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Monday, April 30, 2012

City Braces for New Protest #tcot

By JESSICA FIRGER

New York City police and financial institutions are bracing themselves for a citywide protest Tuesday that many see as a test of whether Occupy Wall Street's strength and popular appeal will reignite after a dormant winter.wsj_print

Occupy organizers say they plan to "shut the city down" with pickets throughout Midtown and a union-backed march that is expected to draw thousands. But the group's ambition comes with a risk: a fizzled event could signal the end of its ability to draw mainstream support.

The loosely organized group has called for a popular strike, a goal that isn't supported by its allies in labor, which must comply with a host of laws and internal rules governing walkouts. New York unions have marched for the past several years on May Day.

"What happens is anyone's guess," said Occupy organizer Drew Hornbain, 25 years old. He said many insiders are galvanized by a popular perception that "Occupy has been a series of failures."

"The movement is operating under a start-up model: fail quickly and iterate often," Mr. Hornbain said.

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