Anonymous has apparently set its sights on Wall Street after leading multiple protests against BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) in San Francisco.
Although many commuters who depend on the train system say they could do without station shutdowns and delays, the digital collective shows little sign of halting their hacktivist expansion into the physical realm.
“On September 17th, Anonymous will flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months,” a purported Anonymous member claimed on YouTube.
“Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices. We want freedom. The abuse and corruption of corporations, banks and governments ENDS HERE!!”
However, the activist emphasized that the protest would be a “non-violent one,” as Anonymous does “not encourage violence” in any way.
Obviously, Wall Street traders are unlikely to react positively to Anonymous setting up shop outside the Exchange, but what about the rest of NYC?
Well, as San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr told the Chron, Anonymous is fast losing public support in the Bay Area after multiple protests disrupted BART service, delaying trains and forcing the temporary closure of several stations.
“I don’t want this to be construed as delivering a threat, but enough is enough,” said Suhr.
“They made their point, and they are now losing in the court of public opinion. We don’t feel that we took appropriate action at the appropriate pace (on Monday). The next response will be quicker.”
It goes without saying that NYC law enforcement officials are likely to adopt a zero tolerance policy to Anonymous protests in the financial district – especially in a post-September 11th world.
And the average New Yorker? Well, the jury is still out on that one – but as long as Anonymous doesn’t barricade the subway, the general public will probably be somewhat sympathetic, at least initially to the Anonymous version of Sleep Now in the Fire.