Entries in Wall Street (7)


Occupy Protesters Mass for Largest Demonstration Since Eviction

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Occupy Wall Street protesters rang in the New Year with a renewed push, holding their largest demonstration since the movement was evicted last month from the lower Manhattan park where it began.

Dozens of protesters were arrested after a confrontation between demonstrators and police when some Occupiers began tearing down barricades around Zuccotti Park, the site where the movement was born.

Police said that one officer was slightly injured after being stabbed in the hand with a pair of scissors. He has since been treated and released from the hospital.

Shortly after midnight, following the clashes, a large police presence was summoned to the march route. Hundreds of protesters — estimates range from 300 to 500 — marched on Broadway in the early hours of the new year.

In all, 68 people were arrested for various offenses, including trespassing, disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment, a New York Police Department spokesman told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Occupy Wall Street Calls for 'Massive Day of Action' in NYC

Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesUPDATE: By mid afternoon 175 people had been arrested by police including one for throwing a liquid into the face of police officers. There were at least two reports of liquid being tossed into the faces of officers. The most serious injury reported so far occurred when one officer was struck with piece of glass in the shape of a star that had been hurled at him, allegedly by a protester. The officer was being treated for lacerations to the hand.

(NEW YORK) -- Occupy Wall Street protesters are planning what's been termed as a "Massive Day of Action" on Thursday to commemorate the group's two-month anniversary of existence.

The movement, which protests against corporate greed and income disparities, issued a statement on Wednesday that read: "In New York City we are planning for a big day.  In the wake of [Mayor Michael] Bloomberg’s predawn raid of Occupy Wall Street on Tuesday morning, thousands of people throughout the five boroughs and the greater region will join together to take peaceful action tomorrow."

It's expected that the regular protesters, who number in the hundreds, will be joined by thousands more people from labor and community groups as well as New Yorkers who sympathize with their message, "Resist austerity.  Rebuild the economy.  Reclaim our democracy."

The schedule of events as prepared by Occupy Wall Street includes:

-- Shut Down Wall Street: "We will gather in Liberty Square at 7:00am, before the ring of the Trading Floor Bell, to prepare to confront Wall Street with the stories of people on the frontlines of economic injustice."

-- Occupy the Subway: "We will gather at 3:00pm at 16 central subway hubs and take our own stories to the trains, using the "People's Mic"."

-- Take the Square, Festival of Lights on Brooklyn Bridge: "At 5:00 p.m. thousands will gather at Foley Square in solidarity with laborers demanding jobs to rebuild this country's infrastructure and economy.  They will encircle City Hall and march across the Brooklyn Bridge, carrying thousands of handheld lights, as a festival of lights to celebrate two months of a new movement to reclaim our democracy."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Wall Street Protests Expand to D.C. to "Take Back Our Country" 

About one thousand people gather and form a large "99%" in the middle of Freedom Plaza during an "occupation" of the plaza October 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement that began last month in New York, large and small occupations have sprung up in cities across the country. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Whether they showed up to protest Wall Street bankers, the war in Iraq or climate change, the nearly 300 people who chanted, marched and drummed in Washington, D.C.’s Freedom Plaza Thursday all shared a common complaint: that the government isn’t listening to the people.

While the event was originally planned four months ago as an anti-war protest to mark the 10th anniversary of America’s invasion of Afghanistan, it morphed into a broad, catch-all protest inspired in part by the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York.

“We are out here to try to take back our country peacefully,” said Ward Reilly, a Vietnam-era veteran and steering committee member for the anti-war group “Stop the Machine,” which originally organized the protest.

“You could probably talk to 100 people out here and they would be here for 100 different reasons,” Reilly said. ”We are not going to leave.”

Reilly, who came from Baton Rouge, La., for the demonstration, said Congress is “ignoring the will of the people, flagrantly.”

Protest organizer Ellen Davidson said she didn’t know how long people would “occupy” the plaza but as of 11:30 a.m. about five camping tents had been set up and a number of protestors had brought hiking backpacks full of camping gear.

Organizers said their city permits expire in four days.

