In a statement posted on their website, the protesters said that they were aiming to “resist austerity”, “reclaim our economy” and “recreate our democracy”.
“Enough of this economy that exploits and divides us,” they said. “It’s time we put an end to Wall Street’s reign of terror and begin building an economy that works for all.”
Like-minded supporters took to the streets in other cities. An estimated 24 were arrested by police in Portland, Oregon, while blocking Steel Bridge, a crucial transport route.
Hundreds more gathered in Los Angeles during the morning rush hour to disrupt traffic around the downtown financial district, where police were poised to make arrests in order to clear the streets.
Protesters stressed that their anger was directed towards specific groups such as executives from bailed out banks. Van Jones, a former adviser to President Barack Obama who now runs Rebuild the Dream, a Left-wing campaign group, said: “We don’t mind winners — we just don’t like cheaters.”
In New York, some pledged to “retake” Zuccotti Park, which was cleared in a 1am raid on Tuesday. New rules prevent those choosing to return from bringing tents or even lying down.
Laura Avelar, a student from New Jersey who had slept in the camp since its creation on September 17, said she and about 75 others would stay inside the park on a rota throughout winter.
She insisted that the movement’s lack of concrete demands remained a strength, not a weakness. “We are building a consensus and we want to keep it fluid,” she told The Daily Telegraph. “It’s premature to say what we want. We want everyone’s voices heard.”
Amid opinion polls suggesting that early public support for the movement was waning, Josh, another protester in Zuccotti Park, said: “Even if the whole thing finishes tomorrow, the most important thing is that we’ve started a conversation among 240 million Americans”.