posted 2011-11-30 15:54:29

Day of Action March on Stock Exchange Stifled by Police

Protesters start day’s festivities with a failed attempt to delay the NYSE opening bell

BENTLEY WYNNS

Staff Writer

Two days after their eviction from Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street protesters staged a march on the New York Stock Exchange in hopes of shutting it down. The march was the first scheduled activity for the Occupy movement’s “Day of Action” Nov. 18.

The day began with protesters gathering around Zuccotti Park which was heavily barricaded with all access controlled by police and a team of private security guards in unmarked yellow vests. While gathering, the protesters prepared by writing the phone number of a jail support hotline on their forearms due to the increasing amount of arrests around the site in previous days.

The NYPD had prepared for the march by creating a “frozen zone” mobilization across the financial district in the early hours of the morning. There appeared to be more police in riot gear helmets present than white-collar workers in the area’s coffee stands all morning. The buzz of helicopters overhead was constant. Almost all streets were barricaded with only those showing employer IDs allowed access to Wall Street by police.

Members of the press were siphoned off into a barricaded “pit” at the bottom of Broad Street. Lines of mounted police on horseback also gathered on Broad. The press was eventually moved from the pit as well, with no explanation provided by

“There appeared to be more police in riot gear helmets present than white-collar workers in the area’s coffee stands all morning.”

NYPD officers. By 7:15 a.m., roughly 1000 protesters

began moving from Zuccotti, across Broadway and Helmsley Plaza and turning down Nassau Street towards the Stock Exchange while chanting “whose streets? our streets” and “all day, all week, Occupy Wall Street.”

The march was slowed to a stop at Pine Street (where Nassau turns into Broad), roughly 100 yards away from the Stock Exchange, where police had diagonally parked a van and set up a multi-layered, heavily-manned barricade. While a few protesters reportedly attempted to jump barricades and shove police officers, the scene was generally peaceful, with Ivania Martin, a housewife from Rockland County, feeling safe enough to bring her 11-year-old son Jake to the march. “It just seems to be good vibes, some people are trying to do a sit-in but that’s it. I don’t think we’re going to get past these barricades anyway,” she said. Approximately 200 people were arrested, while several police officers reported minor injuries.

After a false rumor briefly spread that the ceremonial ringing of the bell at the Stock Exchange at 9 a.m. would be halted, police at the barricade on Broad and Pine announced that due to lack of a parade permit, protesters would be arrested if they did not move off the streets and onto the sidewalks, which began the winding down of the march. While a large group of protesters then attempted to surround the adjacent Chase Bank Manhattan headquarters and another clashed with police on Beaver Street, most of the marching group had fragmented and dispersed by about 9 a.m..

In the afternoon, a smaller group re- established themselves back at Zuccotti Park, now power-washed and stripped of all previous markings of the occupation.

“Amongst the group of about 100 who remained at Zuccotti in the evening was Ann Snitow, a professor at the New School. Sintow stated that the downtown movement “was so leaderless, it’s hard to find out” what the next step will be, but also mentioned that they may begin to focus on other locations such as Union Square while smaller groups remain at “there was a lot of people and a lot of energy but very little conflict, for better or worse.”

Zuccotti in shifts (rather than full-time occupation) due to the removal of tents and other living materials at the park. “ When asked to sum up his perception of the day’s events, Daniel Goode, a currently unemployed man who claimed to have been near the center of crowd halted at Pine Street stated, “there was a lot of people and a lot of energy but very little conflict, for better or worse.”