Occupy Wall Street marks anniversary
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Protesters said they plan to pack a boisterous crowd into the heart of Manhattan's financial district Monday morning to mark the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The goal, several protesters said Sunday, is to form a "people's wall," which will include demonstrators linking arms to disrupt traffic at busy intersections near the New York Stock Exchange. They want to bring renewed attention to what they say are widespread economic disparities spurred on by the infamous "1 percent." Organizers said they will also protest in front of several downtown financial institutions.
"It's going to be symbolic," said protester and Ronkonkoma resident Rose Zacchi, 54, who toted a sign at an Occupy gathering Sunday in lower Manhattan that read "Without money we'd all be rich."
"Everyone's going to dress up like they work on Wall Street, in a suit and tie . . . There may be a lot of arrests," she said.
A police spokesman Sunday night declined to discuss how the NYPD would deal with Monday's planned protests.
Sunday, officers -- some on foot, others on scooters or in vans -- were on watch as about 300 demonstrators chanted slogans and marched toward City Hall in preparation for Monday's demonstrations.
About 50 protesters were arrested Saturday and Sunday, said Susan Howard, of the National Lawyers Guild.
A police spokesman Sunday night said there had been closer to 40 arrests, most of them on civil disobedience charges. He declined to discuss how the NYPD would deal with Monday's planned protests.
Later, about 600 people gathered in Foley Square and repeated familiar chants like, "We are unstoppable, another world is possible."
It was "about outreach, but tomorrow is about resistance," said organizer Linnea Palmer Paton, 24, of Brooklyn. "We are going to disrupt Wall Street because they've disrupted our lives."
Organizers had permits for Sunday's demonstration but not Monday's.
Sunday night, the crowd had swelled to more than 1,000 and moved to Zuccotti Park, the movement's symbolic home.
The rally was considerably larger than when the demonstration started a year ago with a few dozen people encamped in lower Manhattan. But it was much smaller than when the movement was at its peak, just before the NYPD removed demonstrators last November from their two-month encampment at Zuccotti Park.
Recently, the Occupy demonstrations have been fewer, and some experts wonder if it can ever regain its momentum.
"It's been straining to relaunch," said Columbia journalism professor Todd Gitlin, author of a book about the movement. "It may be able to pull off a reunion but I don't think there are any more full-timers to be corralled in America."