NEW YORK — Two days after the encampment that sparked the global Occupy movement was cleared by authorities, demonstrators in New York City and around the country were promising mass gatherings Thursday in support of the cause.
The day of action had been planned before the city and park owners cracked down on the encampment in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, but took on added importance to the protesters after tents, tarps and sleeping bags were cleared out early Tuesday and the granite plaza was cleaned for the first time since the group arrived more than two months ago.
"We will get boots on the ground again," said Rory Simpson, 29, who described himself as an itinerant activist as he made signs Wednesday evening. "This is not over yet."
Police will be on hand and transit officials were preparing to deal with a crush of people as part of the protest billed as a national day of action.
The group announced it would rally near the New York Stock Exchange in the morning, then fan out across Manhattan and head to subways, before gathering downtown and marching over the Brooklyn bridge. "Resist austerity. Rebuild the economy. Reclaim our democracy," the group wrote in a news release.
“We’re going to march on Wall Street and shut down the New York Stock Exchange,” protester Patrick Bruner told CBS 2′s Sean Hennessey on Wednesday night.
“We do hope to stop people getting to work. We do hope to stop the stock exchange from functioning, but we don’t hope to do it in a crazy wild-eyed way,” added Austin Guest.
Similar protests were planned around the county. New York City officials said they had not spoken to demonstrators but were aware of the plans.
"The protesters are calling for a massive event aimed at disrupting major parts of the city," Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said. "We will be prepared for that."
It's not clear how many demonstrators would actually attend. Previous protests in New York have consisted of several hundred people.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.