The demonstration was highly organized and effective. Four different assembly points throughout lower Manhattan were announced. At 7 a.m., several thousand protesters assembled, mostly youth, and after a few speeches poured into the streets.
One of the four contingents, dubbed the “99% Assembly,” met across the street from Zuccotti Park. The activists proceeded to march down Pine Street, near the back entrance of the New York Stock Exchange. The crowd of more than 1,000 surged into the street, and as the police panicked, glitter bombs exploded, raining confetti and glitter on the crowd.
Placards and signs denouncing capitalism were everywhere. The police violently cleared the street, trying to keep the world financial center running as usual. They failed in their efforts, as chaos and protest erupted.
Raising signs with slogans like “Capitalism is destroying the planet” and “Where is my f—-ing future?” youth withstood police batons and other crowd-control measures. Multiple intersections were blocked off as youth linked arms. When the police charged with clubs, the youth fled and soon blocked other intersections. This pattern was repeated over and over again.
Some intentionally remained in the street in order to get peacefully arrested. Many clergy, including the Rev. Stephen H. Phelps, of Harlem’s Riverside Church, were among them. Others fled, causing New York Police Department officers to chaotically chase them.
Sit-ins took place inside symbolically selected bank lobbies. Police were forced to drag youth out of the banks one by one. The issues of the military-industrial complex, police brutality, hydraulic fracturing, unemployment, education cuts and union rights were raised, as Wall Street became a class war zone for the entire morning.
Justin Wooten, a student at Montclair State University, was violently arrested by the NYPD. He screamed out, “You’re a bunch of terrorists!” at the NYPD as they dragged him away.
Lisa Grab, a member of Students for a Democratic Society, filed a criminal complaint against a police officer after he brutally choked her during the morning’s chaotic events.