Carrie Stone said she felt so passionately about the protests that she walked 200 miles from Clarksburg, W.V., to Washington, D.C. in an attempt to raise awareness about the event.  Stone said she walked 25 miles per day in “cold and rainy” weather for nine days to attend the “all-encompassing” protest.

Around 11 a.m. the plaza began to fill with people waving “Veterans for Peace” flags,  carrying signs such as “Tax the Rich, Help the Poor,” playing guitars and pounding on drums. By noon about 300 protesters had filled the square which sits between the U.S. Capitol building and the White House.
Three counter-protesters milled about the crowd carrying signs that read “Support Our Troops, Kill Terrorists” and “Taxed Enough Already.”

“We have to inform them that ‘the man’ isn’t Wall Street, ‘the man’ is big government,” said Ron Meyer, program officer for the conservative Young America’s Foundation, who carried a “Unions Destroy Jobs” sign.

“The cause of the financial crisis wasn’t Wall Street, it was big government,” he said.

The three counter-protesters quickly drew a crowd of media and outraged rally participants, one of whom, Dietrich Nicholson, got into a rather heated back-and-forth accusing the counter-protesters of being “ignorant.”

“They are here for one purpose,” Nicholson said after walking away from the three men, “to cause a mess and get a little publicity for their cause.”

Nicholson said he didn’t expect today’s protest to actually change anything in Washington, but that it still gave him “a little hope.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Occupy Wall Street Protesters: 'We're Americans'

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- They are hundreds strong, but the protesters calling themselves Occupy Wall Street claim to speak for millions.

"It's about democracy; it's about everyone here has a chance to speak and be heard," said Justin Brown of Brooklyn, who joined the protest a week ago.

Their causes include everything from global warming to gas prices to corporate greed, and the Occupy Wall Street website says organizers took their inspiration in part from the so-called Arab Spring demonstrations that have tried to bring democracy across the Arab world.

But while their message might be a tad muddled, all are united by their anger over what they say is a broken system, a system that serves the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the rest.

Protester Brendan Burke insists he and the others are fighting for more than 99 percent of the American population.

"Everyone has this problem," he said.  "White, black.  Rich or poor.  Where you live.  Everyone has a financial inequity oppressing them."

Few had heard of Occupy Wall Street two weeks ago when protesters moved into a park in the heart of New York's financial district.  But after 15 straight days, they are now getting the backing of prominent celebrities like documentary film maker Michael Moore and Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon.

They're also now backed by powerful labor unions with hundreds of thousands of members and millions of dollars behind them.

Sympathetic protests are popping up in other cities, including Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, Providence, R.I., Albuquerque, N.M., and Spokane, Wash., with many demonstrations taking place Saturday.

The protests have been mostly peaceful.  That is, until Saturday, when 700 were arrested after a march on the Brooklyn Bridge spilled over from the pedestrian walkway onto the roadway, blocking traffic for several hours.  Most of the demonstrators who were arrested were given summonses and released.

While they may have a ways to go before attaining Tea Party-like influence, Occupy Wall Street backers say they hope their message will continue to gain momentum -- and will ultimately be heard in the 2012 elections.

In fact, some Tea Party members have been down to Lower Manhattan to lend their support.  Both groups are fed up with the status quo.

Still, the protesters insist they are not all Democrats nor Republicans.

"We're Americans," said Justin Brown.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Occupy Wall Street Movement Reports 80 Arrested in Protests

Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- At least 80 people were arrested on Wall Street Saturday in the eighth day of protests against corporations, according to the group Occupy Wall St, which reported police used tasers and mace to control the crowd.

The New York Police Department could not confirm how many arrests had been made because they were still being processed, a spokesman said.

A video has circulated of a police officer throwing a protestor to the ground. The reason for the violence is unknown – the video shows the man standing in what seems to be a non-threatening manner before the attack.

Another video shows police officers shoving male and female protestors off the street, and using a large orange net to move the crowd.

The group claimed on its website that several arrested protestors were locked inside a police van this morning, one with a “possibly life-threatening” concussion.

The website reported at least one protestor was arrested for taking photographs. An NYPD spokesman said police were not targeting those with cameras.

Photographs that did make it into the blogosphere showed signs that read, “A Few Prosper, Billions Suffer,” and “Debt = Slavery.”

