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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It has been a rough day for those who live and work in and around the Financial District as thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters descended on the area for their so-called “Day of Action.”
The day of protests throughout the city planned by demonstrators began with a morning march.
The protesters said their actions were designed to galvanize public support for their cause. However, it created the opposite sentiment among many who live and work in the area.
Protestors chanting “Wall Street’s closed” tried to keep many from going to work by forming a human chain near the New York Stock Exchange.
“I don’t care, I don’t care,” one yelled at a protester. “I want to get to work.”
“They’re making it harder for the average guy to make a living,” said another man. “They’re not hurting banks, they’re just hurting the regular guy.”
“This is horrible,” said one woman. “I’m waiting for the tanks to come rolling in.”
Some even charged protesters after they wouldn’t let them through their linked arms.
One woman trying to get to work was even reportedly knocked down by protesters about a block from the NYSE.
NYSE trader Basile Nahas said he still feels unsafe despite the police presence.
“There were large crowds of people pushing and shoving and it was almost like being in the mosh pit of a rock concert,” he said. “It was a little scary.”
Nahas said he too had to push his way into the exchange this morning.
Others left their house early and took precautions.
“I was not afraid but I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about it,” said NYSE floor trader Doreen Mogavero. “I did dress down a little bit so that I might blend in and not be noticed in case there was any trouble.”
Traders hope getting home will be easier when protestors are expected to move a few blocks north.
Protesters say the inconvenience placed on those living and working in lower Manhattan is a small price to pay.
“It doesn’t come gift wrapped, so there are going to be some little inconveniences. But those against what is at stake is a small thing,” said protester Bill Dobbs.
Parents trying to take their children to school also caught up in the confusion.
“For them, it’s horrible,” said one mother. “They’re afraid with all the crowds. We can’t get through, we’re very afraid now.”
But not everyone who was out protesting was against Wall Street. Some counter-protesters held signs that read “Occupy A Desk” and “Get A Job.”
Occupy had posted on its website that it had delayed the opening of the NYSE by about 15 minutes.
But Rich Adamonis, a spokesman for the exchange, said the opening was in fact not delayed and business has gone on as usual.
Do you think the “Day of Action” will help garner public support for the Occupy Wall Street movement? Sound off below in our comments section…