It’s been over month since the beginning of Occupy Wall Street, and if you’ve been down to the Financial District lately you may have noticed that on Wall Street between Broadway and William (also on Broad Street and Exchange Place), there are metal barriers up and a lot of cops around at all times. Anyone can walk down the north side of the street, but crossing the street towards the New York Stock Exchange requires a corporate I.D. or proof of having business at the exchange, according to NYSE security guards on the scene earlier this week.
On Friday evening around 9 p.m., the barriers preventing crossing Wall Street towards the exchange were up. Same situation two nights ago around 6:30. A NYSE security guard said that the barriers have been up for about a month. Keeps those pesky protesters out.
According to NYSE rep Richard Adamonis, there have been barriers around the perimeter of the exchange since September 11, 2001, though “not all the barriers that there are presently.”
A second NYSE security guard said that the fences have been up since around when the protests began, as did two police officers on duty on Friday evening. The NYPD would not officially comment on this story at this time.
The new measures on Wall Street are part of a trend; security in the area has tightened in the last month as the protests at Zuccotti have gained traction. According to Omi Morshed, a 21-year-old FiDi resident, “the police are guarding Chase Bank and J.P. Morgan 24/7.”
But according to Community Board 1 chair Julie Menin, the barrier situation is actually better than it was a couple weeks ago.
“The NYPD had put up too many barricades in the financial district,” Menin said. “Residents couldn’t walk around, couldn’t get to the buildings we live in. We called the First Precinct and asked that they take some of them down, and they did.”
Overall, though, police are thicker on the ground in FiDi than they have been in a long time. “There are a lot more police standing around,” Morshed said. “The sidewalks are definitely more crowded.”