The protests began on Sept. 17, when hundreds of protestors gathered at Bowling Green Park in Manhattan, home of the iconic charging bull in New York’s Financial District, as they prepared to “take the bull by the horns,” as a flyer advertising the event said.

“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%,” said a statement on the website Occupy Wall Street.

According to statements on the website, the movement, an offshoot of online magazine AdBusters, is angered by what it calls the principle of “profit over and above all else,” which it says has dominated not only America’s economic policies, but also the way in which Americans view culture and humanity.

Posts on the website compare the group’s efforts to those used in pro-democracy movements across the Middle East, dubbed the Arab 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.”

As has become the norm of such protests, this movement has been fueled by social media fire, with supporters taking to Twitter under the hash tag #occupywallstreet. The major hacking group Anonymous has also thrown in its support, live streaming the day’s events.

“History teaches us that when the rich get too rich and the poor get too poor there is always a revolution. Let’s hope this is the start of change!” wrote a reader with the username “Takebackourgovernment” on the movement’s website Saturday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Wall Street Protesters Say They’re Settled In

Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Protesters who vowed to “occupy Wall Street” are holding their ground in downtown New York, and say they have no plans to leave anytime soon.

The protest started Saturday with a “Day of Rage,” when thousands of people gathered in the Financial District and vowed to stay on Wall Street as long as it takes to make their point that they will “no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.”

Organizers have said they hoped for as many as 20,000 people to join the protests, but estimates Saturday were that the crowd peaked at around 5,000.

Although the number has dwindled since Saturday, those remaining seem to be in it for the long haul.  According to tweets sent out by Occupy Wall Street, the group has blankets, food and space heaters available for protesters.

The New York Police Department says that even though the demonstrators don’t have a permit for the protest, they have no plans to remove those protesters who seem determined to stay on the streets.

According to the Occupy Wall Street website, the effort was inspired by the lasting demonstrations of “our brothers and sisters in Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Iceland.”

Organizers of the protest told ABC News affiliate WABC-TV in New York that they are hoping the crowd will grow as the work week begins Monday.  Like the protests that inspired this one, the demonstration is being fueled by social media, with supporters using the Twitter hashtag #takewallstreet to organize meetings of the so-called “General Assembly” and to advertise the effort.  The event is also streaming live online.

According to a statement on the Occupy Wall Street website, supporters of the movement are angered by what they call the principle of “profit over and above all else.”

“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%,” the statement said.

Comments New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made last week that some may argue seem to have forecast the event.

“You have a lot of kids graduating college who can’t find jobs.  That’s what happened in Cairo.  That’s what happened in Madrid.  You don’t want those kind of riots here,” Bloomberg said.

For now though, the protesters have vowed to stay peaceful and hold their ground until the changes they are demanding are met.  They are calling for protests in other cities, worker and student strikes, and the creation of similar organizations throughout the country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Charles Manson: President Obama a 'Slave to Wall Street'

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza (file)(CORCORAN, Calif.) -- Charles Manson has broken two decades of silence, giving a telephone interview to Spain's Vanity Fair magazine in which the convicted killer and cult leader called President Obama foolish.

Manson, who was convicted 40 years ago in the gruesome murders of eight people -- among them the pregnant actress Sharon Tate -- also talked about killings and his group of followers who came to be known as the "Manson family."

The cult leader has a new attorney who has asked the president to set Manson free. Asked by the magazine to give an opinion of the president, Manson, 76, called Obama foolish in reference to Wall Street, saying he considered the president "a slave of Wall Street."

"He doesn't realize what they are doing. They are playing with him," he said, according to the magazine.

Other comments revealed the familiar, chilling Manson.

"I am a bad man. I'm nasty. I'm in the bull ring. I don't play. I shoot people ... I'm an outlaw. I'm a criminal. I'm everything bad," he said.

Manson didn't carry out any of the killings during a two-day rampage in Southern California, but he was sentenced to death for ordering the murders. He'd apparently hoped to use the killings to ignite a race war between blacks and whites.

All the victims were brutally stabbed to death.

The death sentences imposed against Manson and members of his group were commuted to life sentences when California abolished the death penalty in 1972.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio