Updated 09/17/2012 02:29 PM
Occupy Wall Street protesters mark one year with same message, smaller crowd
Monday marked one year since the Occupy Wall Street movement began. Their message has remained constant, but as Roger Clark reports, the number of those carrying that message was much smaller than last year.
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NEW YORK -- "We need to take the power back for the people! That means occupying! And resisting! And not stopping!"
The message from protesters in and around Zuccotti Park. They took various routes into the financial district, with police in riot gear waiting near places like Wall Street and Broadway to prevent them from getting too close to the Stock Exchange. Along the way there were arrests, like one man who was taken away by police at Exchange Place and Broadway.
He said, "We are celebrating the first anniversary, Happy Birthday to Occupy, and we are looking forward to another great year."
Overall, though, this was a much less confrontational Occupy Wall Street protest. Zuccotti Park was empty Monday morning, a sharp contrast to a year ago when people and tents took up every inch of the park. Many stayed until police kicked them out in November.
We asked some if they were concerned that the numbers were down on this first birthday of the movement.
"I'm not disappointed because I think it's just one day, and anything that actually is sort of worth its weight will continue a little bit everyday," said one protester.
Another added, "Yes, there aren't any tents here. There are fewer people out on the streets, but there are still a lot of people active within the movement itself."
Among those speaking to the group was Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize winning author who wrote a book that focuses on the Occupy movement.
Hedges said, "The questions that Occupy unleashed as well as the consciousness, coupled with the inability of the ruling elite to respond rationally to economic deterioration, means that we've not seen the end of the movement."
One protester said the presence of reporters indicated the movement has been a success.
He said, "We've got helicopters, we've got the major news channels like yourself that are covering the event, so I guess we do count somewhere now."
One protester compared the movement to a baby. He said that at just one year old, there is still a lot of growth ahead.