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Some Wall Streeters find their path to work Occupied

September 17, 2012|By Andrew Tangel
  • Protesters marking the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement jam New York City's financial district Monday morning.
Protesters marking the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street… (Andrew Tangel / Los Angeles…)

NEW YORK — Bankers and others in finance found their usual paths to the office blocked by police barricades and throngs of protesters marking the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.

"I'm trying to get to Wall Street, but it's occupied," said Marquis, a 28-year-old investment banker who declined to give his last name, as he tried to cross Broadway in Manhattan's financial district Monday morning.

Protesters hoped to create a human wall around the New York Stock Exchange as part of a morning of disruptions aimed at drawing attention to the plight of the "99%."

But New York City police set up metal barricades around the exchange, keeping protesters on nearby streets. Police asked employees for identification to get beyond the barricade.

One young woman had to wait for a colleague to fetch her — she said she was a recently hired intern and didn't have an ID. One frustrated Wall Streeter at the barricade grumbled: "It's a pain."

At Pine Street, just uptown from the exchange, sidewalks swelled with protesters as police, some with riot helmets, kept people off the streets. The crowd erupted in spontaneous chants, including "We're still here!" and "We are the 99%!"

It was a somewhat festive, if chaotic, atmosphere. Some protesters brought enough musical instruments for a small brass band and played "Happy Birthday.

One woman wearing lingerie held a sign that read: "Naughty bankers need a spanking and jail time."

Other messages were more serious. Protesters chanted in favor of a financial transaction tax, while others supported unionizing the working poor.

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