The Occupy Movement plans a general strike for May 1st. The movement claims this strike will include protesters in “125 U.S. cities” standing up “for economic justice.” Occupy Wall Street has announced that May Day will also mark the launch of 99 Pickets in New York. With 99 Pickets, protesters plan to erect “99 Picket Lines to expose, disrupt, and shut down the corporations who rule our city.” Occupy further states that 99 Pickets “will be an effective way for people to plug into the morning activities on May Day.” This action apparently has Wall Street as nervous as pack animals beset by wolves.
Bloomberg reports major financial institutions are readying for both May 1st and for Occupy demonstrations at the N.A.T.O. summit in Chicago on May 20 and 21 with “video surveillance, robots and officers in buildings.” In spite of the presence of robots, there’s a distinct Wild Kingdom element to the psychology behind the banks’ efforts. Speaking to Bloomberg’s Max Abelson, Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations director of global risk Brian McNary provided the Discovery Channel-flavored comparison:
Banks cooperating on surveillance are like elk fending off wolves in Yellowstone National Park, he said. While other animals try in vain to sprint away alone, elk survive attacks by forming a ring together, he said.
The general call of the wild feeling regarding Occupy against the banks isn’t isolated to elks versus wolves, either. Speaking of anti-bank protests in 2011, the former head of Bank of America’s security said they were akin to forest fires that were “suppressed and put out.” Institutions are still warily watching the smoldering trees because “there’s also the opportunity for spontaneous fires to spring back up again.”
Other banks wouldn’t detail what they were planning for upcoming protests. Pinkerton director McNary told Bloomberg that to do so would “portray a position of weakness,” which “invites attack.”
A full schedule of May Day actions in New York City can be found here. Events include a 2 p.m. march and music making with the Occupy Guitarmy, led by Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello. In the morning there will be a “Pop-up Occupation” in Bryant Park with free food and a free market, among other things.
Put your weak and injured at the center of the herd, banks.