Occupy Wall Street protesters marked their movements' completion of two months Thursday with national a Day of Action. Hundreds of protesters marched through New York's Financial District to protest economic inequality at the symbolic heart of American capitalism, followed by a rally of thousands at Foley Square.
A few months since its birth, the future of the nationwide movement already looks doubtful, with the number of demonstrators declining and their eviction from Zuccotti Park. However, regardless of what happens to the protesters, one effect that will linger is the anti-greed message that they took to the world's streets.
According to Mitchell Moss, professor of urban policy and planning at New York University, the protesters successfully brought out the issue of wealth distribution in the U.S. into the limelight. But he felt that further demonstrations, including the one aimed at shutting down Wall Street Thursday, would work against the movement as a whole.
New Yorkers are a work-oriented people, and there is only a limited amount of patience with people who want to disrupt the city, he told the New York Daily News.
Moss said protesters should now march on Washington as there is sufficient space and close proximity to the decision-makers.
Some observers think that after the expulsion of the Occupy encampment from Zuccotti Park, Thursday, the future of the movement has become bleak.
The lack of a place where people are gathered 24/7 is really going to hamper the movement, said radio host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa. Now they're on the go, like Bedouins.
Financial analyst Anthony Lyons, 39, seemed completely unimpressed by the movement as he felt the protesters were a joke.
All week we hear about how they were going to shut down Wall Street, and what do they do? They walk around in circles, chanting to themselves, he told the Daily News. This isn't a movement. It's a fad.
According to Baruch College professor Douglas Muzzio, OWS could be finished in terms of bringing its message to the people. While visiting Thursday's protest, he estimated that police outnumbered the demonstrators.
On Thursday, throngs of anti-Wall Street demonstrators also marched through the Los Angeles financial district, chanting Occupy the Freeways, Occupy the U.S.A. After that a small group stood in a circle and held hands on a major downtown street, before the police advanced, Reuters reported.
Police said at least 73 protesters were arrested in the city throughout the day in separate marches and rallies downtown, with the largest number being taken into custody for trespassing outside a Bank of America tower.
In Portland, Ore., Occupy protesters marched across a prominent bridge, briefly shutting down bus service across the span, The Oregonian reported. Some of the demonstrators reportedly held signs saying, You Can't Evict This, and Good Jobs Now.