As the Occupy Wall Street protests continued for a fourth day on Tuesday, little more than 50 protesters braved the cold and rain to decry the nation's economic structure.
The protesters occupied Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan -- filled with tarps, singing and a strong police presence.
An unnamed police officer told the IBTimes the protests had mostly been peaceful, but protesters claimed that police officers were nonetheless acting outside the law.
One protester, Justin Ferguson, said he was arrested on Monday for having an Anonymous mask on the back of his head. Ferguson said he was ultimately released and not charged after going down to the station, but the event shows part of what the protesters are fighting back so hard against.
Ferguson indicated a strong background in computer security and was an ideological supporter of Anonymous. He believed there were about five to 10 Anonymous members at the Occupy Wall Street rally at all times -- peaking at roughly 30 members on occasion.
Anonymous is most well-known for its hacking of huge businesses and government organizations, but the free flowing organization has focused in on social justice missions of late.
A group of Anonymous members garnered nationwide attention for the San Francisco protests over a man killed in a Bay Area subway station. The movement, dubbed OpBart, generated increased interest in that aspect of the organization, and Ferguson and others are hoping to bring that sort of success to the East Coast.
At the time of the early OpBart protests, Anonymous supporter Michela Marsh told the IBTimes that more supporters unfamiliar with hacking were joining the movement. Marsh indicated that the hackers could expose governments for injustices and the rest could use the information to start a revolution.
I think we'll see a lot more government activity exposed by the skilled hackers and many more protests that incorporate not just Anonymous but people who just want to stop corruption, oppression and related injustices, Marsh told the IBTimes.
The group has been criticized for some of its hacking efforts, including recently for releasing information on BART customers, but Marsh hopes that the social justice efforts ultimately garner more attention and win out over unnecessary hacking.
The newer members (of Anonymous) are the ones trying to organize protests, the ones going out and doing real-world work, she told the IBTimes. Fortunately, I think the real-world activities will end up being the ones that get the most attention.
A man who identified himself only as an Anonymous supporter, said he hoped that the success of OpBart can get East Coast residents out of their homes and into the streets to protest.
The ultimate hope, the man said, was to get 30,000 or more people out on the streets to generate a lot of attention for the movement.
But that could be an issue for protesters if New York police officers continue to curtail the movement. The unidentified man with Ferguson noted that police officers came to the park area early on Tuesday morning and ripped off the tarp covering the group's electronics.
The group has heavily utilized Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets to push the Occupy Wall Street message, but had an apparent setback when the equipment was exposed to the rain when the tarp was taken off.
The man said the group scrambled to protect the equipment as quickly as they could, but that police did it when we were more or less unguarded.
The Occupy Wall Street group, including Anonymous members, hopes to stay in the park for as long as it takes for change to happen.
Ferguson admitted that staying out there for five years to see change wasn't realistic, but that the group was very determined to create reform.