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United States: “Occupy Wall Street” Takes the Heart of New York's Financial District

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

In New York City's Financial District, a peaceful protest has been organized by the group  Occupy Wall Street (#occupywallstreet on Twitter), and supported by the Canadian organization AdBusters and the hacker group Anonymous.

Inspired by the demonstrations in cities throughout Arab and European countries, these youth are showing their dissatisfaction with the way in which Wall Street has, according to them, controlled the policies of the United States economy, making it into a “corporatocracy” and leaving millions unemployed.  This group has occupied Zuccotti Park since September 17, and they expect that more people will join in the upcoming months.

Poster from the movement.

Poster from the movement.

Musicians, medical staff, an improvised library and a technology team armed with computers and other devices can all be found in the park.  The demonstrators also have created banners with pieces of cardboard in which they express their feelings against capitalism, as well as their opposition to the Troy Davis execution.

The demonstrators have joined under the motto: “We are the 99% who will not tolerate the greed and corruption of the remaining 1%.”

Sofía Gallisá photo. Published with permission.

A poster showing the online media resources for finding information.  Sofía Gallisá photo. Published with permission.

A poster showing the online media resources for finding information. Sofía Gallisá photo. Published with permission.

Sofía Gallisá photo. Published with permission.

Sofía Gallisá photo. Published with permission.

Protest signs.Sofía Gallisá photo. Published with permission.

Although the protests have been carrying on without much disturbances, there have been arrests: according to recent reports, close to 80 arrests took place on Saturday, September 24, mainly for disorderly conduct on behalf of “individuals who blocked pedestrian and vehicular traffic,” in addition to resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration.

Nonetheless, this did not thwart the demonstrators’ march from continuing to other parts of the city such as Union Square in the center of Manhattan.  While traditional media has not provided much coverage of the protest, information has exploded all over digital social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr).

National figures like professor and philosopher Cornel West (@CornelWest) demonstrated his support via Twitter:

Courageous folk. Civil disobedience is part and parcel of the American democratic process. #OccupyWallStreet http://ow.ly/6DNj1

Van Jones (@VanJones68), a prominent U.S. activist, also expressed his solidarity with the demonstrators while simultaneously speaking out against police misconduct:

Those Occupy Wall Street folks deserve some serious love. But NYPD? WTF? Check out video! Watching http://livestre.am/PlNN via @livestream

Other Twitter users like Michele Catalano (@inthefade) believe that the protest is a dichotomy in itself:

It's so cute how the kids at Occupy Wall Street are tweeting their fight against capitalism from their iPhones and Droids. FIGHT THE POWER.

Amidst this, Ricardo (@jrickymayo) [es] finds another contradiction to the events on the night of September 24:

y esto pasa en el pais mas [sic] libre Al menos 80 detenidos en Nueva York durante las protestas para ‘ocupar’ Wall Street http://bit.ly/onHB4C

and this happens in the most free country.  At least 80 detained in New York during the protests to “occupy” Wall Street http://bit.ly/onHB4C

Below we present a video of “Occupy Wall Street,” in which one can clearly see how the demonstrators are blocked off by a strong security force:

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

15 comments

  • Here’s a good photo story of the arrests made on September 24th.: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/violent-pictures-from-occupy-wall-street-protests

  • Guri Singh

    I am amazed at the amount of coverage by the mainstream media. From what I have seen online, I am SHOCKED at the (pepper) spraying of innocent people. All of those women who were sprayed were just standing there taking pictures.

    Wow! This happens in America.

    I lost my job in Jan 2009 because of the government shutdown of WaMu. A year later, I lost my home because my bank could not consider my request to lower my interest rate by 2% for 3 years. The 3 years I was asking for was just about the time I needed to get back on my feet.

    My homeloan was with Wells Fargo. US government (our government, using our tax money, YES! my tax money) to bail out the banks. These same banks threw me out of my home (which I am OK! with now).

    Now, we want to show our concerns and voice our opinion. Only to find, that we are not allowed to protest.

    A very sad case. I am sitting in India, often complaining about corruption. I now wonder, who is really corrupt. The BIG businesses control US government.

    I want the banks to give back out Billions. Give back my tax money.

    While I am at it. Stop wasting our money on wars that are one sided. Bring our troops back home. Enough is Enough.
    If the people in US government want to fight the war. GROW SOME BALLS and suit up, go fight the war with our troops.

    God Bless America.
    Shame on the cop that pepper sprayed the innocent women in NY. He deserves to be fired and no pension for him. I would put him in Jail and throw away the key.

  • suzanne stumo

    Thank you putting someone on this! The short coverage so far was looking disorganized and negative and you give a good clear voice and a motive. Kali Lassen, the ad busters creator, is irresponsible for organizing this event on Wall Street (while it should take place in DC) and without notifying media outlets such as Global Voices in advance of this ‘occupation’… Media coverage is essential and so is time, message, location and strategy…!!! Kali Lassen’s role in campaigning against AL Gore and for Nader(who is my in-law) in 2000 was renegade and misguided. My mother and I, working with Gore and the DNC in Iowa 2000 campaign, came up against unusually aggressive and sometimes threatening campaigns organized against us and Gore by Lassen through Ad-Busters. Keep this in mind while reporting on this event.

  • […] we published our first story on “Occupy Wall Street,” about a group that camping out on Zuccotti Park, it barely made the front pages of local […]

  • […] vi publicerade våran första artikel om “Occupy Wall Street” [en] om en grupp om har slagit läger ute i Zuccotti Park så nådde det knappt lokala […]

  • […] αρχικά δημοσιεύσαμε το κείμενό μας για το κίνημα “Κάντε κατάληψη στη Wall Street”, με θέμα μια ομάδα ανθρώπων που κατασκήνωσε στο […]

  • […] izahay namoaka ny lahatsoratra voalohany mikasika ny “Occupy Wall Street,” momba ny vondrona iray izay nitoby tao amin'ny Zuccotti Park, zara raha nipoitra […]

  • […] read more of our stories on Occupy Wall Street here […]

  • […] pročitati više Global Voices članaka o Zauzmite Wall Street ovde i […]

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