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

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.

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.

Sofía Gallisá photo. Published with permission.

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

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 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) finds another contradiction to the events on the night of September 24 [es]:

y esto pasa en el pais mas [sic] libre Al menos 80 detenidos en Nueva York durante las protestas para ‘ocupar' Wall Street

and this happens in the most free country.  At least 80 detained in New York during the protests to “occupy” Wall Street

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 entry is part of the OccupyWallStreet compilation 2011-09, here.

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