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Occupy One Year Later
by Jennie Wood
On September 17, 2012, the one-year anniversary of the first Occupy Wall Street demonstration, 185 people were arrested as protesters attempted to block access to the New York Stock Exchange. Anniversary rallies were held in other parts of New York City and in more than 30 cities around the world. However, for most of 2012, the movement struggled to maintain the momentum and publicity it did in 2011. For example, Occupy Charlotte and Occupy Tampa held demonstrations during the 2012 Democratic and Republican conventions, but received far less media attention than the protests in the fall and winter of 2011.
The movement did remain vital throughout 2012 in Oakland, California. Occupy Oakland started off 2012 with a protest in January that turned violent and resulted in more than 400 arrests. Three police officers were injured during the protest. Occupy Oakland continued organizing protests throughout 2012, including a large one on May Day that forced many businesses to close.
As Occupy Wall Street celebrated its one-year anniversary, it was too soon to tell if the movement would have long-term effects, but protestors clearly succeeded in raising awareness of social and economic inequality. There was an increase in news stories about income inequality and a spike in online searches for terms like "99%" and "1%." Even though the largest camps had been closed down by December 2011, Occupy Wall Street protestors continued using the Internet and social media websites to make their message heard, sending posts and tweets such as "You can't evict and idea."
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