New York Chanting and cheering down Wall Street on Saturday to mark six months since the birth of the Occupy movement, some protesters applauded the Goldman Sachs employee who days ago gave the firm a public drubbing, echoing the movement’s indictment of a financial system demonstrators say is fueled by reckless greed.
“I kind of like to think that the Occupy movement helped him to say, ‘Yeah, I really can’t do this anymore,’” retired librarian Connie Bartusis said of the op-ed piece by Goldman Sachs manager Greg Smith, who claimed the company regularly foisted failing products on clients as it sought to make more money.
Carrying a sign with the words “Regulate Regulate Regulate,” Bartusis said the loss of governmental checks on the financial system helped create the climate of unfettered self-interest described by Smith in his piece, although Goldman’s leadership suggested he had not portrayed the bank’s culture accurately.
“Greed is a very powerful force,” Bartusis said. “That’s what got us in trouble.”
On Saturday, six months after the protesters first took over Zuccotti Park near the city’s financial district, the protesters gathered there again, drawing slogans in chalk on the pavement and waving flags as they marched through lower Manhattan.
The observance ended at the park where the movement began when police declared the park closed Saturday night and swept through the excited and sometimes agitated crowd, arresting some protesters as they went. A spokesperson for Occupy Wall Street estimated dozens of protesters were arrested.