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More Than 100 OWS Protesters Arrested Near Stock Exchange

Monday, September 17, 2012

WNYC
OWS, occupy wall street A police officer stands near the Wall Street bull as OWS protesters gather in Lower Manhattan. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Police say 174 people have been arrested as Occupy Wall Street protesters march in small groups around Manhattan's financial district to mark the anniversary of the grass-roots movement.

They came bearing birthday balloons, confetti, and a slew of slogans excoriating everything from Wall Street bailouts and fracking to campaign finance laws and student debt.

The protesters had a hard time congregating into large groups in Lower Manhattan. Part of the problem was the topography of the area, which is lined with narrow streets and several small intersections. But the NYPD also efficiently broke up groups and ensured the flow of traffic along sidewalks.

After several attempts to gather at Broadway and Wall Street, where several protesters were arrested, most people headed to Battery Park, where demonstrators sprawled out in the sun on the grass. Many covered themselves with posters and napped, while others held a General Assembly and discussed the successes and disappointments of the morning. Several lamented the fact they blocked the way for “working class people” to get to work, while others celebrated the birthday of the movement.

Steve Bachelor, 43, a history professor at Fairfield University in Conn., said despite the protesters’ failed attempt to create a human chain around Wall Street, the morning’s marches were successful nonetheless. “I danced in the middle of Wall Street today, I don't typically dance in the middle of Wall Street, so any day in which I can dance in the middle of Wall Street, is a good day,” Bachelor said.

The protest movement lost steam after its encampment at Zuccotti Park was cleared last November. But Bachelor dismissed any notion that because there were few Occupy marches over the summer that the movement was weakening.

“There’s no movement that has petered out, because there are no universal set of demands other than, ‘Hey! Hello! We’re here, pay attention. We want to be heard.’”

Although some protesters anticipated getting arrested, not everyone will take the same approach.

“There are a bunch of other people who say, ‘I don’t believe in that tactic and I just want to have a big celebration, so I’m just going to parade around Wall Street,’” said a woman who only identified herself as Natasha S.

The protests lacked the heft of last year's Occupy events. Last year there were thousands of protesters. On Monday morning, there were a few hundred at most. A gathering is also planned Monday night in Manhattan’s Foley Square. Organizers are also planning what they call Free University or free classes in public spaces for the rest of the week.

The gatherings and marches on Monday capped a weekend of events for the grass-roots movement. On Sunday, protesters gathered in Manhattan’s Foley Square for a concert.  A march on Saturday led to about a dozen arrests, according to police.

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Comments [8]

Sarah Harper (aka Pissed Off Woman)

Very biased article--amazing how you can write an entire article about protestors without mentioning the reasons behind said protest. The protest was split into 4 "clusters": "eco cluster" (protesting destruction of environment: natural gas fracking which poisons water supplies, fossil fuels which contribute to global warming, etc.), "debt cluster" (protesting debt slavery through predatory lending done by the same big banks that gov't bails out), "student cluster" (protesting high cost of and predatory lending for higher education, poor state of public education, underfunding of both by gov't), and "99% cluster" (general anger over tax and justice systems being rigged for benefit of the ultra-rich). The "clusters" each went to a different section of the Financial District--that's what the twitter mention of the "debt zone" refers to.

The police didn't just arrest people for blocking traffic. They set up barricade zones where they thought Occupy Wall Street protestors would head to next, where no one could enter besides cops--effectively blocking traffic themselves. Arrests were made at random--a group of protestors would be standing on the sidewalk making a speech, and the cops would bum-rush the crowd, pull someone out and randomly arrest him or her.

(Source: I was there.)

(Full disclosure to forestall tired ad hominem attacks: I'm employed, at a low-paying customer service job. I was able to make up for the day's lost pay by working on Sunday. I have a cell phone with texting capability, but it's several years old and not a smartphone.)

By the way, to "Inventor": thanks for the great Eisenhower quote. Very true, and reminiscent of a chant the Occupy Wall Street protestors used yesterday: "How do we end the deficit? End the wars, tax the rich!"

