An Occupy Wall Street activist is arrested while protesting in the streets of New York's Financial District on the one-year anniversary of the movement, in New York. (Photo : Reuters)
Protesters marched in New York City and other cities around the country today to mark the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.
In Manhattan numerous protesters showed up in the financial district, "bearing birthday balloons, confetti and a slew of slogans excoriating everything from Wall Street bailouts and fracking to campaign finance laws and student debt," WNYC reports.
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The chaos began early Monday morning when approximately 1,000 protesters gathered at four meeting spots across New York City, including at Zuccotti Park, which was the main stage for last year's protests. Although this year's OWS protester numbers were not as great as last year's, they still drew plenty of attention.
Some protesters marched along Broadway and when encountered by police troops near Wall St., several sat down and refused to move. Many of these individuals marked the first arrests of the day. As of 4:00pm, nearly 150 protesters had been arrested - most for disorderly conduct.
"We are REALLY trying to make this day about democracy and imagining a better world, not about the police - They're making that really hard," protester Shawn Carrié posted on the OWS Twitter feed.
Some protesters displayed angrier and more disruptive moods, taunting traders and mouthing off to police officers. Others were more upbeat, throwing confetti and talking amongst themselves. At Bowling Green, a large group of protesters sang "Happy Birthday" to the OWS Movement.
Police officers were set to the task of keeping large crowds of protesters from grouping together and were mostly successful in doing so. Many officers were posted on Wall Street, where there were barricades everywhere. Employees trying to go to their jobs had to show ID to get through.
Many journalists covering the event found themselves being arrested along with the OWS protesters. The Huffington Post reports that nearly a dozen journalists were arrested, including a photographer from the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) who was wearing identification that evidenced her affiliation with the Association.
The NPPA issued a statement today saying that it is "deeply concerned and troubled by the aggressive and indiscriminate manner in which officers and command staff are allegedly treating those exercising their First Amendment rights."