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Occupy members stand in rain to protest the Federal Reserve

March 20, 2012

Protesters stage a protest outside the New York office of the Federal Reserve in the rain on November 22, 2011.

November 24, 2011

They met at the corner of Liberty and Nassau Streets in the late afternoon of November 22, 2011. About 20 protesters held signs for more than an hour just across the street from a Chase bank, directly outside the Federal Reserve building. It was a miserable evening, filled with rain and chilly air.

About a dozen police officers were around the intersection, with at least another two dozen or so just a block away. A police truck was parked opposite the protesters, apparently serving as a reminder that disorderly conduct would not be tolerated, one protester remarked.

Some of the protesters are affiliated with Occupy Wall Street, and a few had signs with words like “virtual monopoly,” “semantic deception,” whilst other held pictures of Presidential candidate Ron Paul. They also chanted similar slogans, with a few members openly expressing support for Mr. Paul.

Christina Gomez, 31 from Florida, said she had come to the area in the belief that “the Federal Reserve should be ended”. She also said that, whilst she was not a supporter of Ron Paul per se, she would support “anybody’s who’s interested in ending the central control of our banking,” listing Representatives Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Sandra Adams (R-FL) as other politicians with whom she agrees on certain ideas.

An Asian American protester affiliated with Occupy, who identified himself as Ross, shared Ms. Gomez’s ideas on closing the Federal Reserve. He said, “Pretty much any problem you can name related to the financial crisis, this all comes through the Federal Reserve.” He added, “our money is valued based on what the Federal Reserve sets, and they’re not accountable to the US government.”

In discussing the presence of some Ron Paul supporters at Occup events, he said, “There’s a fair amount of overlap” with the Tea Party on “economic issues” and “restoring the rule of law”, though he pointed out that the two groups hardly ever meet. He seemed to entertain the idea that a sort of bridge of understanding between the two groups could be built, and that – at least on some issues – they might be able to meet each other half way across it.

One protester, who did not give his name, said that police gave him a hard time when he looked in the back of a police van, saying he had peered in to see what was inside, though he said he had stepped on the van to do so. No confrontations were observed when our reporter was at the scene, and a few police officers actively engaged in friendly conversations with protesters.

Staff Reporter

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