Protesters march in Manhattan, criticizing Wall Street

NEW YORK Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:58pm EDT

Morning commuters walk past Occupy Wall Street campaign protesters sleeping in Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street in New York September 26, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Morning commuters walk past Occupy Wall Street campaign protesters sleeping in Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street in New York September 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Several hundred marchers wound their way through the streets of lower Manhattan on Saturday in the latest of a string of protests over the past week against what demonstrators saw as corporate greed on Wall Street.

Police said at least 80 protesters were arrested during the march, which was meant to criticize a financial system participants said unfairly benefits corporations and the rich. They said the protests were inspired by demonstrations in Egypt and Spain.

Most of the arrests were for disorderly conduct by people who blocked vehicle and pedestrian traffic during an hours-long march that wound north from the financial district into the bustling Union Square area. One marcher was charged with assaulting a police officer, police said.

The marchers carried signs spelling out their goals. "Tax the rich," one placard said. "We Want Money for Healthcare not Corporate Welfare," read another.

The demonstrators were mostly college-aged marchers carrying American flags and signs with anti-corporate slogans. Some beat drums, blew horns and chanted slogans as uniformed officers surrounded and videotaped them.

"Occupy Wall Street," they chanted, "all day, all week."

Organizers fell short of that goal. With metal barricades and swarms of police officers in front of the New York Stock Exchange, the closest protesters could get was Liberty Street, about three blocks away.

The first arrest came shortly after noon near the stock exchange. Several blocks away, another protester, who identified himself as Robert Stephens, was arrested after kneeling in the middle of the street outside the Chase Bank building.

"That's the bank that took my mother's home," said Stephens, a law student, before being handcuffed.

The Vancouver-based activist media group Adbusters organized the weeklong event. Word spread via social media, yet the throngs of protesters some participants had hoped for failed to show up.

"I was kind of disappointed with the turnout," said Itamar Lilienthal, 19, a New York University student and marcher.

The protest appeared smaller than a "Day of Rage" a week ago that turned out to be largely peaceful.

Tourists along the march stopped to snap photos, and some acknowledged the demonstrators with waves and peace signs but few joined the protest.

Laurie Hull, who was visiting New York with her husband from Oregon, stopped to watch and said the couple empathized with the marchers after filing for bankruptcy and living without health insurance.

(Editing by Lauren Keiper, Cynthia Johnston and Alex Dobuzinskis)

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Comments (10)
StanleyH wrote:
No mention of the widespread police brutality? …

All the people were peaceful. These women just get maced, when they are behind a fence, for no reason. Just one of many videos that day

Sep 26, 2011 1:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
DrJJJJ wrote:
I’m against anarchist and illegal protest, but something does ring true about keeping the rotten apple on a short leash-legitimate governemtn role! Free $500k homes for flakes burned a bridge in my book! Pull your retirement out of the rotten apple and invest locally or park it locally! Won’t be getting much more than 2% for years without taking big risk, so let’s shrink the rotten apple influence-too big to fail or be honest too!

Sep 26, 2011 2:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Actually this was not a dismal failure at all. The only failure was the media to not be there to follow it. I have been on the live feed on and off the last 24 hours that is following it and there are people coming to be there from all over the U.S. The live feed was originally being followed by just 2000 people last night around 4 am, when I checked it had more then doubled and everyone from all over the world is watching and people in other countries are also wanting to protest. I know that in my city and many more, marches are being planned and they just haven’t happened yet. Some soldiers were on last night cheering from Iraq watching it. It has not been the failure made out in this article and they didn’t mention the police being physically abusive to the young people and spraying them in the eyes with pepper spray for no reason when they were penned in. I saw police brutality. For the truth, this is the feed to watch they are repeating what the guy says to be a human megaphone for him, in the chat section, people are writing from all over the country, Facebook has different people in different cities planning marches and “occupations” and the whole world is cheering them on, in the chat box to the side.

Sep 26, 2011 2:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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