Wall St protest expected to swell

These are not the few bedraggled Occupy Wall Street protesters we knew in September.

Representatives from some of the most powerful labor unions in the country have arrived to march alongside the protesters, and students from New York universities joined the demonstrations this afternoon.

Occupy Wall StreetGALLERY: Click to view images of Occupy Wall Street.

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The protests today — which were expected to be the largest yet — began at 3 p.m. Eastern, when protesters in Zuccotti Square marched a mile north to Foley Square, met community and labor leaders, and then marched back at 4:30 p.m. The march was largely peaceful, and metal barriers and police kept the demonstrations from blocking traffic.

Many protesters carried signs or joined in chants about economic injustice, including: “Wall St. can’t you see we want a fair economy!”

The reinforcements have added both size and credibility to the movement, which began Sept. 17 with a few dozen camped-out college students, and has voiced opposition against everything from corporate greed and bank foreclosures to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and unemployment. A full list of the protesters demands can be found here.

Among the labor unions that marched today are representatives of the Chinatown Tenants Union, the Transit Workers Union, MoveOn.org, Working Families Party, United NY. See a full list here.

The first union to throw support behind the protesters was Transport Workers Union Local 100. Alexander Hotz and Alice Brennan from The New York World asked members of the TWU what inspired them to join:

Unions join Wall Street protests from The New York World on Vimeo.

Read more @ WP