NEW YORK, NEW YORK (WDAM) - The group calling itself Occupy Wall Street continued protesting for a third week Monday in New York City's lower Manhattan, and it appears they will stay for much longer as they establish makeshift kitchens, toilets, sleeping arrangements, medical clinics and even small libraries.
Thanks to social media savvy and the attention of national news media, the movement has spawned other protest groups in Washington, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Portland, Maine and Denver. In Manhattan, the the number of protestors routinely reaches 1,500 or more, and in Chicago an estimated 3,000 people have taken to the streets.
A Canadian group, Adbusters, called for the protests on their website, www.adbusters.org, and helped organize the gatherings. Initially, the goals were unclear. The organization called for a "Tahrir moment" in the style of the recent protests in Egypt which helped topple the government there and begin a series of revolutionary actions. It has since stated the goals of the Occupy Wall Street protests are to "ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington."
The protests in New York City started on Sept. 17 with large groups gathering near Wall Street and other locations nearby. Soon after, clashes with the police which resulted in some people being pepper sprayed and arrested brought widespread media attention as videos were posted on YouTube and other websites.
A number of websites have emerged in relation to the protests including We Are the 99 Percent which posts images of individuals holding up sheets of paper detailing their financial burdens they believe are the fault of "The 400 families" making up the 1 percent of the U.S. population who "hoard wealth."
On Saturday, 700 protesters were arrested while attempting to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Police said they were blocking traffic.
A number of websites, celebrities and political commentators have come out publicly in support of the protests, some suggesting specific agendas for the group to focus on.
The protests have drawn comparisons to The Tea Party Movement, some saying this is the liberal equivalent expressing the same sort of angers and frustrations, but also presenting a similarly nebulous agenda.
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