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NEW YORK — Protesters speaking out against corporate greed and other issues showed no signs of giving up their campaign Monday, with organizers urging participants to dress up as what they called corporate zombies and to take part in a rally against police brutality.
The arrests of 700 people on Brooklyn Bridge over the weekend fueled the anger of the protesters camping in a Manhattan park and sparked support elsewhere in the country as the campaign entered its third week.
Occupy Wall Street started with fewer than a dozen college students spending days and nights in Zuccotti Park, a plaza near the city’s financial center. But a day after Saturday’s mass arrests, hundreds of protesters were resolute and like-minded groups in other cities had joined in.
Group spokesman Patrick Bruner urged protesters to dress up as zombies and eat Monopoly money to let financial workers “see us reflecting the metaphor of their actions.” As the encampment slowly began waking up Monday morning, several dozen police officers stood in formation across the street.
One camper set up a table with tubes of makeup and stacks of fake money and applied white makeup to the face of a young woman.
John Hildebrand, 24, an unemployed teacher from Norman, Okla., sat up in his sleeping bag around 10 a.m. He said he arrived Saturday after getting a cheap plane ticket to New York.
“My issue is corporate influence in politics,” he said. “I would like to eliminate corporate financing from politics.”
He said was returning home on Tuesday and planned to organize a similar protest there.
One supporter, William Stack, sent an email to city officials urging that all charges be dropped against those arrested.
“It is not a crime to demand that our money be spent on meeting people’s needs, not for massive corporate bailouts,” he wrote. “The real criminals are in the boardrooms and executive offices on Wall Street, not the people marching for jobs, health care, and a moratorium on foreclosures.”
Police said the department will continue its regular patrols. And “as always, if it is a lawful demonstration, we help facilitate and if they break the law we arrest them,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
Wiljago Cook, 33, of Oakland, Calif., who joined the protest on the first day, said “exposing police brutality wasn’t even really on my agenda, but my eyes have been opened.”
She and her boyfriend and two neighbors all quit their jobs to come and planned “to stay as long as it seems useful,” said Cook, who had worked for a nonprofit theater group.
She was wearing zombie makeup that included a red streak down her forehead. “It’s a cheeky and fun way to make the same point that we’ve been making,” Cook said of her painted face.
A map of the country displayed on the plaza identified 21 places where other protests were organized.
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