Inspired by citizen uprisings around the world, thousands of regular Americans recently descended on Wall Street to protest a U.S. economic system that wastes taxpayer money to coddle corporations and stock brokers.
Vowing to ”occupy Wall Street” and to “bring justice to the bankers,” these people exercised their right to march on the head of Wall Street and form a spontaneous blockade, prompting the New York Police Department to threaten arrest.
Undeterred, protesters walked laps around the area before holding a people’s assembly and setting up a semi-permanent protest encampment in a park on Liberty Street, a stone’s throw from Wall Street and a block from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (Guardian).
That was Saturday, September 17th. Three days later, the occupation of Wall Street is still going strong, with hundreds choosing to spend the night sleeping on the street only to be greeted by reinforcements each morning.
So far, celebrity presence at the protest has not been lacking. Speakers including the Reverend Billy Talen of the Church of Stop Shopping, and actress Rosanne Barr spoke on the steps of the American Indian Smithsonian Museum to the crowd, which included conscious rappers Lupe Fiasco and Immortal Technique.
“Like our brothers and sisters in Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Iceland, we plan to use the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic of mass occupation to restore democracy in America,” states the OccupyWall St.org website. “We also encourage the use of nonviolence to achieve our ends and maximize the safety of all participants.”
The original call for this occupation was published by Adbusters in July; since then, many individuals across the country have stepped up to organize this event, such as the people of the NYC General Assembly and US Day of Rage. There will also be similar occupations in the near future such as October 2011 in Freedom Plaza, Washington D.C.
Click on the thumbnails below for more images of this historic protest.