On Saturday at noon, hundreds of protestors began to gather on New York City’s Wall Street in order to make a statement to the government and leaders in power. Operation “Occuppy Wall Street” had just begun.
They gathered together in Bowling Green Park in Manhattan, the center of New York’s Financial District, prepared to “take the bully by the horns”. It is estimated that nearly 5,000 people showed up to the event. Occupiers say they are staying put on Wall Street and refuse to go anywhere anytime soon.
According to statments on the Occupy Wall Street website, protesters are upset over the principle of “profit over and above all else”, which they believe has dominated both America’s economic policies and the American perspective on culture and humanity.
“The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%,” a statement said.
The group has likened themselves and their efforts to pro-democracy upheavals that occurred in the Middle East last spring.
“On the 17th of September, we want to see 20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up beds, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months,” one statement says. “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. We also encourage the use of nonviolence to achieve our ends and maximize the safety of all participants.”
Two people were taken into custody for wearing bandannas that covered their faces. Seven individuals wearing walkie-talkies under their clothes and bullet-resistant vests were also questioned, but later released.