Occupy Wall Street Finally Occupies Wall Street

For its first time, the Occupy Wall Street movement is occupying Wall Street. 

As of 3 a.m., 40 occupiers successfully brought sleeping bags and slept on Wall Street, across the New York Stock Exchange.  The NYPD arrived shortly before 8 a.m. with zipties, threatening to arrest the protesters if they did not clear out by 8 a.m.  However, the police backed off and allowed them to stay. 

This follows a series of reoccupation attempts, the latest being the March 16 action to peacefully re-occupy Liberty Square, the movement’s previous headquarters.  Union Square Park is also currently used as an important hub for OWS.  To stunt the movement, the NYPD began enforcing a midnight park closing rule for the first time in history.

In response to the NYPD, protesters developed a new tactic to sleep directly on the sidewalks. This method is protected by the First Amendment, which "does not allow the City to prevent an orderly political protest from using public sleeping as a means of symbolic expression." This gave protesters legal protection from the police, who backed down and allowed the protesters to exercise their rights.

The new tactic is being implemented by other occupations as well. Protesters at Occupy DC and Occupy Philadelphia have brought their sleeping bags in front of Bank of America and Wells Fargo. 

OccupyWallSt.org writes:

Rather than allowing the NYPD to muddy our message by re-framing the narrative as ¨police versus protesters,¨ we returned to the banks for our real battle: the 99% versus the 1%. The police merely enforce the system; Wall Street is our real enemy.  Now, the tactic has been applied to, finally, occupy Wall Street.

 As part of the latest "wave of the spring resurgence," the bank protests prepare the movement for the major day of action on May 1st.

AlterNet / By Angela Lee

Posted at April 10, 2012, 2:34pm

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