Sep. 19 2012 12:06 AM
K Webster from nyc

I saw someone arrested just for filming the protest, a few for wearing bandanas over their mouths (yes we now have NY's Finest being used as fashion police) and others for peacefully assembling to protest an obscenely unfair economic system.

I'm glad those working people have jobs and sorry if they may have had trouble getting to work this morning. But for a whole lot of other folks these protesters represent a refusal to accept that a lot of other people lost their homes, their jobs and their neighborhoods while the rich get much much richer.

I am grateful for every young person who is engaged enough to protest. We stopped the Vietnam War, we fought racism, sexism, gay oppression and fought for labor when many of us were young. We were right to do so -as history has verified. (And by the way, cell phones are great organizing tools. All over the world people are using them to organize challenges injustice).

In the fifties everyone thought people had given in to complacency, but organizers were getting people ready for the Civil Rights movement of the sixties.

Don't kid yourselves that this is over.

Sep. 17 2012 06:17 PM
CK from Westchester

Good article and overview. The note that they "brought birthday balloons and confetti" says it all to me. They're here for fun, have a little party. Pretend to protest something (or another). As others have noted, they're more interested in disrupting the people who have to get to work than doing anything particularly effective (or they might try volunteering so much extra time for something useful).

And as noted by others: stop making the police out to be enemies: you block traffic, you congregate without a permit, you have to be moved.

Sep. 17 2012 04:05 PM
Wendy Sacks from Brooklyn NY

I am very disturbed by the heavy handed tactics of the police in response to Occupy. I've been to several of these protests in the past year and the protesters for the most part were not violent. The arrests, pepper-spray etc. are tactics to discourage all of us from protesting.

I think these kids are brave, and who cares if they are middle class or have cell phones? They are saying important things and I agree with most of it.

Sep. 17 2012 02:33 PM
Bocheball

A 73 yr. old woman is raped in broad daylight in a busy part of Central Park, and nary a cop in sight. A peaceful protest and Bloomberg brings them out in gestapo like force to protect the vile thieves on Wall St. Who cares if it's a bunch of white unemployed kids staging the protest, they're trying to be representative of the population of average people whose lives have been disrupted by this Great Recession, and who they justifiably hold accountable- Wall St and corporate greed, which sends jobs overseas while Americans are left to struggle for the remaining and mostly low paying ones. Not everyone can take time off to protest. let's be happy some are willing to put their bodies on the line.

Sep. 17 2012 02:00 PM
The Inventor

Wow! Look at all those shots of the police taking the protestors away into concentration camps because they oppose our oppressive totalitarian government!!

Oh wait, that's not happening....yet they act like it: http://pumabydesign001.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/occupy-wall-street-n17-poster.jpg

Let's continue to cast cops as the "villains" in this non-existent narrative and create a further divide between people instead of a compassionate unifying force for everyone regardless of profession.

Sep. 17 2012 11:15 AM
john from office

Nice comment. Tomorrow the 20 remaining protesters will go back to sticking it to the man, by sleeping on the sidewalk and making problems for working people. Every porter on Broadway hates these guys. White kids playing poor, as they talk on their Iphones.

Sep. 17 2012 10:09 AM
The Inventor

Ah, the evil 1%.

And we, the 99%, are stuck with having to boil our own water before we drink it, have the entire family share the same blanket for the coming winter months, teach our children from outdated and crumbling books, get by as best we can with little access to food, worry about our government coming into our house if we say anything against them.....

Oh! That's the 99% of the World...I'm sorry, I get too wrapped up in my privileged life here in the States to care about the rest of the world. That's right, we can use Cell Phones, to Send Text Messages to one another to aid our protests to stop those vial human beings in Wall Street from going to work! We are so unfortunate! I have to get a new iPhone!

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed."
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

but how dare I quote a Republican!

Sep. 17 2012 09:28 AM

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