NEW YORK-Thursday's Operation Wall Street "Day of Rage" climaxed with thousands of sign-waving protesters, including large groups of union members, gathered at Foley Square in lower Manhattan.
On this cold November night, the stage was set for storytelling. One by one, the protesters (with the help of a microphone) told their tales of economic woe. One woman lamented high tuition at The City University of New York, saying education shouldn't be a privilege for the 1 percent.
But education wasn't the only issue. A second woman sadly recounted that she wouldn't be able to retire because her job doesn't pay enough. Another woman cried out against the suppression of the free press while another condemned rampant accounting fraud in corporations.
Thursday's "Day of Rage" protest came two days after police raided and tore down the protesters' encampment at New York's Zuccotti Park, ground zero of the Occupy movement.
At least 177 people were taken into custody Thursday in New York, some bloodied during the arrests. One police officer needed 20 stitches on his hand after he was hit with a piece of thrown glass, according to police.
But for some protesters, storytelling was a major part of the day. Early Thursday morning, protesters shared stories on Wall Street outside police barricades. At 3 p.m., crowds of protesters fanned out all around the city-Union Square, the Bronx, Washington Heights, and even Staten Island-to share more stories.
Afterward, they divided up into separate groups and boarded trains. Along the way, they passed out fliers and newspapers to non-protesting passengers and chanted songs like: "Everywhere we go / people want to know / who we are / so we tell them / we are the workers / the mighty, mighty workers." At each stop, they jumped out and boarded the next car. "Hurry before the door closes," one woman exclaimed.
Some non-protesting passengers chanted in agreement, grabbed as many fliers as they could hold, and smiled. Others looked past them, focused on the music on their iPods or the books in their hands. Some rolled their eyes and waved the fliers on. The train became more and more crowded. A few policemen boarded, and besides the overcrowding, these protesters seemed to remain peaceful.
The groups then made their way back to Manhattan's financial district, the protest's hot spot, where anti-corporation sentiment continued to brew. Many protesters said they have to bear an unfair burden: "The banks got bailed out … we got sold out!" yelled one woman on the corner.
Once downtown, the protesters ran into heavy police presence. No one was really sure what was going on, but then there was a huge cheer from the corner and everyone started rushing toward Foley Square carrying signs and neon glow sticks. They were hoping to end the day with a dramatic crossing of the Brooklyn Bridge, but it was not clear whether police would allow them to cross.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.