Protesters hope to shut down New York's Wall Street

NEW YORK Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:44pm EST

A man carries a cardboard replica of President Barack Obama at the Occupy Wall St. protests in New York's Zucotti Park October 24, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A man carries a cardboard replica of President Barack Obama at the Occupy Wall St. protests in New York's Zucotti Park October 24, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Protesters hope to shut down Wall Street on Thursday -- home to the New York Stock Exchange -- by holding a street carnival to mark the two-month anniversary of their campaign against economic inequality.

Protest organizers acknowledged that the "day of action" could be the group's most provocative yet, and could lead to mass arrests and further strain relations with city authorities.

"I think we're certainly going into this with our eyes wide open, but (the march is) to provoke ideas and discussion, not to provoke any violent reactions," said Occupy Wall Street spokesman Ed Needham.

"I think it is very difficult to do a day of action and not expect some sort of reaction from the (authorities)," he said.

The protesters plan to march to Wall Street from their camp headquarters in a park two blocks away and then spread out across the city's subway system to tell the stories of disenfranchised Americans. They will reconvene later on Thursday for a march across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Last month, more than 700 people were arrested during a similar march across the bridge, after some protesters sat on the pedestrian walkway and refused to move, while others strayed into car lanes.

"We will shut down Wall Street," a post on the movement's Facebook page said. "We will ring the People's Bell, and initiate a street carnival in which we rebuild and celebrate the neighborhoods that the Wall Street economy has destroyed."

The group promises a "a block party the 1 percent will never forget."

A spokesman for the stock exchange declined to comment.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, asked by reporters on Monday about the protesters' plans, said: "The New York Stock exchange will open on time. People will be able to get to work, you can rest assured."

Protesters set up camp in Zuccotti park in New York City's financial district on September 17 to protest a financial system they believe mostly benefits corporations and the wealthy.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has sparked similar protests against economic inequality across the country, and in some cases have led to violent clashes with police.

Police on Monday moved into an anti-Wall Street protester encampment in Oakland, California, clearing out occupants and taking down tents. And police confronted an estimated 1,000 anti-corporate protesters in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday.

In recent weeks, New York protesters have conducted peaceful marches along city sidewalks for a variety of causes ranging from veterans rights and alleged police brutality to big bank greed and labor union issues.

At times the police presence has outnumbered the protesters and city officials have shown their patience is wearing thin with the encamped protest. But Thursday's march could attract up to 10,000 people, protest spokesman Needham said.

(Editing by Basil Katz, Cynthia Osterman and Paul Simao)

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Comments (119)
Whys wrote:
Go Occupy!

Nov 14, 2011 3:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
K_Mike wrote:
Why aren’t you reporting on their demands, these people are on the fringe and no one is pointing that out. The media is acting like they are really nice and normal people. Here are their demands still think you should igoonre it?

http://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-ows-demands

Nov 14, 2011 3:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
masongm wrote:
The OWS idiots don’t get it. March on Washington D.C.! Tell Congress and PoTUS to stop bailing out companies. No one is too big to fail.

Nov 14, 2011 4:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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