Anti-Wall Street demonstrators in New York City have pre-empted the official cleanup and potential dispersal of their protest by cleaning up the park where the action is taking place themselves. And the movement against corporate excess is now trying to spread overseas.
Protesters spent the night feverishly disposing of garbage and scrubbing down the park they are occupying, to head off a 7:00 a.m. official cleanup. City officials said that cleanup would be postponed. That averted a potential clash between the police and protesters, who suspected city officials of trickery to disperse the demonstration.
Police did arrest a few protesters for allegedly obstructing street traffic, as they marched in a small group to protest at the New York Stock Exchange.
As the sun rose, several individuals, sensing victory in what protesters describe as a battle, brought back mattresses that had been removed in anticipation of a ban against their use at the park. Many also caught up on sleep, including Adam and Anna of Queens, New York.
"This is going to keep going. It is a global movement that is going to change the world. People are not going to give up because of rain and park cleaning," said Anna.
Reverend Donna Schaper, of the Judson Memorial Church in New York, says what really needs to be cleaned up is Wall Street.
"We need some fundamental changes in how money, resources and time are distributed in this country," said Schaper. "And Wall Street has taken too much profit, the few have too much, and the many have too little."
Meanwhile, the protesters are getting some high-level support. Poland's Solidarity Trade Union leader and Nobel Peace laureate Lech Walesa told the Associated Press that capitalism is making huge money and does not know what to do with it. Walesa said the profits must be invested in people. He told the news agency he is planning either a visit or a letter to the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
The protest web site says the demonstration will continue on Saturday in 82 countries worldwide during an international day of solidarity against greed and corruption.