Occupy Wall Street will mark its first anniversary this September by trying to blockade the New York Stock Exchange and perhaps carry out citizen’s arrests of bankers, organizers of the social protest movement said Thursday.
Occupy has seen a steep drop in support since its founding a year ago when hundreds of people camped in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street to protest bank bailouts and what they called the ruling “one percent” of America’s most wealthy.
However, activists promise a resurgence on the September 17 anniversary, about six weeks before Americans decide whether to reelect President Barack Obama or bring in his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
The highlight of several days of street actions will be a “people’s wall” at the NYSE, Dana Balicki, a spokeswoman for the group, told AFP.
“That will be a pretty substantial act of civil disobedience,” she said. Protesters will stage a sit-in outside the heavily guarded building and there are plans to attempt citizen’s arrests of bankers.
“That’s still on the table. That’s been talked about a lot. They’ve been planning some citizen’s arrests for some time,” she said.
“There’ll be a mass of people converging on the Stock Exchange to deliver our message: that we’re the 99 percent and we’re not going to take it,” Balicki, 31, said.
Balicki said Occupy leaders had learned from past mistakes and were ready to get around any police crackdown.
Previous Occupy events in New York’s tightly policed financial district have drawn a huge law enforcement response, often resulting in dozens and occasionally hundreds of arrests for disorderly behavior.