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More Than 180 Arrested Near Wall Street in OWS Protests

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Protesters marched throughout Lower Manhattan on September 17. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Occupy Wall Street protesters celebrated the movement's anniversary on Monday by clogging intersections in the city's financial district and marching to the beat of drums that were a familiar refrain last year.

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.

Police said more than 180 people were arrested by Monday evening, mostly on disorderly conduct charges.

The protests caused some frustration for people who work in the area. Denise Stracuzza, a 33-year-old legal secretary in Lower Manhattan, had to choose a different route to and from work, and had little sympathy for the demonstrators.

“I think it’s just a hot mess actually,” she said. “I just had to come a different route and stuff ‘cause I knew it was the year anniversary. And coming up Broadway was crazy with all the cops and crowds of people. It’s just nuts.”

The protests lacked the heft of last year's Occupy events, which involved thousands of protesters at times. The protests Monday morning involved a few hundred, although by evening several hundred people packed into Zuccotti Park for a General Assembly meeting.

But Steve Bachelor, 43, a history professor at Fairfield University in Conn., 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.’”

Despite the protesters’ failed attempt to create a human chain around Wall Street Monday morning, the marches were considered successful by those, like Bachelor, who took part.

“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.

During the evening, City Councilman Jumaane Williams refused to get down from a granite bench in Zuccotti Park and police knocked him off the bench, the New York Times reported.

Organizers are also planning what they call Free University, or free classes, in public spaces for the rest of the week.

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Comments [2]

k webster from nyc

Labeling these protesters of being among the elite is so odd. Union Labor was there, community organizers were there, young adults with debts that they will have into their 50's (and no job prospects) were there, teachers, janitors, musicians, etc were there.

They are protesting so there won't BE any more poor people "half way around the world". Global profiteering has everything to do with all that poverty.

They are using whatever privileges they have to call attention to the egregious inequities of this global economy.

And as annoying as it was for some people who had to make an alternative plan to get to work, there is a bigger picture here-and it IS global. There really are a whole lot of people whose life was upended because of the fiscal irresponsibility of the bankers. Lost homes and jobs and whole countries economies destroyed. Remember?

The richest 1% now own 40% of the wealth in this country. The fraction of nation’s economic pie that goes to the upper 1% has doubled since 1980. The fraction that goes to the 1/10 of 1% has tripled. We now have the distinction of having the least equality of opportunity of all the advance nations.

This isn't wealth created by contributing to the economy. It's wealth created by monopoly and by exploiting everything - education funding, pensions, pristine forests, the ocean, clean water supply-anything.

This is not some petty upset with a loss of entitled privilege. It's about deciding not to allow this foolishness to continue to unravel the economy, to continue destroying the environment to get us back on a human track - for everyone -including the short sighted 1%.

Sep. 18 2012 12:36 PM
The Inventor

I'm sure some starving people half way around the world are supremely glad they aren't going through the anguish that these people are having to face.

I can think of no other statement more arrogant than to declare yourself the 99% when you live in this country. To declare yourself the majority when the true majority of humanity goes on without access to clean food, clean water, and a warm place to sleep is sickening.

The guy holding the confederate flag is too much; I wonder how many of his ancestors were slaves.
Where are the hammer and sickle flags from last year? I know of a few Russians who really miss those days.

"Stop the Greed"...you mean to tell me that every single one of these protestors would not engage in the selfish actions that those they criticize are?

Sep. 18 2012 08:18 AM

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