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October 29, 1979

On the 50th anniversary of the 1929 stock market crash, seven Vassar students took part in “The Wall Street Action,” during which several thousand protestors blocked employees’ entrance to the New York Stock Exchange. Police arrested 1,045 of the protestors, giving “conditional releases” to those who would give their names, with the promise that their cases would be dropped after six months if they committed no further offenses.

“This was an effort,” said Grace Hedemann, press secretary of “The Wall Street Action,” “to show people who think they have no control over multinational companies that they can do something. We targeted 61 companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange most heavily invested in the nuclear industry.” The exchange opened on time, and the director of the police operation, Deputy Chief Michael V. J. Willis, said “90 percent of the kids didn’t cooperate with their arrests, but there wasn’t a nasty one in the bunch.”

The New York Times

The Years