Activists Still Occupy Wall Street

Jenn Harrington

“People, Power.” Activists of the Occupy Wall Street movement have not given up. On Monday, Sept. 17, 2012, protesters celebrated the one-year anniversary of the movement that took over cities across the world.

Protesters celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement that took over cities across the world.

Occupy Wall Street started as a social movement to protest the multi-million dollar businesses and government entities, with protesters shouting, “We are the 99%.” Activists of the movement staged a large campout in New York City’s Zuccotti Park. These campouts moved throughout the United States and even across the globe.

Those on the other side of Occupy believe the movement to have fizzled. Critics do not feel they can survive unless they build around a political platform or show support for a candidate in this year’s election. The campouts may have stopped, but the protests are still strong. Groups of protestors have broken into smaller clusters, each fighting for their own agendas.

About $40,000 are left from last year’s donations and are being sent to support these smaller groups. Occupy still cares about its mission; it has not disappeared, but it has changed.

Last Monday can be marked as the “rebirth” of the Occupy movement. The focus was shifted back on New York City with events called S17. S17 included a lower Manhattan bike ride, a picket line at the New York Stock Exchange, and an anniversary concert by Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. The hope is for protestors of the smaller clusters to reunite once again.

There was limited violence early in the day at the New York Stock Exchange, but police were out setting up blockades to keep protesters out. Protestors celebrated Occupy’s anniversary with party hats and costumes, and some even sang “Happy Birthday.” Streets were filled, blocking intersections and traffic. Several protestors spread anti-greed graffiti along city sidewalks and building walls. The movement may not be as noticeable as last November, but its supporters are no less passionate about their fight.

By 4 p.m., close to 150 arrests had been made as energy escalated. Police set up barricades around Wall Street to prevent protestors from preventing back-ups in street and foot traffic. Protestors regrouped in Zuccotti Park to close the celebrations.

Occupy’s Twitter feed was running all day, congratulating all those who grouped together in other cities to celebrate the anniversary.

This year’s celebration shows that protestors and activists have yet to give up their fight as the 99 percent. Protests will continue, organizers will reassemble, and what may be Occupy 2.0 is waiting in the future.