea what they will do if Thursday's efforts fail. They're taking the old, "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it." philosophy.
For the moment, unless you are part of the Jew York movement, all the rest of us can do is wait until tomorrow. At least it isn't a long time. We'll know soon enough.