#F29: Occupy Wall Street strikes back

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Occupy Wall Street’s day of anti-corporate protest has lead to four arrests, Metro has learned.

About 100 protesters rallied in Bryant Park against the the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Occupiers say that mega-companies like ExxonMobil, Bank of America, BP, Monsanto, Pfizer, and Wal-Mart use ALEC to buy off legislators and craft legislation that puts corporate profit over the well-being of ordinary people.

Writer Ian Williams, 27, of Brooklyn was happy to see the movement back in action.

“I feel like many of us here… feel like the members of ALEC have forced the hand of the American people,” Williams said. “Their bills do not serve the interest of the vast majority of people affected by their policies.”

He pointed to bank deregulation, immigration laws, and a number of other political policies he found unsavory.

“If they want to buy the American legislature, we can piss them off,” Williams said.

Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi led a teach-in at Bryant Park about the financial industry and the causes of the mortgage crisis.

“Mortgage backed securities are like banks selling oregano as weed. And that’s exactly what Bank of America was doing,” he told protesters. “You should absolutely take your money out of Bank of America.”

Protesters chanted “Bank of America, bad for America!” and tried to visit the bank’s offices on 6th Ave, but police quickly intervened. Two protesters were arrested for disorderly conduct and two others were arrested for obstructing government administration, officers said.

For more local news, follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyAEpstein.


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