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Saturday, hundreds of protesters who have gathered in New York’s Zuccotti Park since September 17 marched through the streets. Over 700 protesters, including some members of the media, were arrested as Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked the Brooklyn Bridge, snarling traffic.
Police zip tied protesters and loaded them into city buses to transport them to police stations. The protesters received tickets and were released. The protests, which have been harshly criticized by much of American media for being unorganized without demands, are gaining traction.
The protests are spreading throughout the United States like wildfire. Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco all have their own protests taking shape. On Wednesday, college students are organizing a mass student walkout on what is being deemed America’s “Day of Rage.”
On Sunday, Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Laureate economist and professor at Columbia University, visited the large group. During his informal teach-in, Stiglitz points out that New York City does not allow the use of a megaphone or microphone without a permit. “The fact that you are not allowed to use a megaphone on a Sunday is outrageous,” Stiglitz says.
“We have too many regulations stopping democracy, and not enough regulations stopping Wall Street from misbehaving.” Despite the growing noise from protesters, most politicians, including the President, have been silent on the discontent. White House spokesperson Jay Carney was asked on Monday about the president’s reaction to the protests.
“I’m sure he’s aware of it because he follows the news,” Carney said of Obama’s familiarity with the movement, during a briefing. “To the extent that people are frustrated with the economic situation, we understand.” The movement is getting some more support. Mainstream media devoted more serious news time to the protests, even interviewing some leaders of the group on Monday.
Union workers from all over the country are supporting the cause and plan to take part in a march with Occupy Wall Street on Wednesday. The New York City bus drivers, who helped to transport the arrested protesters to police stations, stated they would not help out with any future arrests.
Workhouse Publicity, a Chelsea-based public relations firm, sent unsolicited emails to members of Occupy Wall Street offering to spread the word about the ongoing protests, The New York Daily News reports.
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