Wall Street Protesters Say This Is Their ‘Arab Spring’

October 3, 2011 - 8:47 AM

Wall  Street protest

Police officers enter the crowd to make arrests as a large group of protesters march across the Brooklyn Bridge roadway, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, in New York. The demonstrators are affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street group which has been camping out in New York’s Financial District for the past two weeks. (AP Photo/Daryl Lang)

(CNSNews.com) - The "leaderless resistance movement" that began with a handful of college students in a lower Manhattan park two weeks ago spread to other cities over the weekend, and it is expected to grow even larger in the days ahead.

Occupy Wall Street protesters say they are "using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic" to achieve their goals, which vary from protester to protester, but generally include calls to tax the rich and spread the wealth.

"We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%," says the Occupy Wall Street website, which describes itself as "the unofficial de facto online resource" for the protests. "We occupy Wall Street as a symbolic gesture of our discontent with the current economic and political climate and as an example of a better world to come," the website says.

Celebrity supporters include leftists Michael Moore, Alec Baldwin, and Susan Sarandon, all of whom have stopped by to rally the crowd.

Sarandon told New York Daily News cameras, "We were promised transformation and nothing has really transformed. And I don't think there's ever been power that's given up power unless it's been wrenched from them."

"We can't let our Arab brothers and sisters get way ahead of us in terms of how they're changing things. Hopefully the tool kit exists here for non-violent change," Sarandon later added.

On Saturday, police arrested 700 protesters who took over the traffic lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge. The resulting publicity is adding momentum to the movement.

On Sunday, MoveOn.org got into the act, urging those who can't be in New York to join a "virtual march on Wall Street." Wednesday's online event "will add hundreds of thousands of voices...to the protests across the country and show just how widespread outrage at the Wall Street banks really is."

MoveOn.org says the protesters are demanding that giant banks pay their fair share of taxes, end the foreclosure crisis, and create jobs.

But in Los Angeles, MoveOn noted, protesters staged a vigil at the home of Rose Gudiel, who faces eviction after getting foreclosed on for being two weeks late on a mortgage payment after her younger brother was murdered.

Protests similar to the one on Wall Street have now spread to Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Columbus, among other cities.