The Occupy Wall Street protests in lower Manhattan's Financial District are now set to head into their third week. Labor and community groups, including the United Federation of Teachers, several SEIU locals, Workers United, and Transport Workers Union Local 100, have announced they will join the protesters for a march on Wednesday, Crain's reports. Celebrities, including Russell Simmons and Michael Moore have stopped by the rally site in solidarity.
On Friday the organizers released a statement about their aims, which read in part: "We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power. Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone." The movement has been criticized for lacking a clear set of demands or goals.
Photographer Bianca Garcia attended the "Occupy Wall Street" protests on Saturday Sept. 24, and posted a slideshow of her photographs on Flickr. That day the protesters marched north to Union Square and clashed with police. Garcia emailed The Lookout:
We marched from Liberty Square [the protester's name for Zuccotti Park] in the Financial District up through Washington Square Park to Union Square. After gathering at Union Square there were, I would estimate, around a thousand people. We were deciding whether we wanted to march to the UN or back to Liberty Square and we decided on the latter. Up until this point the march had been peaceful. Besides the police trying to push us out of the streets and onto the sidewalks everything was fine, I even saw police talking to protesters. Then all of a sudden it devolved into chaos at University Place and 12th Street. A ton of new cops/vans showed up and brought out these orange nets and were barricading everyone in. I don't know how the situation changed so drastically so quickly, but everywhere I looked another person was being shoved onto the ground and arrested. I photographed about 5 arrests I think and then I started to feel like they were going to target me because I had a camera so I got out while I still could.