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People protest during the 'Occupy Wall Street' rally at Bowling Green Plaza on 17 September. Photograph: Steven Greaves/Demotix/Corbis On Saturday 17 September, many of us watched in awe as 5,000 Americans descended on to the financial district of lower Manhattan, waved signs, unfurled banners , beat drums, chanted slogans and proceeded to walk towards the " financial Gomorrah " of the nation. They vowed to "occupy Wall Street" and to "bring justice to the bankers", but the New York police thwarted their efforts temporarily, locking down the symbolic street with barricades and checkpoints. Undeterred, protesters walked laps around the area before holding a people's assembly and setting up a semi-permanent protest encampment in a park on Liberty Street , a stone's throw from Wall Street and a block from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.