September 18, 2011
Protesters who promised to turned Wall Street into an “American Tahrir Square” were frustrated by cops who locked down the financial district in response to the demonstrations.
“More than 1,000 protesters gathered in Manhattan for the demonstrations, but they were thwarted by police who put Wall Street on lockdown after learning about the plans through social media,” the Daily Mail reports. “Protesters organized the rally under the hash-tag of #OccupyWallStreet on Twitter and Facebook, but police spotted this and shut down Wall Street near the Stock Exchange and Federal Hall.”
Major banks – including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. – operate in the area blocked by police.
“We need to retake the freedom that has been stolen from the people,” a call to action posted on the OccupyWallStreet website proclaims. The call was taken up groups not only on the so-called left, but also by anarchists and supporters of the “right-wing figure Lyndon LaRouche.”
According to the Economic Times, protest organizers have called for protesters to camp out for weeks or even months and repeat the protests that have occurred in Egypt, Spain and Israel.
The group has called for workers to “not only strike, but seize their workplaces collectively” and “for the seizure and use of abandoned buildings, of abandoned land, of every property seized and abandoned by speculators, for the people, for every group that will organize them.”
On Saturday, the New York Police erected barricades on Wall Street between Broadway and William Street.
Fox News reported that police were determined to “to prevent protesters from wreaking havoc by blocking off sections of Wall Street, including the famous bull statue where demonstrators had planned to rally.”
The “havoc” was peaceful, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported:
Protesters waved red flags and toted cardboard signs with statements such as “represent the 99%.” Others donned white, mustachioed masks of the anti-authoritarian protagonist from the graphic novel and film “V for Vendetta.” A few people played instruments, including guitars, ukuleles and maracas. Chants and applause periodically erupted around the plaza.
The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, part of the Department of Homeland Security, has warned that additional protests are planned for financial districts in Madrid, Milan, London and Paris.