If you were to travel past New York's Zuccotti Park on Thursday evening, it would have looked a bit like it did last fall, as Occupy Wall Street protesters rallied there after six of them reportedly got arrested while protesting Bank of America. Completing the late 2011 motif, "hipster cop" Rick Lee apparently made the scene as well. A Ustream broadcasting the action at Zuccotti showed protesters clustered on the Zuccotti Park stairs while Flickr pictures show police massing around a small crowd in the middle of the park. Organizer Austin Guest said about 200 people showed up (Gothamist put the number closer to 50) and six were arrested in total, one while crossing the street in front of the Bank of America branch in lower Manhattan where they had their protest and five while sitting on the living room furniture the occupiers set up at the branch. On Twitter, frequent Occupy tweeter @DiceyTroop said police had also impounded two of their vehicles.
The protest against Bank of America, which activists say is "a morally and financially dead 'zombie bank' poised to shock the entire global economy into crisis," is the campaign Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi has been active in. His big feature on the bank's problems came out on Wednesday; in it, he called B of A "a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we'll all be paying for until the end of time." The bank just passed a Federal Reserve stress test, but Taibbi made the case that it hasn't cleaned up its act since the federal bailout four years ago.
During the rally, which started at the bank at around 5 p.m. on Thursday and left the park around 6:30 p.m., Citizen Radio co-host and frequent Occupy tweeter Allison Kilkenny tweeted this shot of a woman arrested as part of the action:
Another frequent Occupy tweeter, Carrie M, shared this shot of a protester making a "deposit" at Bank of America:
Protesters brought their caution tape with them as they marched back to Zuccotti, as Carrie M documented:
And once there, they wrapped the park's weird red sculpture in the yellow stuff, as comedian and activist John Knefel shared:
The protesters plan to revisit the park on Saturday for a 24-hour occupation at Zuccotti to mark their six-month anniversary. Their last attempt to retake the park on February 29 got some 10 of them arrested, and that was on a cold Tuesday night. Saturday's predicted to be 63 degrees and sunny -- which may be ideal for what Occupy hopes will be the start of a spring awakening.