One year after protesters first descended upon Zuccotti Park, the sounds of chanting and drumming once again fill the air in the Financial District.
Police have reportedly arrested more than 104 people as hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters regroup to mark the movement's first anniversary. Crowds of activists wielding picket signs are moving through the streets of the Financial District in an attempt to disrupt traffic, and stopping at the headquarters of companies like Wells Fargo and the MTA to protest job cuts and bail outs.
A massive convergence of NYPD officers is blocking Zuccotti Park, Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, where the movement vowed to stage a protest this morning. OWS protesters told Metro today's anniversary marks a rebirth of the movement.
"I think it's going to branch out from here," Dallas, a protester who preferred to not give his last name, told Metro. "You're going to see a lot of new avenues of activism open up from this movement, and you're going to see a lot of people who have never involved themselves in activism before become active."
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Artie Duncanson, who has been following the movement, said he saw about 20 people get cuffed as the crowd marched this morning.
"There were a couple rows of people in front of me, but I witnessed a cop take a younger girl, probably in her mid-20s, throw her down, and then she was trying to get up or they picked her up, and she got thrown back down into the ground once again before being arrested," Duncanson said.
The massive crowd of protesters stopped outside Jackson Lewis' headquarters where activists used the human microphone technique to condemn the company for contributing to unemployment and "union busting."
"What's disgusting? Union busting. What's outrageous? Poverty wages," protesters chanted.
"We are just highlighting different worker struggles and how workers are the 99 percent," Sundrop Carter, a protester with the 99 Pickets movement, told Metro.
About Occupy's plans for today, she added, "I think people are going to try to converge at Zuccotti Park, although it's all barricaded, so I am sure there is going to be a backup location."
According to a schedule released by the OWS press team, protesters will attempt to stage an assembly at Zuccotti Park this afternoon and another at Foley Square at 6 p.m.