Occupy Wall Street protest 'about people claiming some autonomy'
The purpose and future of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement is as vast as the thousands who have gathered there. After 700 arrests Saturday on the Brooklyn Bridge, Sunday was quiet as protesters planned their next big march Wednesday.
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In essence, the reasons behind the protest – which has a loose structure centered on social media, and which lacks any formal set of demands – seem as varied and numerous as the protesters themselves gathered at Zuccotti Park, which is private land open to the public in downtown Manhattan near the former World Trade Center.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Occupy Wall Street then and now
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"Look, I can't name [just] one single thing I'd like reformed because I'd like the whole system reformed … education, economics … all across the board,” says Mike Esperson from Queens, New York.
"I got the Facebook invite about 3 days before I left, and I was like, hey this is what I was waiting for,” he says. “This is a grass roots movement about people claiming some autonomy."
Dave Immenburseo, who came to Wall Street from Philadelphia, says, "The fact that corporations are controlling and manipulating the economies of the majority of countries – especially third world countries – that's what really angers me.”
"We're in the financial district of Manhattan for a reason,” says Dew Petrilli, who lives in Brooklyn. “We're not at the NYPD headquarters so it's not protesting the police or police brutality. We're in the financial district.”
"Most decisions about our nation's wealth are made in this district, and something is seriously wrong with it,” he says. “People are losing their homes. Unemployment is up and there is a reason for it. And even though some people might not be the most knowledgeable, the basic idea that something is wrong is clear … no matter what your political side is."
Following Saturday’s march across the Brooklyn Bridge, when some 700 people were arrested for blocking traffic, Sunday was relatively quiet. Protesters are planning their next big march for Wednesday.
Meanwhile, smaller-scale protests spread over the weekend to Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Denver, Washington, Albuquerque, Portland, Maine, and several other cities. An “Occupy Toronto” protest is planned in Canada.
Chris Richardson contributed to this reported from New York.
[Editor's note: the original version of this story misspelled Dave Immenburseo's name.]