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Be patient through the first 90 seconds — haha, attention span of a gnat! — because a remarkable little drama unfolds with protesters inside the Citibank branch communicating with protesters outside, all very reserved, collecting names and birthdates of the people about to be arrested inside. And then, brutish cops seize a woman in a business suit who is saying, “I’m a customer, I’m a customer,” and showing her Citibank checkbook. Apparently she is here to close her account, and for that she is manhandled by a bunch of thug cops who should be careful where they go from now on. Anyway, closing your account is now a go-to-jail offense. UPDATE: The video was shot on a Blackberry by Meaghan Linick of Brooklyn, and her story is worth reading, too.

Interesting actions around the world today, from London to Sydney, Rome to Los Angeles, Vancouver to Vienna. It would be dumb to pretend to know exactly what it all means, and of course the appearance of the professionals — the professional fringe right, the professional attention whores, the professional leftist protesters, and of course the professional security guards for the establishment — muddies the waters moreso. But when you look at all these uprisings, past the loudest people and past the readymade theories and conclusions, you start to get an idea that something unique is happening, and it may just be getting started.

Ah, the usual “radicals” (cops) who have “infiltrated” the protests. “A massive demonstration” — 200,000 on the streets in Rome. And perhaps a hundred “radicals” who pull enough violent shit to dominate the newscast.

But don’t let Citibank take all the rancid glory today. JPMorgan Chase is the target of many other “consumers” in New York and across the United States today. BusinessWeek notes that JPMorgan Chase branches are swamped throughout the city with people closing their bank accounts.

Here’s a short bird’s eye clip of what’s happening in Times Square right now. The arrests are happening swiftly now, with NYPD paddy wagon vans scooping up those leading the protests, a dozen at a time, apparently trying to cut off the serpent’s head. Good luck, cops.

[Occupy Wall Street/BBC/Reuters OWS blog]

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