Depending on who you ask, Occupy Wall Street is one of the following:
— a "leaderless resistance movement" trying to call attention to the improprieties of Wall Street, namely those that led to the current Great Recession, — a bunch of no-good hippies taking a break from their $45,000 Columbia or NYU educations to listen to Jeff Mangum play impromptu concerts, — an interesting piece of installation artwork that looks just as good from a corner office at Goldman Sachs as it does from the ground, — a great place to meet low-maintenance girls.
Whichever view you subscribe to, the protests have been ongoing since October 5th, 2011, and have led to the much-derided tactic of the New York Police Department reportedly corralling protesters onto the Brooklyn Bridge, where they were then cited and arrested en masse for obstruction bridge traffic. A similar action across the walkways was successfully carried out by the protesters on November 17th, after tens of thousands marched on Foley Square and Union Square.
Protests are centered around Liberty Square and Foley Square in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, with occasional marches to other key locations in the general vicinity. A full list of actions and activities both planned and past are available on the Occupy Wall Street website (click the banner at the top of this page). No word on where the nearest bathrooms can be found, although word is that the nearby Burger King has been very laissez-faire about letting Occupiers occupy their toilets.
Occupy Wall Street is located in the Financial District neighborhood of Manhattan. The financial hub of the United States, the seat of New York City government, and home to some of New York's oldest buildings, the Financial District has an illustrious history. 17th century settlers began building here, and given the many seafarers of the time, boats could be conveniently docked at one of the slips right near the settlements of wooden homes. Right nearby, in the heart of the district is Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States in 1789, also the meeting site for the First Congress. New York City was both the capital of the United States and New York State at the time. The street names reflect the district's fascinating history: Fulton Street, named after Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat; Maiden Lane, originally called Magde Platje in Dutch; Beaver Street, recalling the once-significant beaver pelt trade, etc. The area today houses some great economic powerhouses, including the headquarters of major banks, the New York Stock Exchange, in addition to the World Financial Center. Contrasts are extraordinary, from old two- and three-story old brick buildings near South Street Seaport to the nearby modern mega-skyscrapers. Some of the numerous other attractions include Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington bid farewell to his troops (also, they have a museum!); the newly-landscaped City Hall Park; the Museum of the American Indian and the US Custom House at Bowling Green; Trinity Church, the first parish church in New York City and the resting place of Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton, among others; War Of 1812 strong hold Castle Clinton; the Staten Island-bound South Ferry; Battery Park; and the Federal Reserve Bank. Sadly, the biggest attraction since 9/11 has been the former World Trade Center site, although, thankfully, construction has finally filled the long-standing gouge in Lower Manhattan's face, and the stunning 9/11 Memorial and its attendant museum are welcome signs of a healing city. And, of course, soaring a symbolic 1,776 feet over the memorial is the new 1 World Trade Center!
There are no events taking place on this date.