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Wall Street protesters dress as zombies in NYC

By Karen Matthews

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Oct. 3 2011 1:11 p.m. MDT

Rachel Schneider of Brooklyn, N.Y., has her face painted to resemble a zombie before a march at the ongoing Occupy Wall Street demonstration in the financial district's Zucotti park, Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, in New York. The protests have gathered momentum and gained participants in recent days as news of mass arrests and a coordinated media campaign by the protestors have given rise to similar demonstrations around the country.

John Minchillo, Associated Press

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.

Wall-Street style demonstrations with names like Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Chicago, and Occupy Boston were staged in front of Federal Reserve buildings in those cities. A group in Columbus, Ohio, also marched on the capital city's street. And signs of support were rearing up outside the U.S. In Canada, a Wall Street rally is planned for later this month in Toronto.

In New York, campers take turns organizing a "general assembly" on the plaza where they divide tasks among themselves. They have "a protocol for most things," said 19-year-old Kira Moyer-Sims of Portland, Ore., including a makeshift hospital and getting legal help for people who are arrested. They rally around a website called OccupyWallSt.org, and they even started printing a newspaper — the Occupied Wall Street Journal.

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