Not everyone was impressed.
Christopher Dilmer, 44, a steamfitter who works at the World Trade Center site, said he had trouble figuring out what the hubbub was all about.
“I don’t know what they are protesting,” Dilmer said, adding that everyone seemed to want something different. Dilmer said he spoke to one 21-year-old protester “who said he’d quit his job to come here. I said, ‘You have a job, and you quit it to protest joblessness?’ ”
Dilmer said he’s not disputing that the country’s “economy is in the tank,” but he thinks most of the young protesters could find work if they put their mind to it. “If you want a job, you can find a job,” said Dilmer, who said he had traveled to Detroit and Denver to get work. “It might not be the job you want. I did what I had to do.”
The New York protests started after an anti-consumerism online publication, Adbusters, issued a call for people to occupy Wall Street to protest corporate greed. The hacker group Anonymous promoted it on its Twitter feed, and people began showing up nearly three weeks ago.
The protests had largely gone unnoticed outside New York City until New York police officers pepper-sprayed a couple of participants last week and arrested more than 700 protesters marching across the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday. Officers and protesters differ on what happened.
But the scene was calm Monday morning as hundreds of protesters shook off the autumn chill, slipped out of their sleeping bags and gathered around a makeshift kitchen, where they snacked on donated food. Nearby, someone had set up a board for people to write suggestions for what the movement’s goal should be.
They included calls to “demand jobs for all,” to “talk about imperialism,” to “talk about campaign finance reform” and to “give out chalk to everyone to write slogans on all walls as we march.”