OWS stirs after winter freeze
The anti-capitalist movement Occupy Wall Street is showing signs of life after a lull in activity over the winter. But a low turn-out and the absence of clearly-defined leadership are raising doubts over the group’s survival.
Around 10 activists were arrested when between 100 and 200 members of the anti-establishment movement descended onto the streets of New York to protest against corporate greed. Starting outside New York’s public library, they marched towards the world headquarters of pharmaceuticals giant, Pfizer.One man was arrested during the protests while nine people were reportedly arrested overnight for disorderly conduct in the vicinity of the movement’s birthplace in Zuccotti Park. Demonstrators denounced Pfizer, accusing it of instigating tax breaks and benefits that allow large companies to expand. They bestowed the tongue-in-cheek prize of “Excellence in Profiteering” on the pharma giant amid chants of "Shame on Pfizer! You're a bunch of liars!" and "People over profit!"New York protestor Yoni Miller told news agency AFP that the revival of the movement was “inevitable” in the run-up to the US election in October. Activist Leah Fedder said she did not believe “you can kill a movement that is so desperately needed. It is a dying system. It has to change."The day of action was being presented as a revival of the OWS movement which has been in abeyance since police dislodged encampments in New York and other US cities last November. Thousands of camps were broken up amid scores of arrests and an outcry over police brutality. However, Wednesday’s lukewarm demonstration did not hold a candle to the movement’s previous gatherings. The anti-capitalist movement that coined the slogan “We are the 99 per cent “ went from strength to strength following its creation last September, spawning a rash of Occupy camps in major cities throughout the US and internationally. However, following the initial surge of support, Occupy Wall Street seemed to slow to a standstill over the winter. Critics have accused the organization of lacking a list of concrete demands and failing to halt bickering between the group’s organizers. It remains to be seen whether OWS will recover momentum this year, or if the movement is running out of steam.