The Occupy Wall Street movement is leaderless and mostly peaceful, but it's been a powerful force in disrupting activity on and around New York's Wall Street since starting on Saturday.
The movement seeks to gather 20,000 people to set up beds, kitchens and barricades to occupy Wall Street for a few months in the hopes of ending corporate greed.
When the protest began over the weekend, several thousand showed up in New York's Financial District, protesting with signs like JUST BECAUSE WE CAN'T SEE IT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S NOT HAPPENING and WALL STREET IS OUR STREET.
Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange weren't open when the largest crowds kicked off the movement over the weekend. By Monday, the group's numbers were smaller, but the presence of protesters led New York Police to barricade blocks around Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, forcing residents and workers to show identification to enter the zone.
The group has said it plans to turn Lower Manhattan into an American Tahrir Square.
At least seven people have been arrested since the Occupy Wall Street protest began on Saturday, when about 1,000 gathered by meeting first in a park on Broadway to protest the U.S. capitalist system for what they termed greed and corruption.
Tax the Rich, said one sign.
Stop trading our future, said another.
Protesters hope to get President Barack Obama to create a commission to end the influence money has over our representatives in Washington, according to the Web site of Adbusters, a group promoting the demonstration.
New York officials are recognizing the protestors' rights to peaceful assembly and Mayor Michael Bloomerg said Sept. 15 at a news conference the city is happy to make sure they have locations to do it.
As long as they do it where other people's rights are respected, this is the place where people can speak their minds, and that's what makes New York, New York.
But on Monday, as Wall Street bustled in business and trading, police blockades requiring identification was disrupting the business day, causing anger and frustration among some workers and business owners.
At one blockade at Beaver and Broad Street, one delivery man waited outside a blockade with packages of raw hamburger meat and boxes and pastries and vegetables, trying to make a routine restaurant delivery. He didn't have identification, however, and was being forced to wait outside with the products while trying to gain clearance.
A group of tourists wanted to approach the New York Stock Exchange but they weren't being allowed past the police-manned blockade at the point.
One vendor who moved his newspaper handout position to Broadway from Wall Street said he hoped (the protest) doesn't last long.
The city established a protest area on Broad Street and Exchange Place, adjacent to the New York Stock Exchange, but the protesters decided not to use it, and over the weekend they staked out other areas, and even walked in a small band on Broadway while some beat drums, some strummed guitars, and others held up signs, including end corporate welfare.
Protests are also planned for financial districts in Madrid, Milan, London and Paris, according to Bloomberg news.