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Occupy Wall Street Marks 1-year Anniversary

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Occupy Wall Street protesters flooded the streets of downtown Manhattan near Zuccotti Park on the one-year anniversary of the movement (Rashed Mian)
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Occupy Wall Street protesters flooded the streets of downtown Manhattan near Zuccotti Park on the one-year anniversary of the movement (Rashed Mian)

Occupy Wall Street ushered in its first anniversary of rallying against corporate greed and income inequality Monday with similar sights and scenes: chanting, marching, drumming and more than 100 arrests.

Hundreds of protesters began the day gathering across the street from Zuccotti Park, the former encampment of the now-global movement and its symbolic birthplace, before the NYPD evicted occupiers in a midnight raid last fall.

The protesters clogged traffic as they marched to several meeting spots for a planned “people’s wall”—a mass sit-in to disrupt the New York Stock Exchange’s opening bell.

NYPD officers in riot gear had checkpoints set up at several intersections around the park and were not allowing pedestrians access to certain streets in the financial district without proper identification.

Billy Lolos, who came to the protest from Tuscon, Ariz., said that the day’s events had added importance.
“Year one was the awakening,” he said, “year two should be remedies.”

As he spoke, dozens of police moved toward the exchange, building a wall of officers to block entry as more demonstrators swarmed the area.

The protests were more subdued than previous high-profile actions last year, when thousands of occupiers flooded the streets. But those in attendance were not deterred.

Further downtown, one man was carted away backwards by three officers, his hands bound in plastic cuffs, remarking: “This is what you get for jaywalking!”

On another corner, four protesters in wheelchairs sat detained by police, as a white-uniformed officer told passersby to continue moving or risk arrest. Another protestor said the detainees’ names had been passed along to the National Lawyers Guild for representation.

Malik Rhasaan, founder of Occupy the Hood and a self-professed “concerned citizen,” said the day’s events were a continuation of a dialogue that began one year earlier and has resonated around the globe.

“It changed the conversation of the world,” he said. “It’s time to get the work done.”

More protests are scheduled throughout the day, culminating in a mass demonstration at 6 p.m. at Zuccotti Park, dubbed Liberty Plaza by Occupiers, and Foley Square.

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