Promising a “Tahrir moment,” anti-corporate activists plan to invade and occupy Wall Street in protest against the “financial Gomorrah of America” on September 17.
The inital call to action came from the Canadian anti-consumerist publication AdBusters. Since then other groups have given their endorsements and are rallying members via social media to join in the protest.
“On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months,” AdBusters proclaimed. “Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.”
In an eerie video released Tuesday by the hacker group “Anonymous,” one of the effort’s endorsers, the organization warns Wall Street to prepare for them.
“The abuse and corruption of corporations, banks, and governments ends here,” a voice in the video says. “Join us, we are ‘Anonymous,’ we are legion. We do not forgive, we do not forget. Wall Street, expect us.”
The protesters claim corporate influence has corrupted the country, and that their occupation of Wall Street and smaller demonstrations in other financial centers on Sept. 17 will get the message out. (RELATED: Obama requests joint session of Congress to introduce jobs plan on same day as GOP debate)
“[O]ur representatives are bought by hard and soft dollars and we’ve created a system essentially, within our institutions, where disloyal, incompetent, and wasteful special interests can basically usurp and have our nation’s civil and military power,” Alexa O’Brian, founder of US Day of Rage, one of the organizing groups, told The Daily Caller.
According to another coordinating group, Occupy Wall Street, the plan is to use the Arab Spring as a model for change.
“When our leaders can no longer be trusted, it becomes the duty of the people to fight for social justice,” Occupy Wall Street explains on its website. “The Arab Spring tactic has proven itself effective in forcing governments to bow to the will of the people. We believe this tactic can also work in America.”
Leaders of Occupy Wall Street demand that Obama set up a presidential commission to end to corporate influence in Washington, and will stay in the streets, “20,000-strong, week after week against every police and National Guard effort to expel us from Wall Street,” until they reach that end.
Businessmen expecting the protesters to clear out by Monday morning may be disappointed: The group is planning to bring their own shelter, and sustenance to last them weeks.
O’Brian explained that participants are encouraged to bring a tent for shelter and as a symbol.
“Basically, if you read the original call, it calls for people to be down there as long as possible, and also the symbol of a tent is really powerful, it isn’t tearing something down, it’s really building something — a kind of community,” she said.
Bill Csapo, one of the self-described citizen organizers of Occupy Wall Street and a former labor union organizer, told TheDC that thousands of people are likely to descend on Wall Street.
“If you counted up the members of people on each site who have committed to comming, I’d say easily several thousand,” he noted, adding that social media has allowed them to organize what in the past would have taken years to create.