New York City demonstration against Wall Street bankers
For a week now, hundreds of demonstrators have encamped themselves in the financial district in New York City, hoping to call attention to Wall Street’s misdeeds.
Seven protesters were arrested by the New York Police Department, despite being peaceful and not noticeably disrupting the normal activities of the city. The Wall Street Journal notes that the charges being brought against these demonstrators include “loitering and wearing [a] mask.”
The Village Voice points out that the anti-mask law being used against demonstrators dates back to 1845, when farmers wore masks to conduct attacks against the police. The law was updated in 1965 to “prevent masked gathering of two or more people,” unless they are throwing masquerade parties.
While the overall attendance has been lower than original projections, and the ultimate occupation has dwindled even further, those protesters who remain in Zuccotti Park have been very effective at utilizing social media (particularly the hashtag #OccupyWallStreet) to spread their message.
Meanwhile, the Rev. Jesse Jackson expressed his support for the protests on Democracy Now!—adding, “We bailed out the banks,” and that the country is misallocating funds “in the four wars,” the “corporations not paying their share of taxes” and “in the banks.”
If a protest is considered a success based on whether its revolutionary spirit proves contagious, then Occupy Wall Street may indeed become a triumph in the long run. The event’s official website recently announced that a similar protest is now being planned in Los Angeles.
[Excerpts from The Nation and Think Progress]