“This is what a police state looks like.”
Such was the battle cry that arose from the crowd this morning, when Police clashed with protesters as they embarked on the New York Stock Exchange, the first of three initiatives during Occupy Wall Street’s Day of Action. Falling on the two-month anniversary of the Occupy movement, today’s events were aimed at causing a massive disruption to the “business as usual” of the 1% on Wall Street. The events will also include “Occupy the Subway,” where thousands may try to clog subways, and “Take the Square,” when the protesters will march across the Brooklyn Bridge. The protests come two days after the NYPD forcibly evicted OWS protesters from their encampment at Zuccotti Park.
Crowds formed by the thousands at 7 this morning, and the day of action quickly turned contentious, when protesters headed to Wall Street in an effort to delay the opening of the New York Stock Exchange.
Today’s events were commemorated “in celebration and in solidarity with people around the world participating in a massive global day of action in hundreds of cities,” according to OWS’s website. Occupy protesters in other U.S. cities are also planning disruptions.
Mark Bray, a spokesman for OWS, said that protesters planned to “raise a ruckus and clog up the works” in the Financial District before taking to the subways throughout the five boroughs. Though thousands came out this morning, the NYSE opened as usual at 9:30 a.m., said Ray Pellecchia, a spokesman for NYSE Euronext.
By 10 a.m., many protesters lay face down in plastic handcuffs blocks away from the NYSE, and many were forcibly hauled away in police vans. So far, 75 arrests have already been made in connection with this morning’s events, according to ABC News.
Howard Wolfson, Mayor Bloomberg’s deputy for government relations, said yesterday that the NYPD would be deployed accordingly to deal with tens of thousands of people “aimed at significant disruption.”
So far, both groups have kept to their word.
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