They’re back! After taking most of the summer off, those pesky Occupy Wall Street Protesters returned to lower Manhattan today on the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. As predicted, scores of the estimated 1,000 protesters were arrested as they converged Zuccotti Park, the protestors’ camping ground of choice.
Officers on horseback and some in riot gear limited access to Wall Street and the surrounding area to workers or residents who have identifications. The number of protesters arrested was not immediately available. The group was met by police officers at the entrance to Wall Street, and a handful sat down on the sidewalk. When they refused to move, they were arrested, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Others were more festive, popping off confetti, volleying a balloon or chatting politics with police officers. Hundreds of protesters at Bowling Green sang a version of “Happy Birthday” to the movement.
“I’ve been arrested four times now and I’ll get arrested 1,000 times more until we see some change,” said one 44-year-old actor from Massachusetts. “We’re fighting for nothing less than the future of our country. Do you want your kids to grow up in ‘corptocracy’ or in a democracy?”
Members of the movement, which began one year ago, are seeking to revive the energy and emotion generated when thousands took to the streets to protest income disparity, corporate greed and the influence of money on politics. Protesters say the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans benefit at the expense of the rest. Corporate targets of today’s disruption include the Broadway retail branches of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co., along with Deutsche Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and AIG.